Hens not laying in nest box

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by jrleader99, Jul 2, 2009.

  1. jrleader99

    jrleader99 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have somewhat of a newbie situation and question.[​IMG]

    I have some of my hens that are laying but none are laying in their nest boxes but rather they lay when they are out free ranging and have consistently layed in our duck house or in the corner on the floor (buried) in the chicken coop. I have to dig through 4-6 inches of pine shavings to find eggs. [​IMG]

    How do I get them to lay in the nest box? If I lock them in the coop won't the rest of the chickens (various younger ages but not laying yet) get mad about not free ranging?
  2. 007Dawn

    007Dawn Out Of Coop

    Apr 29, 2009
    You don't for the most part. They will lay where they feel is the safest for their eggs.

    My great great uncle and aunt use to have these strange teepee litle huts all over their property. Their hens like to lay in them. So perhapes try small dark boxes or something and place them about on the property so they may go in there?
  3. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    You can put golf balls or some other sort of fake egg in the nest boxes. You could make/ut a nest box in the corner where they are laying, on the floor; a cardboard box or something similar is fine. Do you have hay or straw or something in the nest boxes?

    You could try leaving them in longer in the morning; they can lay any time of day, of course, but seem to lay more in the morning, or at least mine do.
  4. TcherDawn

    TcherDawn Granite State Chook

    Jan 30, 2009
    Prescott, AZ
    My hens kick the pine shavings out of the nesting box and lay on the shavings on the floor in front of it. The LOVE to SLEEP in the nesting boxes though. Silly chickens. Makes egg collecting difficult. [​IMG]
  5. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

    Feb 20, 2008
    Opelousas, Louisiana
    When I first started with chickens, my chickens did the same thing. I have a large shed/community daytime coop that all of them can use during the day time to lay (they disburse and go to their different living quarters at night (5 different coop locations)). It has about 10 nesting boxes in the shed but they still choose to lay wherever they are comfortable. The only thing about mine is that the areas that they have chosen to lay are where they lay all the time. I make sure that there is hay in that particular cozy little spot. I gave in to the fact that I cannot control where they lay. I just try to make where they layis as comfy as possible. I'm not sure what the answer is in your situation but my problem seemed to work itself out. I have heard that they golf ball idea works but I never tried it.
  6. Fowl Visions

    Fowl Visions Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 15, 2009
    Keystone Heights, FL
    Quote:In my experience it only takes a couple of days to get your hens used to laying in a nest box. I would keep them in the coop for a couple of days and supply extra treats. I would also put a golf ball, wooden or plastic egg, or something in the nest box so the laying hens will know what it is for.
  7. twistedpickle

    twistedpickle Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 16, 2009
    I also have had birds not laying in nests. Do you have enough nests in your coop ? I think it is 1 nest to every 3 or 4 birds. I put in more nests and the golf ball trick and now all but my duck lay in the nest. shes a rebel (i also free range). I agree with leaving them in for a couple days or letting them out later. worked for me. good luck
  8. jrleader99

    jrleader99 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks all of the responses. I do have wooden eggs in the nest boxes. Also right now we have 4 hens that are of laying age and 3 nest boxes.

    It does make searching for the eggs fun. Oh yeah the corner in their coop where they lay is under one of the high roosts so when you are digging through the shavings looking for eggs, yep, you are digging through the poo under the roost. [​IMG]

    As for the location in the duck house where they lay, it is in a corner that was not supposed to be easily accessible other than crawling into the duck house. I am so glad that two of my sons (9 and 7) can fit in there. [​IMG]
  9. scotteam

    scotteam New Egg

    Oct 3, 2016
    Oh its fun going out for a business meeting realizing you have chicken poo on your pants because you are digging for eggs

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