How can I convince my ladies to use their nesting box?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Zoom Zoom, Dec 16, 2014.

  1. Zoom Zoom

    Zoom Zoom Chillin' With My Peeps

    168
    6
    71
    Mar 15, 2014
    Rolla, MO
    I have three RIR hens and three BO hens who are such sweet girls. They will be six months old Dec 25th. One started laying in the nesting box about six weeks ago, One started laying a week later only in a nice, comfy nest beside the nesting box, One started laying on the poop board about the same time. I think the first three were RIRs because of the red feathers near the eggs. Now all six are laying (well, most of the time). One is still laying on the poop board (one day I found two eggs there though), one uses the nesting box and four are laying in the nest beside the nesting box. I tried sitting the can holding feed on the floor nest but ended up crawling on my hands and knees all the way to the back wall for the egg so freed up the floor nest space in self-defense. Golf balls are in both boxes and one of my reds is constantly checking it out but the others show no interest. Is there anything I can do to convince them that they are supposed to use the nesting boxes. I don't really mind the floor nest but would really like to eliminate the poop board laying.
     
  2. fergyc2l2t316

    fergyc2l2t316 Chillin' With My Peeps

    91
    7
    71
    Jun 22, 2014
    Las Vegas, NV
    you can always give them a pep talk. LOL. Once they get it in their head where they want to lay their eggs, then its a uphill battle. I just let my hens choose where they want to. Everytime I fix up their nesting boxes with straw, they go over there and start scratching it out. I finally gave up putting it back in. So they have their clean straw and if thats not where they want to lay, well then I get to play Easter Egg Hunt. LOL. I find them everywhere from planters to under cars to behind wood. I think they try to hide them from me so they can hatch them. I hope this helps. Oh and the pep talk? I have done it several times and my son thinks I'm nuts, but sometimes it works. LOL
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. silkymom

    silkymom Chillin' With My Peeps

    254
    6
    121
    Nov 20, 2009
    my 6 hens normaly use the same box, they are adults, but here and there i find one in a nest on the floor and the otherday one in the run, mabey they want to lay at the same time and cant all get in the box???? just a guess
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    36,715
    10,457
    686
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    I'd add a second nesting box.
    Rule of thumb is 1 box per every 4 hens...1 might work for 6 hens, unless it doesn't.
     
  5. Zoom Zoom

    Zoom Zoom Chillin' With My Peeps

    168
    6
    71
    Mar 15, 2014
    Rolla, MO
    Actually, I have too many nesting boxes - four for six hens. Need to change that next spring. The one laying in the box uses the same one every time.
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    36,715
    10,457
    686
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Ohhhh I only saw the reference to 'the nest'...not sure what to advise.
    I assume that all boxes are the same as far as shape size and access?
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2014
  7. 123RedBeard

    123RedBeard Chillin' With My Peeps

    532
    57
    136
    Oct 20, 2014
    Arizona
    Grab three hens in the morning before they lay ... secure them in the three unused nesting boxes ... check on them every hour to see if they laid an egg ... once they lay, they get out of "jail"! after a few days ... they "should" use the nesting box ...

    Remove the "poop board" for now, till they know where to lay!
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2014
  8. Zoom Zoom

    Zoom Zoom Chillin' With My Peeps

    168
    6
    71
    Mar 15, 2014
    Rolla, MO
    Thanks. I'll give it a try.
     
  9. 123RedBeard

    123RedBeard Chillin' With My Peeps

    532
    57
    136
    Oct 20, 2014
    Arizona
    So ... How are they doing?
     
  10. Zoom Zoom

    Zoom Zoom Chillin' With My Peeps

    168
    6
    71
    Mar 15, 2014
    Rolla, MO
    All but one using the nesting box - yeah. If you're still online I need help - bad. One of my hens has an egg hanging completely out of her vent. It's in a membrane that apparently has no opening for the egg to pass through. Do you know how I can help her?
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by