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Hens wont lay in laying boxes

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by dustponds10, Aug 7, 2010.

  1. dustponds10

    dustponds10 Songster

    Apr 18, 2010
    Rigby, Id
    Well, I have a couple hens that arent really all that excited about laying eggs in the laying boxes. I am unsure why they wont lay in the boxes but I thought I would ask. Right now I dont have any straw or wood chips in the boxes because I just got the chickens that are laying. I am wondering how to get them to lay in the box or even just in the building that I house them in. They just seem to want to lay their eggs everywhere else. I mean they even lay them on rebar and on rocks, the wood has to be at least a bit more warming I would think! Any help would be awesome.

    I also noticed that one hen imparticular layed her egg and then she started to try to get it under her. Is she becoming broody or what is she dooing exactly?
  2. trunkman

    trunkman Songster

    Dec 26, 2009
    Rock Hill SC
    I have 11 pullets and 2 of them just starting laying, I'm like you, I'm wondering why they aren't laying in the nest boxes, I have six boxes with fake eggs in them to try to get them to lay in them but the just lay on the floor of the coop, even the adult hens lay on the floor, I don't get it.. [​IMG]
  3. ADozenGirlz

    ADozenGirlz The Chicken Chick[IMG]emojione/assets/png/00ae.png

    Oct 18, 2009
    You could try putting hay in the nesting boxes. Hens like to make a little nest for their eggs and pine shavings tend to get kicked out of the nest during that process. Then you could try putting a golf ball or a fake egg in the nest box(es) to suggest to them where they should be putting the goods. You might try keeping them confined to the run/copo area for a week or so while they're learing to lay their eggs so they don't have the opportunity to drop them just anywhere.
    Last, it has been my experience that hens appreciate dark, private spaces to lay their eggs, so if your set-up allows for it, try putting some sort of make-shift curtain over the front of the nest boxes for them. I'm sure they'll get the gist of things before long.

    Here's a picture of my nest boxes. It's just leftover material that I had on-hand that I stapled to the top of the nest boxes and cut slits into:
  4. clacasse88

    clacasse88 Songster

    Sep 13, 2009
    That's really cool. Love it. [​IMG]
  5. sunflowerenvy

    sunflowerenvy Songster

    Apr 4, 2010
    south/west tn
    how far off the floor is your nest boxes?
    put some hay or pine shaving in the boxes do you what time they lay if you do and u can be around her when she about to do it just put her in the box and walk away and come back and check it. we threw her in the box and she been lay her egg there for the last 14 days and she got another one lay there too. the new one just lay one egg every other day. you can see my nest box on my web page
  6. pdxblossom

    pdxblossom In the Brooder

    Jul 11, 2010
    Pacific Northwest
    Our neighbors have seven hens that would not lay in their nesting boxes. They tried everything - straw, fake eggs, curtains, relocation, new boxes. They had a 5 gallon bucket in the run that turned on it's side. Yep, all the hens want to lay in buckets. They've now got three of them with straw in them. They are red - the buckets, not the chickens. Not sure if that's what made the difference.
  7. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    Mine seem to change their preferences on a whim. They used to absolutely LOVE the 5gal bucket on it's side. I caught 3 Leghorns squeezed in there at once last winter!!
    Then they all started laying in a small dog house that my neighbor gave me. No problem. Then a broody took it over.....
    Now they have all decided that their old large doghouse with an interior nest box is perferable to all the old options. Not sure why they switched, except maybe it's cooler in there due to the design of the building??
    [​IMG] Privacy seems to be a big deal to some, hence the curtain ideas, but if they are just randomly laying in the floor they may not care much.

    So long as they are laying somewhere that I know to look, it's all good.
    (btw Golf balls make wonderful fake eggs if you can get a couple from a golfer friend)
  8. justtoni44

    justtoni44 Songster

    Mar 13, 2010
    My hens prefer cardboard boxes...............we have them in various places around the barn.
    I think it is because they feel they are
    hiding........so darned cute to see them peek over the top of the box,thenhide again.
    Thier instinct tells them to hide the eggs from preditors.
    Do you think for one minute they would use the boxes I paid for....not a chance.........
    Oh, and of course.they all want the same box.....sometimes two or three hens in one box..or a long line in front waiting thier turn.
    Good luck..........something soft to sit on and a feeling of privacy should do it.[​IMG]
  9. dustponds10

    dustponds10 Songster

    Apr 18, 2010
    Rigby, Id
    Well, I have had one success. One of my hens decided to lay in my boxes. So i guess one out of 2 isnt bad. What I did was put some shavings in the box and then I found a 4 golf balls and put them in 4 different boxes and well, I guess she got the hint. She didnt lay in a box with a golf ball though but she laid in a box so that is awesome.
  10. Buttercup Chillin

    Buttercup Chillin Songster

    Oct 27, 2008
    SouthEast TX
    Great, now the others should follow suite and start using the boxes. Hens are crazy sometimes.

    I have 6 nest boxes and everyone wants to use the same box and its a different box everyday. The arguements those girls get into are something else. I just turn my head and walk away.

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