Don't like their nest boxes ...

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by mlmadura, Nov 5, 2008.

  1. mlmadura

    mlmadura Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG] My girls avoid their sweet little nest boxes I so lovingly fixed :eek: They have been laying their eggs in the hay on the floor of their coop....so I took the boxes out last night and they have made 3 nests in the floor. Is this normal????
     
  2. bubbazmommy

    bubbazmommy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sure is. You can try putting plastic eggs or golf balls in the nesting boxes to give them the idea.

    Is it possible to put the nesting boxes where they have their nests??

    What are you using in the boxes?? Is it the same as what you have on the floor?
     
  3. gumpsgirl

    gumpsgirl Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Mine didn't like the nesting boxes at first either. I think they had to get used the whole idea of egg laying and then the nesting boxes. Just be sure to add some fake eggs or some golf balls to the nesting boxes and lift a few hens up into the boxes so they will get the idea. They will come around. [​IMG]
     
  4. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree! You can see what problems I was having recently by looking here. What I was trying to do then was narrow down the field of 4 so that I knew which pullet to concentrate on.

    If you read thru that thread . . . it is Edna who is laying. Yesterday, I moved her into the nest box 3 times thru the day. In the evening, I found her egg in the box.

    Today, no egg so far and since she took a day off last week, I think that I won't need to expect an egg every day. Her next one, I hope, will be laid in the proper place. She shows a great deal of interest in the nest box now [​IMG]. Maybe she will climb the ladder and go in there on her own this time.

    Since all 4 of the pullets are showing signs that they will begin laying, they may follow Edna's lead in using the nest box. There's only one box and 2 of them can squeeze in without difficulty. My experience with just a few hens is that they all want to lay in the same location, anyway.

    I wouldn't give up and allow them to lay on the floor. They will come to appreciate the box but those first eggs must show up rather unexpectedly. The pullets are so young that they hardly know what is happening or where it would be best for them to have a nest.

    Frequently encouraging them to check out the box gets them started in the right direction. Stir up whatever "nest" they have made for themselves down in the litter. They will probably decide that it isn't an appropriate spot. It looks like you have a much better location for a nest and they will realize that soon.

    Steve
     
  5. mlmadura

    mlmadura Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I use the same hay in the nest boxes and on the floor - my dad is making me some different nest boxes and we are going to expand the size of the coop - I didn't realize just how massive my barred rocks were gonna get - ( I think they weigh at least 8 or 9 pounds apiece)

    They were interested in the nest boxes but just pecked at the golf balls and laid their eggs on the floor lol [​IMG]
     
  6. lowcountrypoultry

    lowcountrypoultry Chillin' With My Peeps

    My hens NEVER lay were I want them to lay.. so I have to make them, I put store bought chicken eggs in the nest for a day or two to train them, and there good from there.

    Best Of Luck! [​IMG]

    -Austin
     
  7. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yep, I've used store-bought eggs, too. This time, I'm trying golf balls.

    I just came back from "rotating" pullets into the nest box.

    First it was Edna and when she came right back out, I put her back. I think she thought I put something special in their feeder . . . sorry, no.

    I messed around the yard a few minutes and came back to put Spring in the box. She just started squatting today. I know that there are different ideas on this and it varies from bird to bird but Spring has been quite stressed and noisy lately. In the box, she immediately began to sing that "isn't-this-interesting" song. It won't be long and she'll be laying.

    Since Spring decided to hang around in the nest box, I picked Olivia up and pushed her in too . . . carefully. Actually, you need to be careful picking up Olivia, for anything. She is the most curious "people chicken" but she does not like to be picked up. As soon as she got in that nest box, however, it was obvious that she was happy to be there.

    I didn't think about it until afterward but Spring and Olivia aren't the best of friends. I wouldn't have put them together if that had occurred to me but it didn't make one bit of difference - at least, while I was standing there. It gets a little boring standing around listening to pullets sing the nest box song [​IMG] so I left.

    I'll continue this rotating birds into the box but I really think that it's coming together. I am not "allowed" to even touch Yvonne because she says so [​IMG]. But, she stands there and notices how the other 3 birds take so much interest in looking around inside the box.

    My problem is partly that they need to climb a 24" ladder to get to the box. Big Barred Rocks? Yeah, that would be Edna and Spring. I'm surprised how gracefully they handle the ladder to their roost but this ladder to what must look to them like a hole in the wall is something of a "bridge to nowhere" for them right now.

    Steve
     
  8. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    I was advised to have the boxes 1 ft off the ground and to include a jumping perch in front. Works beautifully. Do have pics so we can see what the problem might be? It's so nice to get clean eggs laid in a place where the eggs won't freeze...[​IMG]

    Mine are in link below...
     

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