First 2 eggs yesterday...set up nest boxes, but nothin...


10 Years
Mar 27, 2009
1 hour west of St. Louis, MO
We found an egg in the morning and one in the evening yesterday! Both brown, but Lord knows who's responsible!!

So last evening before dark, I put straw in the nest boxes and removed the blanket that was covering them. I left the chickens in until 10 this morning. When I went down to check, no eggs, but they had spread some of the straw all over the coop floor (there's still plenty in the nests). But we let them out and will check in a little bit to see if they laid any outside again, but the $64,000 question is:

How do I get them to lay in the nest boxes in the coop?

They're free all day, they have a feeder but no waterer int he coop (I could hang a waterer in there if needed), and they rarely go in the coop during the day. They go in on their own at dark. Any hints? I know to put golf balls in there, but does that really do it?

Thanks, Eggsperts!!
I just keep putting the girls in there every now and again. So far every girl whos laying, laid them in the nesting boxes. And now that a few are doing it, the other girls sit and watch the ones in the box. Curious as to what's going on.

If your girls are throwing the straw OUT of the box....that means they were in the box. That's good. My first girl to lay did that. I had fake eggs in there too and she was so rough that she would throw those out of the box too. Since then, she has settled down and doesn't do that any more.

Your girls will get it.
Congrats on the first eggs!!! I would not let them get used to laying 'wherever'....Keep the nestboxes accessible, uncovered. Use straw or shavings for bedding, whatever works best for you and the chickens. And yes, I would put wooden eggs, ceramic eggs, golfballs in, at least a couple (it works for me). Most chickens lay in the you may want to let them out later in the morning or early afternoon to have the best chance that eggs are laid. I think if you confine them a little longer in the morning for just a week or two and they start using the nestbox(es) you can let them out whenever....They should go in and out by themselves when they get ready to lay. If you do keep them cooped up a bit longer they should have feed and water available.....

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