Help!! My Barred Rock Pullets Are Laying Eggs Outside of Their Nesting Boxes, and a Few Have Been Pe

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by CountryGirl3294, Dec 3, 2015.

  1. CountryGirl3294

    CountryGirl3294 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 21, 2015
    Indiana
    I need help!! My Barred Rock Pullets have came to the age of laying. I have only have 3 pullets out of the 14 laying. They're almost 29 weeks old. I have six nesting boxes about 10" off the ground. The boxes were made out of milk crates and they have straw in there for bedding. They will not lay a single egg in the box. One pullet has been laying since 22 weeks of age. I have put a ceramic brown egg in three of the boxes along with a golf ball... NO LUCK! They have been laying some on top of the nesting boxes and under... and sometimes there will be an egg under the water bucket or randomly in the coop. No one has been laying outside in the run at least. I don't know what to do... and recently in the past two weeks someone has been peaking the eggs. They don't peak all the way through to the "good stuff" (thankfully) but I will take some eggs in and see a crack were they peaked and throw them away. Some will have a peak hole but the inner sac isn't broken yet. Any broken egg I toss... but I don't want anyone to crack open an egg and realize they're yummy and then everyone is cracking eggs and I have NONE to myself or to sell. I am running out of options. They have constant feed and water access. They also have a run to go in and out of any time they want. I was hoping if I can teach them to lay in their boxes then I would get less eggs cracked. I usually get two or three eggs a day and usually one is cracked. I'm scared because once all 14 are laying that's a lot of eggs they can crack. I also try to check in the morning/afternoon/evening for eggs to give them less time sitting on the ground vulnerable to whomever is cracking them. But sometimes I have to leave early in the morning for school/work and I am not back until afternoon or evening to check for eggs. Someone please help!! [​IMG] BTW THERE IS A WOODEN BOARD ACROSS THE TOP OF THE NESTING BOXES SO THEY WOULDN'T JUST SIT IN THEM STARE OUT THE WINDOW AND POOP. So just added a picture to give an idea how they look.
    [​IMG]
     
  2. nchls school

    nchls school Chillin' With My Peeps

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    One thing you might try is to move the nest boxes away from the window so the lighting is dimmer. My birds will pick a darkened nest over a lit one every time.
     
  3. CountryGirl3294

    CountryGirl3294 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 21, 2015
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    There isn't really an option to move it. (No room... the entrance door is on the front and their run door is on the back then the two sides have windows.) Lately, I have been keeping the windows closed because of the wind and rainy weather. So it has been mostly dark(er) in their coop but they go outside when they want fresh air. They still lay on the ground and on top of the nesting boxes... right by the window.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2015
  4. nchls school

    nchls school Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I guess I'd look for other ways to "change" the nest boxes. Maybe higher or a perch in front of the boxes to make entry easier. Possibly put a nest box on the floor. I give my hens a variety of nests; ceramic bowls, cardboard boxes, a rabbit nest box, metal nests that were originally made for parrots, and a dog carrying case. My hens go broody a lot (and I want them to) and I think the variety of nest sites promotes that.
    My serama bantams look for high up nest sites while the silkies like the old rabbit nest box on the floor. My frizzle serama only lays in a cereal/ceramic bowl.
     
  5. PlanterJeff

    PlanterJeff Out Of The Brooder

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    My sexlink was the first to start laying for me and she picked the back corner of my coop instead of the nesting box as well. I fixed it by making the places she laid unappealing. I put an upside down bucket over her first makeshift nest. This provoked her to lay in the other corner on the floor. I then found some old plywood and 2x4's and covered all the corners up leaving the a nice clear path to the nesting box. I even laid a little mound of meal worms right in front of the nesting box and put her real egg in it as well so she couldn't miss it. The next day she was laying in the box as planned. I removed all the wood/buckets and since then all other chickens have followed suit and there have been no more issues.
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    I'd leave fake eggs/golf balls in all but a couple of the nests.
    Is the board on top of the nests at an angle so they can't sit up there?
    Maybe take a piece of plywood or cardboard and slide it behind the nests to block the light coming thru the wall into the nests.

    It could be the nests are too small, I use 14" x 14" x 16" tall so they have plenty of room to get in and turn around and find a comfy spot....
    ...and they actually almost stand up when the egg emerges from the vent, so they like a bit of head room.

    Might also think about adding some perches about 8" in front of nest to land on before entering nests.

    ETA: What exactly are you feeding? Egg eating can be a lack of protein and/or calcium.
    Knowing the protein levels of your feed, every bag has a nutrition level label, and not diluting that with other foods can be important.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2015

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