Give up on chicken laying in nesting boxes?

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium member
7 Years
Nov 27, 2012
71,295
72,536
1,557
SW Michigan
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But ripping rags and thumbtacking them doesn't seem that hard!
Except that loose strings from ripped cloth can be an hazard...not to mention thumb tacks coming lose and being ingested.<shudders> If you choose to make 'curtains' please attach them securely.

Thanks for the suggestions! The nesting boxes have straw and one of my other chickens left an egg shaped surprise in one of them this morning so at least one chicken likes my nesting boxes!
Well, that might set an example!
 

HennyPenny44

Chirping
Apr 3, 2019
60
70
68
Central New Jersey
Except that loose strings from ripped cloth can be an hazard...not to mention thumb tacks coming lose and being ingested.<shudders> If you choose to make 'curtains' please attach them securely.

Well, that might set an example!
I actually ended up cutting curtains and ties and stapling them. The thumb tacks barely went in the wood and I was paranoid they'd peck them off and poke themselves with them.
 

HennyPenny44

Chirping
Apr 3, 2019
60
70
68
Central New Jersey
I can't see anywhere there to lay an egg really. I'm really good at making boxes and nests chickens like to lay eggs in. I've had plenty of success. I think there was only one set of three I made that sucked.

My expert :D recommendations. Take one, or take all, take as many as you please.

I made my curtains and started putying them up when my barred rock, my newest layer, went in a nesting box right away and stayed there the whole time I was installing them. My under the roost layer kept poking her hose in to see what in the world was going on there. Too funny.
Thumbtack a handcloth or rag over two of the doorways to the nestboxes. The hanging cloth needs to leave enough room for her to poke her head in, until they get used to the idea that they can walk trough. Many of my nest boxes have this. It often works. One old denim jeans makes a lot of doorways.

Replace the wood shavings in one box with soil. They will always want a nest where eggs will roll to the center, I can't see that in your boxes.

Use a flowerpot larger than your chicken that just squeezes into the nest box. On it's side, so they can walk right in the front ( top ) of the pot, and a small slope towards the back of the nest (bottom of pot) so the eggs roll to the one place at the back. Mine love this. Big success.

Old lawn mower grass catchers are often easy and good nest boxes.

Lean a piece of flatwood up against the nest boxes to cover the entrance so they have to walk round it to get in. Your nestboxes are too public. Think of it like going to the toilet with everyone watching. It would take a lot of effort for the hens to get that far-away look in their eyes while laying an egg. not easy.
 

TomZilla43

Songster
Apr 23, 2017
332
1,050
212
White House, TN
:pop Definitely following this thread, I have similar issues with my hens now. It's slightly different in that my hens USED to always lay in the nesting boxes but now ALWAYS lay in the front corner of the coop. It's not too bad because the location is right by where the big door that I use for coop maintenance opens so it's easy access to the eggs. I've actually considered rebuilding my nest boxes to be larger, primarily deeper to see if that helps(currently they are about 13" square). I also do deep litter and had wondered if the fact that the boxes are slightly elevated(they are probably about 3" or so above the level of the litter) might be a contributing issue. Anyhoo just a few thoughts from someone going through essentially the same thing, I hope you find suitable solutions to your nest box challenges:fl.
 

twendt

Songster
Feb 23, 2019
492
1,309
166
SE Wisconsin
Me too, 3 new pullets from this year , found first egg in the garden, then the other day, one FROZEN in the run, and today my husband found a small egg under the roost. The older hens are laying in the egg boxes, I wonder if they're afraid to get close when the old gals are in there laying. The pullets are Barred rocks, very friendly, the older hens are RIR and SLW. RIRs are the boss hens but friendly with us, the SLW are "skittish" even though hand-raised:idunnoand they chase the newbies. I'm going to Joann fabrics to make curtains, I thought this might help.....
 

FireGal

Chirping
Aug 27, 2019
55
197
86
Northeast Arkansas
Thanks for the suggestions! The nesting boxes have straw and one of my other chickens left an egg shaped surprise in one of them this morning so at least one chicken likes my nesting boxes! But I like your rag idea. I was meaning to give my girls some kind of curtains but it was put off because I hate sewing and installing curtain rods. But ripping rags and thumbtacking them doesn't seem that hard!
I use cloth napkins and Velcro. They are almost the perfect size already. No sewing, and if you don’t like it you can take it down easily because it isn’t permanent.
 
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