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Hens not laying in nest boxes

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by HenniePennie, Sep 13, 2008.

  1. HenniePennie

    HenniePennie In the Brooder

    Jul 16, 2007
    Help!! I have a total of 11 hens. 7 are of laying age. Only 2 are laying in the nest boxes. My RIR simply refuses to lay in the boxes, I have placed faux eggs in the boxes. I have found her eggs in the strangest places. I have locked all the girls in the hen house for up to 4 days at a time. [hen house is 6' x 12' and 15' or so high & has a large south facing window] Of course checking on them every day. I will find that they have layed in the corners, that's okay, after all it is in the hen house.
    But as soon as I let them free range they go back to the old habit of hiding where they lay.
    I am getting sooooooo frustrated finding only 2 or 3 eggs a day when I know I should have 7.
    Any one have suggestions??? [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2008

  2. chickiebaby

    chickiebaby Songster

    Jan 2, 2008
    western mass
    Could keep em in the hen house/run area most of the day and let them free range for just the last few hours after they've laid. . . I suppose you already have golf balls or dummy eggs in place?
  3. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

    May 24, 2007
    I agree with chickiebaby. You may need to wait and let them out to free range later in the afternoon so that most, if not all, have already laid inside the coop.

    You could try locking them up for a longer period of time (like a week or so) and see if that helps them get the right idea.
  4. EllyMae

    EllyMae Songster

    I know this was probably purely coincidental, but mine FINALLY started using the nest box when I replaced it with a pretty white wicker basket complete with a floral lining, oh so shabby chic, LOL. But hey, it works!
  5. Gindee77

    Gindee77 Songster

    Mar 31, 2008
    QCA, Illinois
    Could it be that your hens that aren't using the nest boxes are low in the pecking order and are afraid to push the higher status hens out of the box so they can use it?

    I have a Buff Orp that I think should be laying but she's the lowest in the pecking order so she won't assert herself to get a turn in the nest box. I've found one suspicious egg on the coop floor and think it might possibly be from her because it looks different than the rest, but that's the only egg I've seen like that so far. I just hope her fear doesn't make her afraid to lay!!

    Anyway, maybe it would explain why some of yours won't go into the nests.

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