Encouraging nest box use, Did I build this wrong? <pics>

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Volvo Farmer, Oct 1, 2011.

  1. Volvo Farmer

    Volvo Farmer Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 6, 2011
    We've been getting eggs for about a week now. However, I was a little late in getting the nest box built, As I was building it last week, three hens got up on this plastic bag full of shavings and laid eggs.

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    So I built this box and put straw, shavings and golf balls in there, but the chickens seem to prefer laying on top of the plastic bag.

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    I removed the plastic bag one day this week and got no eggs that day, so I put it back. We have been getting 2-3 eggs a day otherwise out of a flock of 16 hens. Should I just remove it entirely and see if they use the nest boxes? The spaces between the studs is 16" so my holes are about 12" is this too small? We have 5x cherry egger, 5x easter egger and 6x barred rock.

    I have to open a door on the run and another on the pen to collect eggs now. I sure wish they would use that box, it would make my life much easier.

    Thanks for any ideas!
     
  2. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Change just takes a while for chickens. I would remove the bags. I would also take a few eggs from your fridge and stick them in two of your nest boxes, and I'd show the chickens the eggs to make sure they've investigated. I know many say golf balls work fine, but I just think the real thing is always best (or wooden eggs, but presumed you didn't have those since you're using golf balls). They will lay in there eventually, probably within a week. Keep in mind that new layers don't always lay regularly, so you removing the bags once and them stopping may have simply been coincidence. I've had new layers lay for a day or three, then not lay for a few days.
    By the way, I've never heard the term "cherry egger." Is that a nickname for a breed, or what are they???
     
  3. Volvo Farmer

    Volvo Farmer Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 6, 2011
    Quote:Thanks for the quick reply. I will do as you suggest. I believe a Cherry Egger is a cross between RIR and New Hampshire breeds. We got them from Cackle and they are supposed to be good layers.
    http://www.cacklehatchery.com/cherryeggerpage.html
     
  4. Alethea

    Alethea Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 23, 2011
    I think the boxes are fine. Get the bags out. You might put a plastic egg or a hard boiled egg in the boxes until the chickens get the idea. They'll figure it out.
     
  5. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

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    Feb 19, 2011
    Massachusetts, USA
    x2 what teach1rusl said

    My girls pick unusual places despite 7 nestboxes. I noticed that they prefer the same box and a line up does happen or a smaller hen squishes in when already occupied. Silly girls. After a few morning eggs are laid, I spread the eggs around in each of the boxes to show them that the nestbox is safe to use.

    THe most annoying place was on the plastic bags stored in a horse trailer. While getting a bag of feed (stored in trailer) I noticed a hen and decided to return when she was no longer doing her business. 12 eggs!!!! Silly girls. They use what they are comfortable with.
     
  6. TroutsChicks

    TroutsChicks Fluffy Stuffins

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    They do the darndest things! my now 20 week old RIR's decided to lay in the poop catcher under the roosts..I took it out and I expect them to punish me and either not lay or use the floor!! why would they use that nifty nest box that i built them? nah...too easy!
     
  7. Volvo Farmer

    Volvo Farmer Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 6, 2011
    Well, the wife came home yesterday from garage sales with 2 stone eggs made out of quartz for $2. I took all the bags and the golf balls out and had 2 little brown eggs in the box with the stone eggs by noon. [​IMG]

    Thanks for the help!
     
  8. TroutsChicks

    TroutsChicks Fluffy Stuffins

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    baxter Tn
    thats awesome!! mine surprised me and actually laid in the box!! 2 eggs today!
     

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