Built nesting boxes - they lay on floor!

Ahuntley72

In the Brooder
Jan 6, 2020
15
13
46
Connecticut
Hello!! New! I have 4 hens (2 roosters are being returned with 3 more pullets planned soon). Some of my lovely ladies (1 Barred rock, 1 black astralrop, 2 lights brahamas) have started to lay!! But, I built beautiful boxes placed them 12 inches above the ground with a roost. And they lay next to the water or out in the pen. Should i put the nesting boxes on the ground?
 

getaclue

Enabler
9 Years
Jun 19, 2013
11,521
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Central Florida
Typically, nesting boxes should be lower than the roosts, BUT in this case, you mentioned your pullets just began laying. It's not uncommon for them to lay on the ground, at first. They have to get the hang of laying, and using the nesting box. Give them time, they'll get it all sorted out.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Nov 27, 2012
104,020
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SW Michigan
My Coop
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But, I built beautiful boxes placed them 12 inches above the ground with a roost.
So there is a perch in front of the nests, but that's not the roost they sleep on?

Should i put the nesting boxes on the ground?
No!

Snap a picture and post it. It’s the fastest way to diagnose any issues.

New layers sometimes have issues. I had to put 2-3 fake eggs in each box before they’d use them.
Ditto Dos^^!!
 

SierraTheChicken

Chirping
Sep 14, 2020
15
60
59
Did you put fake eggs in the boxes? You might try that. Other than that, yeah, they are new at this and figuring it out.
I did that for my chickens, they were laying wherever the heck they wanted before, but i feel like when they see a golf ball or something, they think 'Oh, another hen was laying here, i should do the same!' Now i have 4 chickens who lay in the nesting box. However, they only lay in one of the nesting boxes, and the other one is literally the same exact thing. I use a cat litter box for both of them, and i have hay inside of them. You should try to make your nesting box look as comfortable for the chicken as possible.
 

MarkJr

Free Ranging
Jun 15, 2020
4,785
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I did that for my chickens, they were laying wherever the heck they wanted before, but i feel like when they see a golf ball or something, they think 'Oh, another hen was laying here, i should do the same!' Now i have 4 chickens who lay in the nesting box. However, they only lay in one of the nesting boxes, and the other one is literally the same exact thing. I use a cat litter box for both of them, and i have hay inside of them. You should try to make your nesting box look as comfortable for the chicken as possible.
They tend to pick the same box.
I had sixteen layers this summer who chose 2 boxes mostly and I’d get a couple eggs in third. They’d literally squawk and complaint, even double up in the preferred boxes. There were 6 boxes to chose from

It’s a chicken thing.
 

MarkJr

Free Ranging
Jun 15, 2020
4,785
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Do they all have a fake egg?
I keep one in each nest full time, helps 'spread the love'.
Tho there is always a 'nest du jour', and some squabbling during high traffic times.
Yep. I even revamped my boxes. From four 12x12x14 to six 13x17x16 boxes. My headstrong ladies liked their boxes. The only way I could convince them to use the upper boxes I built was to leave 2-3 fake eggs in the upper boxes only.

I sent them to wife’s uncle a few weeks ago to get my chicken count right finally. I will have another group to teach in about 3 months.
 

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