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Hens won't use layer boxes after coop was expanded.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Puranin, Feb 15, 2017.

  1. Puranin

    Puranin Just Hatched

    Dec 8, 2016
    I added another room to the Chicken Castle! they go in and out and eat and drink and laid fine for a couple days but for the past two days i didnt have any eggs in the coop. Ive got 4 boxes for just 5 hens. (Hoping to expand the flock in spring) Well They free range all day on 5 acres so I went to snooping around some of there favorite spots. lo! and Behold! Eggs! 6 of them hidden in a pile of bricks. How do I teach my ladies to go back to their boxes? Also is there a preferred angle for entrance ramps? poor things were confused for a little while but they all make it up and down fine.
  2. PD-Riverman

    PD-Riverman Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 14, 2012
    Conway SC
    You might need to close them up for a few days (no free ranging)so they get use to the nest. I let mine free range to----after 1pm, most have laid their eggs by then---I think that really helps.
  3. Puranin

    Puranin Just Hatched

    Dec 8, 2016
    i was afraid of that. I guess i let them out too soon. [​IMG]
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Free range birds sometimes need to be 'trained'(or re-trained) to lay in the coop nests, especially new layers. Leaving them locked in the coop for 3-4 days (or longer) can help 'home' them to lay in the coop nests. Fake eggs/golf balls in the nests can help 'show' them were to lay. They can be confined to coop 24/7 for a few days to a week, or confine them at least until mid to late afternoon. You help them create a new habit and they will usually stick with it. ..at least for a good while, then repeat as necessary.

    I like the ramps to be about 30 degrees off horizontal, prop up the low end on concrete block(16") to reduce angle.
    Steeper will work but steeper is best with more cleats closer together.

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