Nest Boxes are just decoration and how to get hens to like them?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by dmbnj, Oct 22, 2014.

  1. dmbnj

    dmbnj Out Of The Brooder

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    May 18, 2014
    New Jersey
    Last month I new the time was coming when we'd have our first egg. I built three nest boxes and placed it in the coop. Since then it's basically been ignored except for one RIR that has investigated the top of the egg condo. Today she was lingering and after being disturbed by myself, she laid her egg next to the nest boxes. The first egg was laid outside in the run, probably not her's. I put supermarket eggs in the nest boxes, marked with an X to know it was a decoy. I actually attempted to put the RIR that was trying to lay her first egg into the nest box, but she not so respectfully declined to enter and delivered her egg by the feeder. How do I get these wonderful girls to embrace the boxes I lovingly built for their treasure????
     
  2. Agreed131

    Agreed131 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 26, 2014
    Reno, NV
    Give them time. My girls layed them everywhere (including from their roosts) the first few weeks. Try making them as cozy as possible ie fluffy bedding/privacy. From there you just gotta wait it out.
     
  3. dmbnj

    dmbnj Out Of The Brooder

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    May 18, 2014
    New Jersey
    My BCM went in the nest boxes today and laid her first egg. She is the first one to step foot in the nests. She had an audience, so hopefully the other girls will get the point of them. I think I will add curtains for privacy.
    [​IMG]
     
  4. Agreed131

    Agreed131 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 26, 2014
    Reno, NV
    The boxes might be a little small for your bigger girls... granted I have seen 3 hens squished into one box....Silly feather heads
     
  5. dmbnj

    dmbnj Out Of The Brooder

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    May 18, 2014
    New Jersey
    I was thinking that as she stuffed herself in. They are 12" wide and 15" high. [​IMG]
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Nov 27, 2012
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    My Coop
    But they're only about 8-10 inches deep(front to back)?....which is kind of shallow, but it should be fine.
    Lots of folks use open topped/fronted nests, it's not about privacy (human notion) it's about safety/security; if they feel secure there, they will lay there.

    I wouldn't put a curtain on there if they've just started to use them as is, just leave them be and be patient.
    Any changes now might just confuse/stress them, chickens don't like change and they are in a state right now with wondering what the heck are these things coming out of their butts...hahaha!!

    That one girl will show them the way, tho it can take up to a month before they get good at laying where you want them to lay. You might want to put a fake egg or golf ball in one or two of the nests, this can convince them that it's a safe place to lay because there's another egg there....using a supermarket egg might not be a good idea if it gets putrid and/or broken.
     

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