Chickens won't go in the box

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by pixiechicks, Mar 12, 2015.

  1. pixiechicks

    pixiechicks New Egg

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    Feb 1, 2015
    Ok, we built an awesome nest for the girls..they should start laying any day now. The problem? They don't seem to like it..at all. We have fake eggs in it, tried placing them in it, etc..nada! They seem to be bedding down in the bottom of the coop, zero interest in snuggling in to the box. Is this normal? Are they going to lay eggs other places, etc?
     
  2. justplainbatty

    justplainbatty Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 30, 2007
    emmet MI
    Hello, relax. Do you have roosting bars for them? They need training. Put them on the roost bars at dusk. They should be roosting within a week. The roosts should be higher than the nest boxes. Few chickens sleep on the floor. They will not use a nest box until they are ready to lay. They are aware of the boxes, they will use them. The way to train them to lay in the coop is to lock them in for a good part of the day for a few days. Have some faith, they know what to do. The golf balls in the nests help but most hens don't even need that. They just need a comfy, safe, not too brightly lit place to lay. [​IMG]
     
  3. Lady of McCamley

    Lady of McCamley Overrun With Chickens

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    NW Oregon
    Presuming the box is of the proper dimensions, warm, dry, and filled with good nesting material (soft straw or pine shavings), they won't show much interest in the box until they are laying. Right now, it is "meh" what's with that.

    Leave the fake eggs in. When they are getting close to laying (really there), you will see them begin to sit in the box, sometimes for several hours. Go in, come out. Pace. Sit. Act confused. Then ta da...they lay an egg and will sing about it for the next 10 minutes. Then you will have fights over who gets the box first.

    Give it time.

    LofMc
     
  4. Lady of McCamley

    Lady of McCamley Overrun With Chickens

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    ...and I agree with the other poster...you don't want the birds using the box except for laying.

    You want them to roost on a pole or something which is not over the nest box so droppings can't hit it.

    Nest boxes are for laying NOT sleeping...train them right from the start...otherwise you'll have eggs laid in poop which is unnecessary mess.

    LofMc
     
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  5. pixiechicks

    pixiechicks New Egg

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    Feb 1, 2015
    Thank you all so much for the advice, that makes me feel better! They have been roosting, I'm glad we are on the right path!
     

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