Is it normal for hens to stop laying in the nesting box and make a nest on the floor of the coop and

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by chickymama32, Nov 8, 2014.

  1. chickymama32

    chickymama32 In the Brooder

    Apr 19, 2014
    sandy oregon
    One of my hens stopped laying in the nesting boxes. She made a nest on the bottom of the coop floor. Since she did that 2 of my 3 hens are laying there and wont use the nesting box. Is this normal for hens to do this?
  2. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    Normal for a few stubborn, independent renegades. It is true that hens will lay anywhere they see a hen has already laid an egg, whether in a nest or in a creative, do-it-yourself nest on the floor. The trick is to be vigilant and snatch the first egg that appears in the illicit nest so other hens don't get into the bad habit.

    However, some hens are just obstinate, and you aren't going to be able to get her to lay in a proper nest, no matter what you do. I have such a hen. She lays everywhere, including out in the run, except in a nest box. All you can hope for is for her to see the other hens laying in the nest boxes and decide to reform.
  3. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Crowing

    Apr 12, 2013
    Boulder, Colorado
    My larger brahmas lay under the nesting boxes. I just bed that area so it's clean and inviting.
  4. mrsc1951

    mrsc1951 Songster

    May 15, 2011
    Largo, Florida
    My Brahma's and bantam EE do the same thing. I've left eggs in each of the nesting boxes to try and get them to behave but they defy me. LOL I've just learned to live with it.
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
  6. Ol Grey Mare

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

    Mar 9, 2014
    My Coop
    All this is true - also, laying in a nest box is actually abnormal from a "nature of the bird" perspective - - most nest boxes are elevated (for human convenience, preservation of floor space, etc), laying in an elevated nest is not "normal" for chickens as they are actually ground nesters. Once could argue that what your bird is doing is the most normal thing for her to be doing - but that doesn't make it any more desirable to you if you prefer them to use nest boxes.
  7. CB3fish

    CB3fish Songster

    May 22, 2014
    You might try getting a imitation egg and leave it in the nesting box. I have 6 Rhode Island reds who are 6 months old. I have 3 imitation eggs and leave them in the nesting box. These hens have not yet started to lay. I am hoping that seeing eggs in the nesting box will help them know where to lay eggs. I am aware that seeing eggs might move some hen to become a setting hen but that is okay with me. Cracker Barrel restaurants sell such perfect imitation eggs that I had to mark mine to know which was which. I have 2 older laying hens.
  8. CB3fish

    CB3fish Songster

    May 22, 2014
    You might clean out the nesting box, wash it with a light bleach mixture, there sprays which one can use and it not effect the chickens, then put in clean straw.

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