Laying eggs in the coop, NOT in the nest box.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Hatrick, Nov 30, 2009.

  1. Hatrick

    Hatrick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 4, 2009
    My lone hold out finally laid an egg at almost 30 weeks, but our Barred Rock "Oven Roasted Chicken aka Rosy" is laying in the coop not the nest box. She digs herself a little hole in the shavings and lays there. Any way to break her of the habit? I've been trying to break them of sleeping in the nest box, to no avail, and now this. We need a sit down meeting with these girls. [​IMG]
    Oh and one other thing, I read that some people wash their eggs right before they use them. Should I be doing this? Do I use warm water? I've just been taking them and putting them right in the fridge, although if they're nasty I wash them and THEN put them in the fridge. There's so many ways to do it, but what's THE RIGHT WAY??!! [​IMG]
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2009
  2. To keep them from sleeping in the nesting box put a board over the nesting box at night and take them off the next morning for them to lay.
    Does the hen that is laying on the floor lay in the same spot every day?

  3. pjpjr

    pjpjr New Egg

    May 22, 2009
    Quote:I never wash my eggs. If they are "dirty" I simply take a damp wash rag and wipe down till clean. I had similar problems with one hen that wanted to sleep in nesting box and every night I would go out to coop and pull her out and put her on roost. It worked......she stays on roost now! Every once in a while one of my girls will lay in the coop but most of the time in a nesting box. You just need to keep working with them:)
  4. paulpig

    paulpig Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 4, 2009
    my first set of nesting boxes were first used as roosts --- then I built wooden ladders that hang from ceiling to floor which worked great!!! Our girls started laying in the fluffy shavings too until I built some mac daddy nest boxes complete with angled roofline.........they little princesses now LOVE to lay in the nesting boxes............BUT like everyone on BYC said, no matter how manner boxes, the girls will lay in the same box!!! true true true Paul
  5. CarolynPerth

    CarolynPerth Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 14, 2009
    Mine are laying in a corner of the coop behind the roost and also laying earlier in the day (we are coming into summer now). And yes they ALL want to lay in the same spot, the queue gets quite noisy and sometimes one gets desperate and just sits on top of another bird. I give up. At least I know where to look now instead of egg hunting under bushes.[​IMG]
  6. AnnesChicks

    AnnesChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 4, 2009
    Aberdeen, Washington
    I have two nestboxes for 8 hens. They are about a 18" off the floor, but slightly lower then the two roosts. I kept them blocked with cardboard until they were old enough and were acting and looking like it was "time". Then I pulled the cardboard out, added a nice thick layer of shavings, packed down into a nest shape in the middle and added two golf balls to each nest. Of course the first few were laid on the floor, in the corner directly under the nestboxes. Sighhhhh.

    But I checked for eggs a couple times a day, and if I found one on the floor I immediately removed the egg and totally raked up their "nest" area. It didn't take long for them to get the idea and begin to use the nest box. Eventually I removed the golf balls, but I think having "decoy" eggs was key. And having roosts higher then the nest boxes. If you look on my BYC page you'll note that all 8 squeeze onto the same roost each night, even though the second roost is exactly the same height and material. Funny girls.

    And yes even though they do use both nest boxes the one on the right gets the most business.
  7. Hatrick

    Hatrick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 4, 2009
    I was blocking the nest box off at night because none of my girls lay particularly early in the morning. So I think they get it now, although not all three of them will sleep on the roost, my lowly in the pecking order girl (also the coop layer) sleeps underneath them. How sad is that? [​IMG] We have a very small coop, as we only have three birds, so the roost is basically at the same level as the nest boxes, which doesn't help I'm sure. So should I try and catch her laying and move her to the nest box? There is two nest boxes full of shavings and hay. Much nicer than the poo laden shavings mess in the coop. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2009
  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I've had success training them to use the nesting boxes by catching them when they are laying on the floor and locking them in the nesting box until they lay, then let them out. I had to do this once with one but the other one took two times to get the message.

    We have so many different goals and set-ups that there is seldom one "right" way to do anything. When eggs are laid, the chicken puts a coating, called bloom, on the egg to help keep bacteria out. If you wash the egg, the bloom comes off. I'd recommend refrigerating any egg that is washed.

    If you wash an egg in water colder than the egg, the air sac can contract. This will cause reduced pressure in the egg, which can suck water into the egg. It is possible that bacteria can come in with the water. The official recommendation is that the water be at least 10 degrees warmer than the egg to avoid this, but I just make sure the water feels warmer than the egg.

    If you do not wash an egg, it does not have to be refrigerated if it is kept at normal room temperatures, say in the 70's or maybe low 80's Fahrenheit. If your normal room temperature is close to incubator temperature, yes, I'd recommend refrigerating the eggs, whether they are fertilized or not.

    I personally wash eggs that are "dirty" and refrigerate them. These are for my use. The eggs that go to others are not washed and are stored on my countertop, but never for more than a week. This way, they do not get condensation on them when I take them out of the refrigerator. I also have hatching eggs if a hen decides to go broody. Commercial eggs are always washed and refrigerated. That is the right way for them and possibly the safest way but it is not my way.
  9. gsim

    gsim Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 18, 2009
    East Tennessee
    We always rinse them before refrigerating them. Regards nest-sleepers, it could be that your roost needs to be higher. Chooks all want to sleep in the highest possible place they can reach. I have roosts at 48" above floor and nests at 24". No nest-sleepers and no poop in nests either. I have two nests on floor in corners, but have had only one egg there ever. Mine are a little over 5 1/2 months old. [​IMG]

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