Nesting Box Rejection

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by sunkissed, Jul 31, 2011.

  1. sunkissed

    sunkissed Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 31, 2011
    AUSTIN
    Ok, we are all out of ideas. My husband and I have made three different nesting boxes, using different materials (wood or plastic bins) and our hens will not use them. We have tried different sizes, different nesting material (shavings, pine needles), different locations for the box. What gives? Anyone else have this problem?

    Thanks [​IMG]
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    You've probably tried these, but: use fake eggs, such as golf balls or plastic easter eggs. Spray or dust the box with Sevin or a permethrin product to be sure there are no lice/mites.

    I have one hen who lays in a nest half the time and in a corner of the coop the other half. [​IMG]
     
  3. ChicKat

    ChicKat Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Hi Sunkissed,

    ddawn always has good ideas/suggestions. Have you given them enough time to adjust--- chickens don't like too many changes too fast. Maybe they are just about to decide that the nest box you set up is a good place to lay, but then suddenly (to them) something has changed...shavings become pine needles...plastic is now wood---etc.

    Where are they laying now? Does that give you some clue, like it is cooler where they lay or darker?

    Sit them down and have a little talk. (just kidding) Hope that you find the right answer.
     
  4. sunkissed

    sunkissed Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 31, 2011
    AUSTIN
    Hahaha. I have definitely given them a talking to. [​IMG] They ignore my request for them to stay out of the potted plants or to use the nesting box, brats.

    I have left the boxes alone for a week or two at a time, sometimes longer. I have been fighting this battle for three months now. They like to lay in the corner of the yard, right next to the compost bin, in the dirt. It is quiet, private, and shaded. My coop is 24 x 33 x 29 inches and the underneath is 3' x 6'. Space is limited and so maybe that is the issue. Shrug.
     
  5. sunkissed

    sunkissed Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 31, 2011
    AUSTIN
    I should mention that I have three hens- a Splash Maran, a Partridge Cochin, and a Auracana.

    I have only tried a ping pong ball. Would putting an actual egg in there be helpful? I can afford to sacrifice a few.

    The coop and boxes have been dusted with diatomaceous earth.
     
  6. ChicKat

    ChicKat Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    It sounds like you are doing everything you should---- so therfore your chickens are Incorrigible, they are willing to give you eggs, but they want to aggrivate you as much as possible. Isn't that just like a pet.

    so... try a real or fake egg, and maybe a nest box that is either a little bigger or a little more open--and as quiet, private and shaded as possible.....

    My setup is an Eglu Go, inside there is more of a nesting area---than a true box with sides. My 3 always lay in there...sometimes when I look in at them they seem almost too big for the space they are laying in---but it seems to be working out fine..... Chickens can be fussy about that.

    Maybe as a last resort--- expect them to lay outside and work a nesting box arrangement into the area beside the compost? I had/have thought about making a pen of PVC pipe for mine, and then I keep thinking I have to wait until the last one has laid, before I turn them in---or I would need some nesting box arrangement....

    Post back if you find the key to the dilemma!
     
  7. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    I've read that ping pong balls aren't heavy enough to convince them. I've read, I repeat -- who knows. People fill plastic easter eggs with sand or the like to make them heavier. I picked up a box of 4 or 5 golf balls at a dollar store for little money. You can buy ceramic eggs, I know at Cracker Barrel, but they are pricier. A real egg wouldn't last long!

    But, in your case, I admit I'd probably give in and do as another suggested and make a nest where they like to lay. I remember a pic on here of a lovely back yard with a nesting box tucked under a bush or tree. As long as they lay in one place and you can find them.... [​IMG]
     
  8. Czech's_chicks

    Czech's_chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 24, 2011
    Vista, CA
    I have SEVERAL options for my girls and they tend to pick the box anther hen is in. I have used shelves with boards added at the end to keep the grass in and eggs from rolling out, old dog houses, milk crates...you name it.
     
  9. Jeevesrules

    Jeevesrules Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Otley, Leeds, England
    why not try and block of their current nesting area, they will find a new one soon enough. [​IMG]
     
  10. ChicksterJo

    ChicksterJo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 19, 2011
    Grounded on Earth
    My laying pullet is pretty crazy about her nest box, a heavy duty plastic crate filled with pine shavings and a golf ball. If she's away from it (like the door is closed) or the silly Ameraucanas are sitting on the edge (which they love to do [​IMG]) then she goes crazy, pacing up and down and squawking her head off. I think she was mightily fooled with the golf ball. I used to have a wooden nest box that they would get in and out of before she started laying but she made the switch to the crate easily.
     

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