Need to make a decision about nestboxes - it worked!!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by gritsar, Sep 21, 2011.

  1. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    In my larger coop (coop A) the original nestboxes were covered kitty litter pans just like the ones in my other coop (coop B). The only difference being the ones in the larger coop were on the floor, because of the coop design. Despite the boxes being identical, two of my hens from the larger coop would wait for me to let them out then hightail it over to coop B to lay in the identical boxes.

    Tired of them kicking shavings into the boxes and tired of having to bend over to collect eggs, a couple weeks ago we switched the nestboxes in coop A over to boxes that hang on the wall. I left one, actually two if you count the broody crate, on the floor for the benefit of my silkies who would have had a hard time flying up to the new boxes.

    None of the older hens in coop A are using the new boxes! Instead they all wait in line and cram into the one remaining box on the floor. [​IMG] So far there's been no broken eggs, but the eggs are getting dirty from the increased traffic. The only one using the new hanging boxes is a pullet that just started laying. As the other pullets her age start laying I'm hoping they will take their cues from her and use the hanging boxes.

    Now both of my silkies are gone - killed by a predator - and I am considering removing that one remaining floor sitting box. However I'm afraid that if I do remove it, they will all just lay in the corner where the box is currently located. At least while they are using the box the eggs are partially hidden keeping them from getting broke.

    It's been a couple of weeks and they are still ignoring the new hanging boxes. [​IMG]

    What would you do? Remove the box in hopes that they will be forced to use the new boxes...

    Or, leave it?

    The only creature on this earth more stubborn than a chicken is my DH! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2011
  2. AZBootsie

    AZBootsie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dunno for sure... but some thoughts. Do the new boxes smell like plastic or cleaning chemicals? Is the litter the same in all the boxes? Have your tried moving some of the fresh layed eggs over or using golf balls, fake eggs?
     
  3. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    I would remove the floor box and put something there they can't lay in or on, for a while. I've done this, actually.

    Of course they will stage a protest march, then lay on the coop floor or something for a while, but eventually....
     
  4. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Quote:New boxes don't have any odor that I can detect. Just like the old boxes they are made of plastic, are filled with hay and each one has two golfballs in it.

    This is what the new boxes look like - only difference is the color of the buckets. Mine are blue, which is the same color as the kitty litter boxes:

    [​IMG]

    The little sex link pullet that just started laying and is using the new boxes is very faithful, using the same box every day.
     
  5. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Quote:I have considered this alot. I have to make room in the coop for a crate to confine a new roo I'm getting. I could block up the corner the nestbox sits in with his crate for the time being.
     
  6. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    I removed the last remaining floor sitting nestbox yesterday. I was very pleased to several hens using the new nestboxes this morning. Of course I still have a couple of hens that prefer to wait and go to the brahma coop to lay each day, but at least the new nestboxes are being used by someone! [​IMG]
     
  7. AZBootsie

    AZBootsie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]

    Glad it is working out. Those are nice nesting boxes.
     
  8. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Quote:Thanks. We had plenty of the blue buckets laying around and I didn't find the covers w/perches anymore expensive than replacing the original boxes.
     

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