Hens refuse to use roost box for laying eggs preferring to lay in the run. Now the eggs are being ea

HD Chick

In the Brooder
6 Years
Feb 5, 2013
31
1
26
High Desert, southern California
I have 6 pullets, about 20 weeks. Three BPR, two EE, and one RR. One of them has recently began laying last week. The eggs are light tan and small. I've been able to collect only three eggs in total so far. I've found all three eggs in the same far corner of the chicken run. I found remnants of egg yolk on the ground yesterday evening. None of the hens are interested in using the roosting box part of their coop. I have three plastic dish pans with the fronts cut off side by side which fill the roosting box. I put in plenty of sawdust and even tried putting plastic easter eggs in to give them some inspiration. My concern is the chickens will eat their eggs. How can I encourage my chickens to use their roost box? How can I discourage them from eating eggs? Thanks bunches!
 

PSJ

Songster
8 Years
Apr 15, 2011
852
67
181
Sabine Parish, La
If they are laying in the run, the eggs are probably breaking on the ground and then being eaten. So, if possible, you should lock them in the coop for a day or so. That way, they cant get to the run to lay where they have been.
 

HD Chick

In the Brooder
6 Years
Feb 5, 2013
31
1
26
High Desert, southern California
Sorry, but it's in the mid 90F today and just too hot to lock them inside, even with ventilation. From reading other threads, I think I need to add calcium to their diet. They are still on grow mash, since I thought they were still too young to lay. I will change to laying mash and add some ground oyster shell or thoroughly ground up shells. Their run provides shade, and I keep their cool water and mash feeders in that area. So far, no egg today. Thanks for the reply.
 

PSJ

Songster
8 Years
Apr 15, 2011
852
67
181
Sabine Parish, La
You're welcome. The egg shells/oyster shell will make the eggs shells stronger and less likely to break, but won't make them lay in their nest boxes. If you don't care where they lay, then it won't hurt anything for them to lay on the ground.
 

robhen

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 17, 2013
11
0
23
Have you tried another type of bedding? My chickens don't care much for hay but they like the wood shavings. I read that advise somewhere. Good luck!
 

aleebama

In the Brooder
8 Years
Jan 15, 2012
60
1
38
Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Plastic Easter eggs didn't work for me at first. I went to Target and bought enough plastic ping pong balls. Loaded the nests up with them and viola! They finally got it and began laying in their nest boxes!
 

HD Chick

In the Brooder
6 Years
Feb 5, 2013
31
1
26
High Desert, southern California
Thanks for the advice! My girls have wood shavings in their coop but a sandy coop floor. I'll try golf balls to see what happens. I wonder if the color of the plastic eggs affect them? I have yellow in there right now. Do you advise one or more fake eggs in the nest box? I've been only using one in each. No signs of any eggs for the past two days--but good news is no egg yokes either. That's all I ever found. No sign of broken shells at all, just a partially coagulated egg yolk.
 

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