Anything I can do to encourage them to use the nestbox?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by jsvand5, Oct 25, 2011.

  1. jsvand5

    jsvand5 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 7, 2009
    Ocala, FL
    I bought a few adult Thai gamefowl hens a few weeks ago. One of them started laying eggs last week, but she just lays them in random spots in the enclosure. I have a large nesting area with three separate laying boxes on one side of the enclosure. After the hen started laying on the ground I added a laying box made out of a tupperware near the area that she usually lays. She seems to be laying near her nightime perch. Will she just figure it out eventually or is there something I can do to help her get the idea? I have lost two out of her 5 eggs so far from them being crushed by the other hens.

    One other question, How long does moving adult hens usually throw them off of laying? I have 8 all together and so far just one is back to laying. I think it has been about a month since I bought them. I am starting to wonder if I may have been better off just getting chicks and raising them up. All of my hens are between 9 months and 1 year old.
  2. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 31, 2008
    West Michigan
    My Coop
    Some people put fake eggs or golf balls in the nest box to give the hen the right idea. Hopefully she will figure it out once she settles in more.

    It can vary as far as how long they go off laying. If one started back the others will probably start soon too. Hopefully none of them are getting ready to molt, too.
  3. yankeedoodle300

    yankeedoodle300 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 22, 2011
    Chicken Heaven
    I Heard put Eggs ( From the Store) golf Balls And fake Eggs in, That will work!
  4. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    Do not put real eggs in the nest - if they break it and eat it, you will have a hard time getting them to stop, or the egg will rot. Put either plastic easter eggs filled with a rock to weigh it down, wooden eggs or golf balls in the nest.
  5. marty8587

    marty8587 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 15, 2011
    Portland, Oregon
    I have a cochin who liked to lay around the yard and on the floor of the coop. When I noticed her acting restless I kept putting her up in the nesting boxes, now she's gone broodt and only wants to come down to eat!![​IMG]
  6. sfischer

    sfischer Out Of The Brooder

    May 20, 2011
    I am trying to figure the same thing out. So far they seem to love to lay in the hardest to reach spot in the coop. I did put the plastic easter eggs in the nesting box but they seemed to be offended by them and would fling them around the pen. Filling them with rocks may be the next step.
  7. Peke's Poultry

    Peke's Poultry Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 13, 2011
    I tried different things. I started with a lovely painted tri level nesting box set up. They only laid in the bottom corner. Then a new hen started hiding there, so they started laying in a box I had. Finally I got a cat carrier and they all like that - cozy, private - now I bought 2 more and all are being used. They seem to prefer hay as a bedding too - rather than shavings or anything else I've tried.
  8. jsvand5

    jsvand5 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 7, 2009
    Ocala, FL
    Thanks for the tips. I'll try the golf ball idea.

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