Favorite Nesting Boxes

MinervaELS

Songster
Oct 8, 2017
105
187
101
My chickens are awfully picky when it comes to where they lay. I have tried all sorts of bins and totes and a built in set of boxes but so far all they like is a board across two of the corners of the coop, so that there's a little triangle in the corner, filled with shavings. They won't lay anywhere else. This is working okay for the ten hens I have now but I have bantams that will be out there too and I'm wondering what else to try.

I've got a couple of these lying around and was thinking of trying them, since they seem to like the corner shape. What do you think? What sort of boxes do your chickens prefer?
 

MinervaELS

Songster
Oct 8, 2017
105
187
101
Huh... you think hay rather than shavings? I haven't tried it, but I guess I can. They seem to like the shavings well enough in their favorite corner boxes, but if hay is preferable maybe I can use it to lure them to other boxes. :D
 

RWise

Songster
7 Years
Dec 25, 2012
1,270
1,011
216
Oakhurst Oklahoma
My girls do not like chips, actually I pull tall soft grasses and make a nest with that. Once out my rooster inspects it, gets in and manicures it. He will then either approve it or not. Once approved by him some of the girls may use it.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
99,244
138,842
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SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
My chickens are awfully picky when it comes to where they lay. I have tried all sorts of bins and totes and a built in set of boxes but so far all they like is a board across two of the corners of the coop, so that there's a little triangle in the corner, filled with shavings. They won't lay anywhere else. This is working okay for the ten hens I have now but I have bantams that will be out there too and I'm wondering what else to try.

I've got a couple of these lying around and was thinking of trying them, since they seem to like the corner shape. What do you think? What sort of boxes do your chickens prefer?
How long have your girls been laying?
How often do/did you change the nests......they don't like change and it can take a week or more for them to acclimate to something 'new'.
They are going to lay where they feel 'safe' and in a place that easy for them to get to.

Pics of your latest nests, please?
 

PirateGirl

Chicken Lover, Duck Therapist
Mar 11, 2017
7,203
18,537
632
South Park, Colorado, USA
I have had the battle of the nest boxes in my coop the last month. They all had a favorite box and if it was occupied would lay the egg somewhere else (on the floor in the run etc) and it would get broken. Lots of eggs in odd places, lots of broken eggs. The newest nest box I have tried that the actually like (the others they have refused to use) is a milk crate on its side. After I had proof the would use it I screwed a board across the front so eggs wouldn't roll out. It's actually on the floor of the coop in the spot where they'd most commonly make their own nest. I think that's how I won them over. So I think your idea of something in the corner where they are already laying is a good one. Maybe once they take to it you can move it and they will still use it. Hopefully your new birds are more open to the idea of laying elsewhere. It was suggested to me to take some eggs (like the first ones laid in the morning) and put them in the new nest box where you want them to start laying. Good luck! I know this can be difficult and frustrating.
 

MinervaELS

Songster
Oct 8, 2017
105
187
101
I have had the battle of the nest boxes in my coop the last month. They all had a favorite box and if it was occupied would lay the egg somewhere else (on the floor in the run etc) and it would get broken. Lots of eggs in odd places, lots of broken eggs. The newest nest box I have tried that the actually like (the others they have refused to use) is a milk crate on its side. After I had proof the would use it I screwed a board across the front so eggs wouldn't roll out. It's actually on the floor of the coop in the spot where they'd most commonly make their own nest. I think that's how I won them over. So I think your idea of something in the corner where they are already laying is a good one. Maybe once they take to it you can move it and they will still use it. Hopefully your new birds are more open to the idea of laying elsewhere. It was suggested to me to take some eggs (like the first ones laid in the morning) and put them in the new nest box where you want them to start laying. Good luck! I know this can be difficult and frustrating.

I've been thinking of giving a milk crate a shot, so I think I'll try it. They can still use the corners, but I'm worried that once there are more of them that there will be bickering and eggs laid all over the place if they won't accept anywhere else. Darn chickens.

stPiWSQ.jpg

This is the corner that the amberlinks and ISA browns lay in. They always lay every single day, before I let them out, in this one corner. I like to imagine that they wake up and take turns hopping in, popping out their egg, and hopping out to go about their business. They're very efficient. They also don't take kindly to the black sex links trying to get in there and loaf about, as evidenced by the black feathers. :lau

snpKqUi.jpg

This is the corner for the black sex links. They lay later in the day and take forever and were causing the other hens grief. Since none of them would use the other boxes, I removed them all and just added a board to this corner too.

So far it works fine but with the bantams it will be an issue, and there aren't any more available corners! Maybe I can add smaller nesting areas for them that they'll like. I always leave new nest box attempts for 2-3 weeks or until the third or fourth time they've wrecked them in disgust. Whichever comes first. :rolleyes: I use the soft, fluffy fine shavings that they seem to really like, but I think I'll try stuffing a new box with hay to see if they like that.
 

MinervaELS

Songster
Oct 8, 2017
105
187
101
Surely someone else wants to share pictures of what their hens like/don't like or unique/creative nesting box ideas? Stories of your hens' stubbornness?

When I only had the one corner spot but also had a built-in set of boxes as well as a few others, the hens got so mad at the BSLs sitting in that one corner that two of them walked into an empty shed and put their eggs on the bare floorboards. They had seven other options for nest boxes but would rather drop them on the ground! :barnie:gig
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
99,244
138,842
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
Surely someone else wants to share pictures of what their hens like/don't like or unique/creative nesting box ideas? Stories of your hens' stubbornness?
Pics of your latest nests, please?
Did you want them to use the corner ...or do you have other nests that you want them to use.

I build 4 identical nests, fake egg in each nest, all 14 layers use them.
Very rarely does an egg get laid somewhere else.
upload_2018-3-24_17-57-4.png
 

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