chickens laying elsewhere and no handling!


8 Years
Mar 7, 2011

I have three chickens, Light Sussex, Leghorn and a Hybrid. Up to yesterday they have always laid in their nest box in their house but they found my dogs kennel yesterday which is full of straw and have decided they would prefer to lay there. I have today changed their nest box from wood shavings to straw and closed the door on the dogs kennel in a hope they will just return to the nest box - was this the right thing to to do or have I just made the situation worse and now they will head off somwwhere else completely and not know where they will go? also, they hate being picked up I know the Leghorns have always been difficult to pick up and they hate it but the other two breeds I thought didn't mind it, but as soon as I come anywhere near them they run away and I can't get anywhere near them - would just be nice if they were a little more friendly! I've had them for a year now and would have thought they would have been used to me by now.

any help would be much appreciated!
I would have done the same thing-One thing I do try is taking a tucker tote-big plastic container-and filled with DE and shavings-then pick up the hens and put them in it. I only do this when they are in new surraoundings or have been sneaking somewhwere else to lay! I have an aweful time in Summers as I get a few hens that just refuse to go in boxes and do it outside-so everynight Dh and I do and easter egg hunt-sometimes were lucky most of the time were too late finding nests of 20 eggs!!! Can you lock them up for a day or so with the neew nesting box or make them use their old one just to get them to use it again??
Thanks for the responses. I will try putting an egg from the weekend in the old nesting box and hope they head back there. Any help on how to get them used to being handled?

I had the same problem with our hay barn. It was like nesting heaven for the chickens. I got tired of crawling through round bales and stepping in clutches of eggs.

I keep my flock on a modified school bus(front wheels replaced with a semi Jack and tounge) and had to move them far far away and still have to keep them away. If they see that barn they are in it; But in other cases, I have found that once the hens pick a spot, they stick with it for a while. I have had some luck in other arrangements by re lining the nest boxes and locking the hens up in the coop for 2 or 3 days to force them to lay in the boxes, and then I let them out.

Is the sky falling yet? I'm too busy to look up.

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