Chickens not laying in Nest Boxes

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by MnChicken6, Sep 22, 2014.

  1. MnChicken6

    MnChicken6 Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 22, 2014
    We have 1 Black Sex Link, 1 Silver Laced Wyandotte, 1 Buff and 1 Americauna. The Black sex link started laying about a week and a half ago. The first two eggs were outside in the run, the next 8 she has layed in the coop on the floor. We started out using pine shavings in the nest boxes, that did not work they would go in and kick all the shavings out. We put straw in them this weekend and put a golf ball in each nestbox. She still will not go in them and lay, still laying of the floor of the coop. The nest boxes are not too high, at least I do not think so, have talked to a couple other people who said their nest boxes are at the same height. Any suggestions to get them to lay in nest boxes?
     
  2. KGreene

    KGreene Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 23, 2014
    I made sure my boxes were not more than a foot off of the floor. First few were on the floor of the coop, but after placing the golf balls, All eggs are laid in the nesting boxes, even while they're out free ranging they'll go back to the boxes to lay. Maybe they just haven't figured it out yet??
     
  3. MnChicken6

    MnChicken6 Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 22, 2014
    Left 1 golf ball in one of the three nest boxes this morning, will see if she lays in them now. Or see if she will just scratch all the straw out. Nest boxes are permanently attached so can't really move them. Pretty frustrating, anyone have any suggestions? the inside of the coop is 4ft x 4ft so do not have a whole lot of room to put a ramp or anything up to the nest boxes. The nest boxes are about 2 feet or less from the floor of the coop.
     
  4. NC118

    NC118 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 4, 2014
    Welcome NC
    I have 4 hens and 3 are laying in the nesting boxes now but 1 continues to lay in the floor of the coop. When they first started laying I tried the golf ball and that didn't work so I used wooden eggs from the craft store and that worked good. They moved the wooden eggs together.

    I started out with straw and they just wouldn't go in the box so I switched to pine shavings and it worked well but like I said I still have 1 laying in the floor of the coop and I have to open the clean out door to get her eggs it's so frustrating
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Is there a lip, 3-5" on the front of the box to lessen the ease with which they can scatter the bedding?

    2 feet high with no ramp in a 4x4 coop is pretty tight quarters for getting back down off the nests.

    Can you post a pic of the coop and nests?

    Might just take some time too, they get pretty goofy acting and it can take up to a month before they get the program down pat.
     
  6. MnChicken6

    MnChicken6 Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 22, 2014
    Got home from work tonight, went to see if there was any eggs. There was one egg, not in the nest boxes though on the floor still. Last night I tried leaving an egg in each nest box and one of the hens kicked all 3 out along with the pine shavings. I am at a loss for what to do. Seems like we have tried everything. There is a 2 1/2inch lip on nest boxes, does not seem to make a difference, the hens still kick everything out.
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Make the lip higher...and be patient, they are learning (and you are learning too) and live animals don't always behave just as we wish they would.
    Maybe try straw instead of shavings as nest bedding, it's harder to kick out than shavings.
     
  8. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member Project Manager

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    Some chickens will be floor layers no matter what you do. One of mine was a floor layer,tried everything to no avail. She was the first to start laying. Others all used the nests. But after 7 months for her own reasons she did start to lay in the nests and left the floor. If you research poultry studies or read texts on nest vs floor layers some just do it and others don't and no one has an explanation. And most of early floor layers will eventually move to the nests.

    Just make sure nests are easily accessible and chicken friendly.
     
  9. MnChicken6

    MnChicken6 Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 22, 2014
    Thanks for the suggestions. It is just frustrating but sure she will get the hang of it eventually. Going to make a taller lip on nest boxes, and am also going to put a 2x4 across for the to jump on to make it easier getting into the nest boxes. We are just thankful we are getting fresh eggs, beats the store bought ones!
     
  10. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member Project Manager

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    It's worth trying what others report works, just because it did not for my one floor layer, it may for yours.

    From other threads I read hoping to solve my issue:

    Try blocking her from her favorite area of the coop - mine just moved next to whatever I added.

    Show her where eggs belong: make sure she looks at the back eggs in the nests. My floor layer never once look in the nests, maybe if I had placed her in one and she saw the ceramic eggs or golf balls in there, she would have understood?

    Worth a try. If it works for you I would like to know...

    Nothing beats fresh eggs and happy hens!
     

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