First Egg ! How to get the chicken to use the laying box?

petalumapaul

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 16, 2014
83
2
46
Petaluma (Northern California)
I got my six chickens in late April.
Today I found my first egg. Actually I found four in a little pile she made under the chicken coop.

How to I get the chickens to use the laying box?
They seem to have a nice hiding spot under the chicken coop.
I blocked up the hiding spot and put two golf balls in the laying box.
I hope it works.
 

sumi

Rest in Peace 1980-2020
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Jun 28, 2011
39,154
26,006
1,302
The golf ball trick usually works with my hens. Also make sure the nest box is semi-dark inside and "private". Hens lay with brooding chicks in mind, so they'll look for a place where they feel safe.
 

fshinggrl

Songster
10 Years
May 1, 2009
2,615
84
248
the edge of insanity
I'm having the same problem. New hen house and late April babies... Laying on the floor of the coop vs in the nest box. We actually only have one hen laying that I am aware of so I'm hoping when the rest of them start, they'll choose more wisely! And yes, I have a golf ball in there as well.
 

NC118

In the Brooder
5 Years
May 4, 2014
38
7
26
Welcome NC
I had that problem with mine originally laying in the floor of the coop and I tried the golf ball trick and it didn't work for me so I went to the craft store and bought some wooden eggs and now all are laying in the nesting boxes except for one that continues to lay in the floor of the coop for some reason. They actually took the wooden eggs and moved them all into one pile like they think they are real eggs lol

My hens lay brown eggs so not sure if that makes a difference but they didn't respond to the golf balls but as soon as I put the brown wooden eggs in there they started laying in the box right away. my hens were hatched April 13 so I've been getting eggs for a few weeks now
 
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petalumapaul

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 16, 2014
83
2
46
Petaluma (Northern California)
Golf balls worked wonders, they immediately started laying in the laying box.
I went out and spent four dollars on wooden eggs because they were cute.
We just leave the wooden eggs in the laying boxes.

After three weeks we are up to 3-4 eggs a day. I strongly suspect that only four of our chickens are laying, two Americauna and two Barred Rock. I haven't yet seen the Buff Orpingtons on the nest.

 

chainedspider

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 7, 2013
14
0
22
We have 15 hens of varying ages. Our 6 Brahmas are about 2 years old so are pros at laying. We have 3 Sussex cross breeds who started laying just before we bought them a couple of months ago and so they know to use the laying boxes. We now have 4 Ancona and 2 Appenzellers who have just started laying their first eggs. We have noticed that a majority of the new eggs are in the laying boxes first time, but over the last week we have found eggs laid outside in mud puddles. We are guessing these are the Appenzellers as we have seen the Ancona using the laying boxes (often have even disturbed them while they were laying, not knowing they were in there).

After reading the articles, we used the golf ball trick. Even after doing that, we are still finding eggs in mud puddles. Are there any other tricks out there that could help? I'm getting exhausting running out to rescue eggs I see being used as soccer balls by the other hens LOL

Thanks
 

Meytchison

In the Brooder
5 Years
Jun 17, 2014
45
4
26
Oldsmar,Fl
Got my first egg today. Mine moved the golf balls onto the coop floor and laid her egg there.Guess I'll have to wait and see if they'll start using the boxes.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
94,206
123,523
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SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
We have 15 hens of varying ages. Our 6 Brahmas are about 2 years old so are pros at laying. We have 3 Sussex cross breeds who started laying just before we bought them a couple of months ago and so they know to use the laying boxes. We now have 4 Ancona and 2 Appenzellers who have just started laying their first eggs. We have noticed that a majority of the new eggs are in the laying boxes first time, but over the last week we have found eggs laid outside in mud puddles. We are guessing these are the Appenzellers as we have seen the Ancona using the laying boxes (often have even disturbed them while they were laying, not knowing they were in there).

After reading the articles, we used the golf ball trick. Even after doing that, we are still finding eggs in mud puddles. Are there any other tricks out there that could help? I'm getting exhausting running out to rescue eggs I see being used as soccer balls by the other hens LOL

Thanks
When they first start laying it can take up to a month or so to get things grooved in to their new normal.
Could be some pecking order going on with an uptick in nest use.
You could lock them all in the coop for a day or two (all day or until mid afternoon or so) if they are used to being confined and you have a big enough coop.
Or you could just wait for them to get it together...frustrating I know, but it'll probably work it self out.
 

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