Hen too big for nestbox?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Black Jaque, Feb 18, 2013.

  1. Black Jaque

    Black Jaque Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 7, 2012
    I've got 5 hens, and my biggest one will not use the nest box. I will admit the boxes are a bit smaller than others that I've seen, but the other hens do not have a problem with them.

    I suspect the hen in question is the one that had been laying soft-shell eggs before I started offering them calcium. I'm not sure if her behavior is a habit leftover from when she was laying soft eggs or if she truly is not comfortable in the nest box.

    I've tried leaving a golf-ball in the boxes.

    The hen-house is 2'x4' and two-story. She usually lays in the lower floor where it is darker. Is there anything I can do to make the lower floor less appealing to her?
  2. mamabigbird

    mamabigbird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 11, 2010
    Vancouver Island, B.C.,
    I know my hens have lots of available nest boxes, but six of the boxes are their favorite because they have curtains over the opening.
    They absolutely refuse to use the ones with no curtains. They feel safer I guess hiding behind the curtains.(just old towel pieces stapled over the openings)
  3. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    I think some hens are just reluctant to use the nest - kind of like some are reluctant to roost and instead roost on the floor of the coop. I have "standard" sized nest boxes...not sure what that means but they are commercially made, not my design, and sometimes I will have 3 hens on one box at one time. So, I don't think size of the nest box is the problem. You might try simply blocking off the lower boxes? If she lays on the floor, open it back up. But if might make her jump up to the higher box. Good luck!
  4. Black Jaque

    Black Jaque Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 7, 2012
    Oh. I should have given a description of the size of the nestboxes. They have roughly a 12"x12" floor plan. Then on the entry end it it about 10" or 12" high. But on the far end it is about 4" or 5" high. So the floor plan seems about right, but I've noticed the roof tapers a bit more extreme than many of the boxes I see pictured here at BYC. Reason I didn't make them taller was due to A) I didn't know about BYC then and B) I was trying to squeeze my project out of two sheets of plywood.
  5. DanEP

    DanEP Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 15, 2010
    Cadiz Ky
    If she is a really big girl and always lays in the same area I'd just put a nest box near where she lays. It doesn't need to be fancy a friend of mine uses a dishpan from the dollar store

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