Chickens Not Using Nest Boxes

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by chickenbee, Nov 13, 2015.

  1. chickenbee

    chickenbee New Egg

    9
    0
    7
    Jun 18, 2015
    I need a bit of advice.

    In the spring I cleaned the coop and removed the old nest boxes with the idea of building new ones. A new flock of 25 barred rocks were put into the coop. Unfortunately between work and being sick, time got away from me and the hens started to lay about 5 weeks ago without any nest boxes. As a result they started to lay on the floor and burying their eggs in the pine shavings. About two weeks ago, a new series of nest boxes have been added. The problem is none of the hens seem to be interested in laying in the boxes.

    The nest boxes are a duplicate of the old ones with the added feature of a sloped floor so eggs roll away from the hens and into a collection area so I can get them (had a problem in the past with egg eating in one flock). There are 6 in total and they are 12h x 12w x 15d. The boxes are 28" off the floor and each has a plastic egg inside to encourage laying.

    Any ideas on further discouraging floor laying and encouraging laying in the nests?
     
  2. chickenlickin8

    chickenlickin8 Chillin' With My Peeps

    947
    31
    176
    Jun 26, 2008
    Valrico, Florida
    My Coop
    It depends now that they have formed a bad habit laying on the floor out of necessity. Maybe locate the nests closer to the floor and use hay in the boxes with a wooden or ceramic egg in each nest box. Good luck.

    I have never used sloped floor nests, maybe it scares them?
     
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    34,477
    7,693
    596
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    You may have to train them to the boxes using bedding in them and then start slowly reduce the bedding in nests to take advantage of the roll away aspect.

    Hollow plastic eggs can be filled with sand to make them heavier, golf balls and solid plastic or ceramic fake eggs can be used also.
     
  4. chickenbee

    chickenbee New Egg

    9
    0
    7
    Jun 18, 2015
    Thanks for that advice. I have good news. A day after I posted the question, I found two eggs in the nest box trap. A few days later I found 5. As of now, I am only finding one or two on the floor.
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    34,477
    7,693
    596
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Great!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by