Need to teach to use nesting box?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by WilcoxChickens, Sep 27, 2011.

  1. WilcoxChickens

    WilcoxChickens Out Of The Brooder

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    May 16, 2011
    I got my first two eggs today!! I'm super excited but one of the eggs I found on the ground outside in the run and the second in the coop beside the feeder. Do I need to teach my hens to use their nesting boxes? I know that they were going in and sleeping in them not long ago so they can get in and out of them.

    Do I just leave eggs in them or will they figure it out?

    Thanks!
     
  2. mommissan

    mommissan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 4, 2011
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    Congrats on your eggs! Is your roost higher than the nest boxes? They are less likely to sleep in them if the roost is higher. I put a fake egg in each nest box. I wasn't sure if it would work, but it did two things. It stopped my rooster from sleeping and pooping in it. It also , I think, got my red star to use it. Maybe it makes the nest feel right? I'd try fake eggs. I used my kids plastic ones from Easter, filled with dry rice to weight them down and taped shut so they don't eat the rice.
     
  3. LT

    LT Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I just had the same thing happen last week with my Cuckoo Maran. I observed her in the nest box on both occasions, but the first two eggs weren't laid in there. One was on the hen house floor and one out in the run. Since I knew she had been in the nest box, I assumed she was getting out of the box too early, and the egg was coming out where she happened to be. The third day, she laid in the nest box and the egg was perfect. All of the eggs since (about 5) have been in the nest box and perfect. I think she just needed some time to figure out what it felt like to lay an egg. We do have golf balls in our boxes, and the other two who are laying have laid there from the beginning.
     
  4. WilcoxChickens

    WilcoxChickens Out Of The Brooder

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    May 16, 2011
    Thanks for the advice. I have 6 hens but I'm pretty sure I know which two were the egg layers. I will let it go for this week and see what happens naturally and if I don't find eggs in the boxes I will try the fakies.

    Also, the roost is higher than the boxes. I hadn't even thought about the height of the roost or the boxes when we put them up. I want the boxes lower, correct?
     
  5. mommissan

    mommissan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:That's what happened with me too. We just put together a coop without any thought and it just happened that way. They roost as high as possible.... except my rooster. grrrr
     
  6. WilcoxChickens

    WilcoxChickens Out Of The Brooder

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    May 16, 2011
    Well, after 8 eggs I still haven't found one in the nesting boxes [​IMG] I'm pretty sure that just two of my hens are laying right now since I'm getting two a day but I could also be wrong and they just aren't laying every day.

    I still wasn't sure if the roost being higher than the nesting boxes could be part of the problem. Also, we have a window that is directly across from the nesting boxes. May that also be a reason they aren't laying in the boxes? We have plans to cover the windows today because of the cold.

    Any advice on coop layout for nesting boxes and roosts?
     

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