Chicken's Won't Use Nest Boxes

Ahawk88

Hatching
Apr 20, 2016
4
0
9
I have 5 young chickens. One started laying eggs in early July. She likes to burrow into the dirt under the coop in the run and lay her eggs. I read a few threads on here for tips on how to encourage her to lay her eggs in the nests, but nothing has helped.

I have put the eggs in the nests for a few days. I have shut her into the coop but she went NUTS and was so stressed she didn't lay for a few days. I have even placed her gently on the nest (not when laying) to give her the hint. But day after day, she lays her eggs in the rocks and dirt and I have to use a rake to fish for her eggs.

What should I do?! I don't want to hunt for eggs every day, especially once the others start laying eggs too.
 

Wyatt0224

Chirping
Mar 1, 2016
587
39
91
Westminster, Maryland
I'm in the same predicament you are. My silkie hens are laying in between the nesting boxes! They must've thought it felt comfy. :rolleyes: Perhaps your best hope is to put fake eggs in the nesting boxes so your other hens who aren't laying will know to lay there and when they do the other one will catch on. That's what I'm trying to do with mine.
 

Choco Maran

Songster
10 Years
Jul 25, 2009
730
51
153
Ribera New Mexico
Hens like low and dark places to lay their eggs. They feel comfortable in dark places as no predators can get them. maybe they just do not feel safe in the nest boxes.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
99,061
138,218
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
I have 5 young chickens. One started laying eggs in early July. She likes to burrow into the dirt under the coop in the run and lay her eggs. I read a few threads on here for tips on how to encourage her to lay her eggs in the nests, but nothing has helped.

I have put the eggs in the nests for a few days. I have shut her into the coop but she went NUTS and was so stressed she didn't lay for a few days. I have even placed her gently on the nest (not when laying) to give her the hint. But day after day, she lays her eggs in the rocks and dirt and I have to use a rake to fish for her eggs.

What should I do?! I don't want to hunt for eggs every day, especially once the others start laying eggs too.
Can you block off access to under the coop, so they can't get under there?
Eliminating their preferred spot and keeping fake eggs in the nests all the time can work,
but it takes time, more than a few days.

Is your coop big enough to lock them all up for a few days?
Despite their distress, sometimes you have to force the issue and not give in right away.
You have to be more tenacious than the birds.

Pics of coop/run, inside and out, might help us help you find a solution.
 

Ahawk88

Hatching
Apr 20, 2016
4
0
9
Last week I decided that maybe the nests just weren't comfy enough. So I put down a nice thick layer of soft wood chips, and then put the straw nests on top of them. In the midst of this, my cat climbs into the coop, and curls up in a nest. The chickens then came into the coop and stared at the cat. The cat and chickens really get a long like friends, it's funny. And I told my cat "teach these hens what the nests are for!"

Four days later...my hen is now laying eggs in the nest! Three days in a row in the nest, and no more on the ground!

WOOHOOOO!
 
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