Eggs on the floor, chickens in the nest boxes... (updated!)

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by CandiceN, Jul 29, 2011.

  1. CandiceN

    CandiceN Chillin' With My Peeps

    166
    0
    89
    May 30, 2011
    NH
    We have 2 hens laying right now. One started last week, the other a few days ago. I found the first few eggs last week in one of the 2 nest boxes (I've found eggs in both). Since then, they've been on the floor outside the nest box (which is about 18" off the ground) for one hen and off in another part of the coop for the other (near the food bin - same place every time). Every time I go out there lately (a few times a day), one of the hens is sitting in the box, butt facing out. I pull her out every time and put the fake eggs I have back in (since those are kicked out every day, too). I don't know if they sleep in there at night, I have yet to check on them after dark but I will this weekend to verify.

    Should I leave her alone? I don't know which 2 are laying, so maybe she's not yet and is getting ready? I have to clean the shavings out every day because of the poop. I don't know what to do! None of the eggs are broken, so I don't think it's a matter of her laying too close to the edge of the box, because with that drop I'd think I'd get at least a cracked one.

    My husband thinks they are too comfortable and we should remove the shavings. He's got two farmer buddies and neither one puts anything in their nesting boxes at all. If I put something like vinyl or astroturf down to prevent eggs from cracking when they dropped, do you think they would use the boxes for eggs rather than for just sitting in? We have sand in the coop, so maybe she doesn't like it and I should go the deep litter route instead?

    Help! [​IMG]

    (yep, I'm a chicken newbie!)


    Update: I just went out to bring them a little afternoon yogurt snack and I found a third egg, this time in the nest box! So maybe she WAS getting ready. I guess this means all three of our RIRs are now laying [​IMG] Woohoo!!! [​IMG] I'll keep an eye on them and keep putting those fake eggs back in the nest to see if it helps.


    Here's the ladies enjoying their snack:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    And here's "Little Red" (12/13 week old RS). She's gotten much more red in the face the past week or so. I'm hoping to see eggs from her by September [​IMG] She wouldn't stay still, this was the best shot I could get. She still has to fight a bit to get the goodies I bring out, so she jumps all around the big ladies and grabs what she can [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    and some of the eggs we've gathered this week:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2011
  2. dewey

    dewey Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,456
    13
    171
    Nov 9, 2010
    north of eternity
    Congrats on the first eggs! Sometimes it takes them a bit at first to get the hang of using the nestboxes. Sounds like they're getting the hang of it now. [​IMG] If they're sleeping in the nests maybe the nests can be blocked somehow. I usually don't use anything but place mats in their boxes (I've no roos so I get the ones with roosters on them, lol). Very nice eggs and pretty girls!
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2011
  3. CandiceN

    CandiceN Chillin' With My Peeps

    166
    0
    89
    May 30, 2011
    NH
    Thank you for the reply! [​IMG]
     
  4. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    39,694
    1,225
    516
    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    Congrats! I've had hens take a week to get the eggs in the nestbox. But it sounds like it's possible that she was in the box and her rear was outside the box when she laid her egg. So sounds to me like an oopsie from a new girl getting the hang of laying. [​IMG]
     
  5. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

    34,028
    453
    448
    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    I think most people on here use nesting material like hay, straw, pine shavings, or pine needles in the nest boxes. Chickens will hollow out a nest of leaf litter or whatever they find that's loose for layig; they will also try to camoflage themselves by throwing some hay or whatever up on their backs. That said, there's no saying you have to use nesting material. I would want something, like that rubbery shelf liner or astroturf, in there to pad the bottom, though. At least some hens stand to lay, so the egg has a drop to survive.
     
  6. chi-rn

    chi-rn Chillin' With My Peeps

    874
    0
    99
    Jun 11, 2011
    Lovely girls. Thank for the pics & congratulations!
    [​IMG]
     
  7. CandiceN

    CandiceN Chillin' With My Peeps

    166
    0
    89
    May 30, 2011
    NH
    So far today we've had one egg, in the nest box. There isn't any poop in there, so that's a good sign [​IMG]
     
  8. CandiceN

    CandiceN Chillin' With My Peeps

    166
    0
    89
    May 30, 2011
    NH
    2 more eggs, in the same nest box, next to the fake eggs. Woohoo!

    [​IMG]
     
  9. dewey

    dewey Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,456
    13
    171
    Nov 9, 2010
    north of eternity
    [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by