How to get hens to lay in NEW, TOP ROW boxes

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by ahoward, Aug 26, 2014.

  1. ahoward

    ahoward Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 26, 2014
    My four, one-year-old hens have been laying in two milk crates on their sides, on top of concrete blocks (also on their sides). My other five hens just started laying a few weeks ago, so I made two more boxes out of office crates and secured them to the top of the milk crates. I have golf balls in all boxes.

    None of the hens have gone up to the top layer of boxes to lay in them. Since we have nine hens, I know they need three or four boxes, so I was hoping they would use the top row.

    Any ideas?

    My set up looks a lot like this, only the bottom row are sitting on concrete blocks laying on their sides. Maybe the top boxes are too high?

    I have a perch as well.
  2. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Looks good to me!

    The rule of thumb is usualy given on BYC as one nest to 4 hens. Honestly, if the eggs are going into the nests and they seem happy, I don't know that I'd change anything. Until recently I had 9 hens and 5 nests; there used to be more hens. They usuallly laid in two of them. Sometimes they would switch around, but still usually used only two. If they wanted to lay somewhere new, it was as likely to be in a corner of the coop as another nest. It;s very cmmon for them to have a favorite or two, and the rest go unused.
  3. JMarch

    JMarch Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 20, 2010
    place some fake eggs (wooden or ceramic) or even golf balls in the nests you want them to start using- they'll check it out and think "somebody else thinks this is a good place to lay- maybe I will too".
  4. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

    Mar 9, 2014
    My Coop
    X2 - if/when they feel the need for more laying space they will seek out other places to lay and may start to investigate the new boxes. But if you are not having a problem with eggs turning up on the floor, etc and they are happy sharing those two boxes I don't see a problem. Even with 9 hens, two boxes is not necessarily insufficient.
  5. ahoward

    ahoward Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 26, 2014
    I am actually not positive that all are laying in the boxes... I am not sure if all the hens (out of the young five) are laying yet. I seem to be getting five to six eggs a day. Does that seem low for 9 hens? As I said, some of the young possibly are not laying yet.

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