How to get them to lay in their nesting box?

mammachick

In the Brooder
10 Years
Oct 15, 2009
35
0
32
My hen just started laying over the weekend, but she is not laying in the nesting box. All 3 eggs have been in the same place, on the floor by the hatch door to go to the run underneath. How do I get her to lay in the nesting box? We have golf balls in the boxes right now. Any other ideas?
 

Daisygirl

Songster
10 Years
Nov 10, 2009
566
0
129
New Zealand
mabe put one of her eggs in the nest box overnight...or shift her while shes laying the egg. one of my hens used to lay in a very awkward spot for about a month and then suddenly started laying in the coop, so it might fix itself.
I also keep the food close to the nest box - - - my chooks like to stuff their cheeks before laying!!!

ETA The golf balls should work tho...how many do you have in the box?
 
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CrazyCatNChickenLady

Songster
10 Years
Jan 23, 2010
800
8
131
Berry Creek, Ca
It took me 8 golfballs in 3 of the nesting boxes(2 in each) and the other 2 in a laundry basket with straw to finally get them to lay in the boxes! The golfballs are still there too. AND they'll only lay on top of the balls(5 unused boxes!!). I have also heard of wooden eggs or stuffed sealed plastic easter eggs. It took 'em about a week to actually catch on though! Silly birds! I wouldn't use an actual egg though because you might attract an egg eating predator if left too long!
 

12GAGirl

Songster
9 Years
Feb 2, 2010
285
2
121
my pullets started laying in the coop while on their perch and it took each of them about four days to get the hang of going to the nest boxes. And when one would lay for the first time it was normally in the coop but now they are all using the nest. I put golf balls in the nest and it seems like everytime I remove them from the nest the hens will find new places to lay so I just leave them in the nest.
 

FairfieldChicks

In the Brooder
10 Years
Sep 3, 2009
91
2
39
Burford, Ontario
Mine lay beside our side porch, on our front porch, on the floor of the coop and on our nesting boxes...
I cleaned out their boxes, layed a lot of fresh straw in each, put good rims around the top of the boxes (where my jersey giant liked to lay and drop her eggs) and they have actualy began to use them finaly, after a whole year... now I got to get my stubborn Lola to start to lay in there, she has always laid beside our porch....
 

Texasboy4ever

Songster
11 Years
Jan 10, 2009
110
0
109
Greenville,Marietta,SC
My grandma used to keep a "nest egg" in the nest all the time she would mark it with a pencil so she would know to leave it. Every once in a while the "nest egg" would hatch and she would have to replace it
 

HenPecked_bychildren

Songster
10 Years
Feb 24, 2010
139
5
144
SW Florida
One of my girls started laying on Sunday. First egg was in a barrel that was for weather protection and the second was in the middle of the feeder. Today when I went out to give them some treats I noticed her acting funny so I took her over to her next box and squished her down inside of it. lol. An hour later I looked outside and she was in the box, I went outside to see and she came out and there was a freshly laid egg! I am SO happy she laid in the proper place this time.

So maybe you can try putting her in her nest box around the time she will be laying?
 

Chefmom

In the Brooder
9 Years
Mar 11, 2010
11
2
21
This is a tough one!! My first flock of 10 would lay here there and everywhere until one hen went into my make-shift greenhouse and laid her egg under an old pink tablecloth I was using to cover plants on cool nights. She made such a big deal after she laid her egg each day that everyone came and had to have a look. Even the rooster went in the nest and put his seal of approval on it. So......I took that tablecloth down and put nails up in the coop in the back corner, cut a door through the wall and pinned up the pink cloth. After that they laid behind the curtain. All of them. They would wait their turn and peek around the edge to see when the first hen was done. I even had one hen SIT on the back of another while she laid her egg!! I was walking by and heard moaning coming from behind the curtain. I opened the door and there was one hen in laying position and another sitting on her back. She was not budging for sure!!

Ever since the first hens I've always had older hens to teach the upcoming pullets where to lay the eggs, but some still insist that they know better and they lay where they feel. If you don't have an attached run to "lock" them close the best way is to make a good nest with fake eggs to make it look like a good place to put an egg. I have tried golf balls and easter eggs and I have never fooled anyone!! I watched while a little pullet wrapped her beak around a golf ball in a nest with real eggs and pulled it out of the nest. Then she settled down and laid her eggs with the real ones. The same with easter eggs. They weren't just pulled out of the nests, but pushed out of the coop itself! I finally broke down and bought the fake eggs that look and feel real. It worked and my new girls last year finally started using the older hens buckets.

Moral of the story, it takes patience and creativity to out-think these "stupid" creatures!!!!!!!

wink.png
 

Gamecock

In the Brooder
10 Years
Nov 12, 2009
39
0
32
Columbia Northeast SC
I bought 4 brown wooden eggs from Crackel Barrel Restarant and put one in each nest. From day one they started laying where they were suppose to. Dominiques, I beg your pardon, but my girls are very smart.
 
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