How to get chickens to not sleep in nesting boxes, but lay eggs in them

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by waskablue16, Aug 3, 2016.

  1. waskablue16

    waskablue16 Hatching

    Apr 16, 2016
    I recently found my first small egg on the ground outside the coop this morning. I'm wondering how I can "train" my chickens to lay in the boxes, but not sleep in them. I have plenty available roosting bars around the whole coop, but they hardly use them. They all love to snuggle together in them instead. They are free range chickens; I let them out in the morning, and they come in at night. Overall, can anyone give me advice on how to get my chickens to sleep on the nesting bars instead of the nesting boxes ? Also, how can I get my free range chickens to lay in the nesting boxes?
  2. annied24326

    annied24326 In the Brooder

    Jun 19, 2016
    Same exact thing happened here today!! I bought ceramic eggs and put them in the nesting boxes after we found the first egg on the floor. Such exciting times!!
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Well, it's best to break the 'sleeping in the nests' habit long before they start to lay, but you can still do it now.

    Roosts should be higher than nests by about a foot, they like to roost/sleep in the highest place available.
    You'll probably have to close the nests off late in the day to force them to sleep on roosts.
    I have a hinged cover on my nest bank that I close every afternoon a couple hours before roost time and open back up after well dark when I lock up the 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 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. least for a good while, then repeat as necessary.
    1 person likes this.
  4. GC-Raptor

    GC-Raptor Crowing

    Jul 26, 2016
    Connecticut, U.S.A.
    I happen to be near the coop when I heard a hen squawking and running around the coop like she laid her first egg. But she was looking for a place to lay. So I put her in the nest and she stayed. A half hour later I had my first egg. The next day her sister laid on the floor. Two days later they both laid on the floor.
    I was not happy. But the next day and every day since both have laid in the nest box. I have ceramic eggs in both boxes and they both like the box on the right. Not the box I put the hen in to lay her first egg.
    Wish ya luck. GC[​IMG]

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: