how to make my girls lay in their cute boxes?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by dig this chick, Jul 16, 2008.

  1. dig this chick

    dig this chick Hatching

    Jul 16, 2008
    Missoula, MT
    My chicken (the golden sex link) is laying eggs like crazy (sometimes two a day) but she does it in the run which makes it really difficult for me to remove. And, she buries the eggs deep in the dirt....who knows how many are under there! I put some egg-shaped rocks in the nest I built in her house. I have picked her up and put her in there and she hangs out but still chooses to lay outside in the dirt. Her box is about two feet off the ground in the coop and is an old apple box. Is that too high? Is the box too big? What can I do?

    And, as for the oyster I just throw a hand full in the run? Mix with food?

    Thanks for helping this chicken newbie.

    pics of my coop:
    of my first eggs (perhaps the most exciting day of the summer):
  2. MsBentleyboy

    MsBentleyboy Songster

    Jul 16, 2008
    Kentucky girl
    Two feet off the ground does sound a bit high. My nest boxes are 12 inches from ground. If you can't lower the box can you add a ramp where she can possibly walk up? Also, some birds are funny about laying their eggs in darker places. If this could be the problem maybe you could add some cloth strips or something to create a more "private" place for her.

    I've heard that the oyster shells can be given as a free range or sprinkled across the top of the feed like you would salt or pepper on your food.

    Good luck and I hope your girl lays where you want her.
  3. dangerouschicken

    dangerouschicken Will Barter For Coffee

    May 6, 2007
    Columbia Gorge, OR
    Mine have nesting boxes, but a few prefer to lay in a community nest they built themselves, under the roosts. [​IMG] I just go with it and scoop the eggs out with a rake [​IMG]

    I have golf balls in the nesting boxes to show them where to lay. They still prefer the darkness of the community nest. It is really funny, too, because they will wait in line to use it [​IMG]
  4. Your hen lays two eggs a day?
  5. Emzyyy

    Emzyyy Runs with Deer

    Jul 14, 2008
    Derby Kansas
    My neighbor's ducks lay their eggs in the chicken's box's. I think they do it so they don't have to lay on their own eggs. Lazyyy ducks.
  6. chickenlickin8

    chickenlickin8 Songster

    Jun 26, 2008
    Valrico, Florida
    My Coop
    New layers will use the ground until the understand what to do. I use white ceramic eggs I ordered from and lowered my boxes to 6 inches from the floor. That did the trick! My girls lay in the boxes now...every day [​IMG]
  7. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

    May 24, 2007
    Welcome to BYC!!

    Two feet is not necessarily too high (I have some that high and my girls all use them but they also use the ones that are lower.) but lower is usually better for nesting boxes.

    And, as stated above, having the nest boxes dark is also a good idea.

    I would suggest locking up your chickens in the hen house for a couple of days. That will force them to use the nest boxes (or the ground inside) and hopefully they will then have learned to go back to those nest boxes to lay.

    Putting fake eggs or golf balls in the nest boxes can often help give the girls the right idea.

    Good luck.
  8. steffpeck

    steffpeck Songster

    Mar 25, 2007
    Erda, UT
    Quote:Ditto!! We kept ours locked in the coup and would go out in the evening and let them out to freerange until bedtime. Now they know where to lay, and we have a run for them so they can go out during the day, but they go in to lay their eggs. Goodluck!!

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