My hens will not lay in nesting boxes

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by robbiebobbie, Dec 2, 2014.

  1. robbiebobbie

    robbiebobbie Out Of The Brooder

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    I hope you all can help me. My hens started laying in the nesting boxes and all was well. Now that it's winter weather in our area and we can't let them roam because of predators (they do go outside in their fenced and roofed yard) they started laying on the poop board and in a corner on the floor of the inside coop. How can I correct this? One morning I went down and there were four eggs in the corner of the poop board. They get dirty on there. What can I do if anything? Pleeeeaaase Help!!!
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Have you tried leaving golf balls or fake nest eggs in the nest boxes?
     
  3. robbiebobbie

    robbiebobbie Out Of The Brooder

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    Yes I have and it worked at first. Now I just find the fake eggs pitched out onto the floor. They also throw out all of the nesting material. I have tried pine shavings and straw.
     
  4. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Try increasing the lip on the nesting boxes so that they can not kick out the nesting materials and 'dummy' eggs.
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    How long had they been laying in the nests, and with what kind of bedding, before they refused to use them?
    Are all of them refusing the nests?

    How many hens, how many nests and how big is coop(feet by feet)?

    Something might be in there that they don't like..ie:pests?

    I know when we got snowfall a couple weeks ago and they started spending more time in the coop, the confinement made some a little crabby. Might just take time for them to adjust to the change in environment.
     
  6. robbiebobbie

    robbiebobbie Out Of The Brooder

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    I will try that Golden Feather. Thanks!
     
  7. 7 Biddies

    7 Biddies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You might also want to try putting their eggs in the nest boxes, then setting the hens in there (one at a time) to see if they get the message. You might leave the eggs in there for a while before bringing in to the house.
     
  8. robbiebobbie

    robbiebobbie Out Of The Brooder

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    Let's see, They have been laying eggs for about three weeks now. I have 9 JG hens, 2 JG roosters, 4 Dominiques and 1 bantie. Seven of these are laying eggs. They started laying on the poop board about 3 days before I posted the first post on this subject. For two days now they have been laying in the nesting boxes again and on the floor under the poop board back in a corner. The nesting boxes are 18 X 18 and we have 5 right now. Might they want privacy? Should I put a curtain on the nesting boxes. The boxes are approximately 8" off the ground. Sometimes, when one of the hens are in the nesting box, everyone gathers around and watches. The coop is 8' X 8' with an 11' X 8' secure yard attached. There is no fighting except for an occassional ruckus between the two roosters. They grew up together. All of these grew up together. I use DE and do not have a pest problem. I clean the coop every day, except for the floor, which I had been doing every month. I throw scratch down, so that they keep the pine shavings aerated. They always through out the bedding in the nesting boxes along with the eggs sometimes. I am going to add a larger lip like Golden Feather suggested. I am always hunting eggs. Is this normal? Are they doing this because they are new layers or as you said it might be that they need time to adjust to confinement?
    What do you think?:
     
  9. 7 Biddies

    7 Biddies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    There are quite a few threads on this topic. Go here: https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/900468/hens-not-laying-in-nest-boxes/20 and check out posts # 24 - 27.

    #24: Update: All the hens are now laying in the nest boxes! Thanks for your help and suggestions.

    #26: What did you do to get them laying in the boxes?

    #27: When I would check on them, they would be trying to lay under the nests. I would put them in the nests when I found one trying to lay, and after a few tries, they all got the idea.
     
  10. robbiebobbie

    robbiebobbie Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you 7 Biddies! I read the thread you gave me. I will try that. I didn't find that thread when I was searching this forum for an answer. Thank you for adding the link to your reply!
    I will let you all know what happens.
     

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