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How do you get them to lay in the box??

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by zimmy987, Nov 15, 2008.

  1. zimmy987

    zimmy987 In the Brooder

    Jul 22, 2008
    I finally have 2 girls laying, but they have yet to hit their nesting box. They seem to like the floor of their coop better. I've put in a golf ball but they just kick it out... I have also moved an egg after its been layed to the box hoping they would see it and get the idea. Any tricks that I can do?


  2. iajewel

    iajewel Songster

    Oct 22, 2008
    Corning IA
    try locking them in there at night and making them sleep in it..other wise.. the easy way out is to move the box to the floor.
  3. CarriBrown

    CarriBrown Crowing Premium Member

    The laying nests should be on the floor. You'll probably have better luck if you move them down.
  4. basicliving

    basicliving Keepin' the sunny side up

    Mar 20, 2008
    Shenandoah Valley, VA
    I think it really depends on how much time you have to work with them. In the past 3 days I've had 2 that laid their first eggs - on the floor. I went out this morning and found one of them nesting on the floor. I picked her up and put her in the nest box. She scratched around a minute or two, and then jumped out. I picked her up again and put her in the nest box.. She seemed to stay. I went inside the house and came back out about 5 minutes later and caught her on the floor again. I put her BACK into the nest box. She started to get out, and I put my hands in front of her. She finally started scratching about and eventually started nesting. I stayed out there with her about 5 minutes, and it looked like she was going to stay there. So I went back into the house, and when I checked on her in a few minutes and she was still in the nest box. Thank heavens she layed an egg in there!

    I'll keep watching her and the other one that laid on the floor for the next few days - and if they nest on the floor, I'll place them in the nest box. It's the weekend and we'll be around, so it's not that big of a deal for me to do that. I work from home, so I can check fairly regularly during the week as well. I realize not everyone is in a situation to keep such a close eye on their hens though. I read a post recently from someone that suggested placing the hen in the nest box with a screen over the front of it and make them stay in there until they lay the egg - but when you see them nesting on the floor, not all day or all night.

    ETA: Of our 21 hens, these are the first two that have nested and laid outside the hen boxes. Their hen boxes are about a foot and a half off the ground.

    Hope that helps.

    Last edited: Nov 15, 2008
  5. Reinbeau

    Reinbeau The Teapot Underground Premium Member

    I've heard the nest boxes should be lower than the lowest roost - ours are 15" from the real floor, but with the deep litter, they're about 9-10" above the litter, and the girls seem to be laying in them just fine. I've only had one egg laid on the floor, it was the second egg Queenie, my big BO laid - and the second egg I'd ever gathered! She did it once and never again. Now at any moment I've got one or two hens in nest boxes - we've got 4 boxes for 14 hens.
  6. chickymomma

    chickymomma Hatching

    Nov 15, 2008
    We put plastic Easter eggs in the nests. We put the girls in from time to time and eventually they get the "feel" and figure it out for themselves. Also assists the broodies when they are waiting for a clutch. We just switch the fake for the real when we have enough. [​IMG][​IMG]
  7. junebug7334

    junebug7334 Songster

    Sep 24, 2008
    I too use pretend eggs. It seems to help.

  8. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    I keep my nest boxes lower than the highest roost and also painted them a dark color inside. They do prefer darker places. Also I have a golf ball in each nest. I am lucky. They have always layed in their boxes.
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2008
  9. zimmy987

    zimmy987 In the Brooder

    Jul 22, 2008
    I guess there is nothing wrong with laying on the floor. I use the deep litter method so there is plenty of shavings for a nest. I just wanted them in their boxes. Maybe someday I'll have one who will show them how to do it...[​IMG]
  10. mrandmrschicken

    mrandmrschicken Songster

    Sep 14, 2008
    NW IA
    They should figure out its more comfy to lay in a cozy nook than on the floor. Generally they like privacy. I have one pullet that will not lay in a box unless it is at floor level or just off the floor. Two others will fly up to a higher nest box, if there is not one closer. I recently found eggs in the rafters on a box, on a shelf, and inside a box on a shelf.... They must have been in a hurry!

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