Hens not using the nesting boxes

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by WildflowerJLH, Nov 3, 2010.

  1. WildflowerJLH

    WildflowerJLH Chillin' With My Peeps

    This is an issue for a friend of mine. Any suggestions?

    How do I get my chickens to not use the stored straw bales and use the nesting boxes instead?

    At first they used the nesting boxes but now since we have 7 newer chickens, they prefer either one cardboard box which they
    all squawk over or a straw bale. I've put new bedding in the boxes and some of the older hens will use them most of the eggs can be found in that cardboard box
    which we finally had to screw down since they insisted on using it.
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

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    I'd get more cardboard boxes and store the straw somewhere else.
     
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    I don't know your set-up. When I find a hen not laying in the coop/run, I lock them all in the coop/run for two or three days to break them of the habit of laying elsewhere. Of course, take away the eggs from the bad nests.

    When I find a hen is laying in the coop/run but not in the nest boxes, I catch her when she is sitting in the bad nest and lock her in the nest box until she lays her egg. It usually only takes once or twice doing this before they learn where to lay. Catching them laying is easier said than done sometimes. If an egg is dropped at random, I don't worry about it, but if a hen has taken up a permanent bad nest, I take action. If you catch them laying in the nest outside the coop/run and lock them in the nest box, that might work.

    In any case, collect the eggs in the bad nests as often as possible so the others don't get the idea that is a good place to lay and put fake eggs in the good nests to encourage them to use those.

    Good luck! This one can get frustrating.
     
  4. motoclown

    motoclown Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How do you lock her in the nest box and for how long......?
    I seem to have the same problem starting.
     
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    I built mine so I could lock them in. I have no idea how yours are built. I have grooves on the sides so I can slide a board down the front. YOu probably cannot tell uch from this.

    [​IMG]

    It usually takes about a half hour for mine to decide to lay, though one I had to leave in over 3 hours twice before she got the message.
     
  6. The Tinman

    The Tinman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 12 out of 16 just started to lay eggs. They all like to use the same nest box so what I did was put a fake egg in another nest box. It worked now some are laying in the differant boxes. Also don`t let them see you take the eggs or the will will find someplace else to lay.
     
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    Quote:I have never had a problem doing this.
     
  8. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

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    Quote:I have never had a problem doing this.

    Neither have I, even when there is a broody among them, and even if I have to swipe eggs from the broody.
     
  9. ams3651

    ams3651 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 23, 2008
    NE PA
    mine lay in the nest box, a cardboard box and Im guessing as a last resort... the corner of the coop. Ive given up, Im just the pick up lady so I pick up where they leave them.
     
  10. motoclown

    motoclown Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I am guilty of this and It kind of coordinates with 'when a few started laying in the weeds.'

    My five girls were a gift this spring, they came from the city to the suburbs, where they have 16 acres to free range.
    At first they stayed closer to the coop, but then they started exploring more, down over the hill and into the weeds.
    Now we are trying to get the coop battened down for winter and to keep the chickens in, they are escape artists too.

    My backyard page has pictures of our coop in progress.
     

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