Hens not laying in nesting boxes

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Chestnuthouse, Jul 31, 2016.

  1. Chestnuthouse

    Chestnuthouse Hatching

    Jun 25, 2016
    Hey Everyone,
    This is my first post, and I thought it would be good to reach out to the BYC community for some help. When I bought my house it came with 4 hens. 2 Araucanas and 2 Speckled Sussex. At the time everything was fine, and I was getting anywhere between 2-4 eggs a day. My fiancé and I decided to add to our flock, and picked up 12 chicks this past April which we raised and they are now all living outside together. None of my younger birds are laying yet, and we recently discovered that one of them is a Roo.

    When we moved the chicks outside full time we realized it was time for more living space. I expanded the coop and installed nesting boxes. Every once in a while we have an issue with one of the girls pecking at her eggs, so we have ceramic eggs laying in the boxes to try to prevent that. The big girls were not happy about the new construction, but it needed to get done.

    Now to the root of the problem, when I first built the nesting boxes my 4 laying hens would use them even when they didn't lay, sometimes they would just sit in there and be broody for a little while, but they were using them and I was getting eggs just like I did before I built the boxes. A few weeks ago I noticed that one of my Araucanas was pecking holes in her eggs. Not eating them just putting holes in them. About 2 weeks after that the eggs stopped. It turns out they have been laying them under my deck. My next plan is to block the path that they use to get under the deck. More importantly though, I need to get them to lay in the nesting boxes.

    The nesting boxes are just over a foot wide, and as I said before they loved laying in them for a while. I use straw as bedding, and have ceramic eggs in the boxes as well. Any advice would be welcome. If you need me to clarify anything in this thread in order to help me solve this little problem please ask. Thank you all very much
  2. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

    Nov 7, 2012
    [​IMG] So, you have 15 girls, and 1 cockrel. 4 older girls are laying, but have abandoned the nest boxes. Your 11 pullets should start laying very soon. First, some ?'s. What are the dimensions of your coop? Do you have a run? How big? Where are the nest boxes? How high off the floor? Or at floor level? How many? What are your birds on for feed? Protein level? Are you giving them extra calcium? Are you giving them much for treats? What? Do they free range every day? The answers to these ?'s will help to give an educated guess instead of stabbing in the dark.

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