Chickens arent laying in nesting boxes, ideas?

Advertisement Purina Flock Layer


In the Brooder
Feb 14, 2016
Newbie here. Trying to get some ideas on encouraging our chickens to lay in their nesting boxes.Heres a pic from our coop cam taken just minutes ago. You can see their favorite spot to lay, there in the corner. :)

So some details. Our 6 buff orp's are around 26 weeks old and started laying a few weeks ago. At first a couple of them were using the boxes. Now I think we're down to 1 laying in the boxes, 4 in that corner spot you see. And one lays randomly in the sand.

We have sand in the coop, and wood chips in the boxes. They'll pull the wood chips out of the boxes one by one and make themselves a little nest to lay their eggs in. I've watched them do this in the video feed. I'll go about once a week and clean the sand up and get the chips out of the sand, but then the process repeats and they make a mess with the chips again.

Some other details, The nesting boxes are on the side of the coop that faces the sun during the day, so it is a little warmer in them than in the other part of the coop. So maybe they dont like the heat?

I've tried putting fake eggs in the boxes to teach them, but it didnt seem to help.

Also, I read on another post about putting a veil of burlap or something similar up so the hen has more privacy. Perhaps I could try that. Any ideas on why they arent using them?
They are pretty big boxes and I see a gap along the back, probably from the egg access door. It could be making them nervous, I would try draping something over it to cut out that strip of light. They like their nests a bit darkened that's why curtains are sometimes used. Also making the front lip higher could help make them more cosy, and adding more fake eggs or golf balls will help too.

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