hens laying on ground instead of nesting boxes


In the Brooder
8 Years
Jul 25, 2011
some of my hens continue to lay on ground inside the run rather than in the nesting boxes. I have 9 boxes in the chicken house and about 15 hens, only 2 of the 9 boxes are being used. I placed a 3 hole box on the ground thinking maybe that would be easier for them. After filling these with straw, the hens only raked all the straw out and continue to lay on ground. any suggestions?
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I would lock them in the hen house for at least a week to force them to lay in the nest boxes. Once they get in the habit, they'll keep it up.
Walking on Sunshine.....that's exactly what I am having to do with my hens. They are 8 months old and have always laid their eggs in the egg boxes, but the other day I caught two of my RIR's under my front porch...each had laid an egg in a little nest they made! So now they stay in the coop/run until the eggs are laid or late morning/early afternoon.........~Beulah
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Since you have so many boxes.. maybe try an experiment and fill several of them with different nesting material. Straw, shavings, newspaper, carpet, nothing, pine needles, old towel.... It would be interesting to see what they do (once they get over the chicken drama of being scared of the new stuff).
I put ping pong balls in the nests (2 nests, 5 hens) like 2 weeks before they started laying, and I have left them there still since 3 of the 5 are laying, I dont like to leave the eggs since I dont want them to freeze out there. I would lock them in the coop and re-train them, you'll be surprised at how easy they learn.

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