1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    Not a member yet? join BYC here & then introduce yourself in our community forum here.

Nesting boxes built...will they come?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by shakecc, Dec 19, 2008.

  1. shakecc

    shakecc In the Brooder

    May 26, 2008
    Central OH
    Our chickens just started to lay this week. We had the nesting boxes closed off to prevent them pooping in them. I opened them up yesterday and put golf balls in each one. When I got home from work, there was a egg on the floor of the coop and poop in one of the boxes.

    I understand it will take some time, but I wanted to see if there was anything else that I should be doing to encourage them to use the boxes. Do they just instinctually do it?

  2. BeckyLa

    BeckyLa Songster

    Jan 11, 2007
    N. Louisiana
    I usually put the first eggs in the nest box along with the golf balls. Seems to work ok for me, though it may be to cold to leave it in there where you are. Congratulations on the new eggs!!!
  3. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    How high are your nest boxes in relation to the roosts?
    The nest boxes need to be lower than the roosts or they will tend to roost on the nest boxes, leading to poopy eggs. Chickens like to go as high as possible to roost.
    On the rare occasion when one of my nest boxes get some poo in it, the hens always pass that box up in favor of a clean one.
    Edited for clarity
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2008
  4. UP_Chicken_Lover

    UP_Chicken_Lover In the Brooder

    Jun 21, 2008
    Western UP of MI
    I have this question in reverse sort of... my girls - the little darlings, have always laid their eggs in the nesting box. We have two but their preference so far has been the top one. We have a mixture of hay/pine shavings in the nest/s.

    We have 5 chickens and so far this week we have 18 eggs, which I think is outstanding considering they were born July 1.

    Now my question is - this summer - when they are turned loose to browse - will they still lay the eggs in the box/s?? Or will I have to start wandering around looking for eggs outside?
  5. crooked stripe

    crooked stripe Songster

    Jan 14, 2008
    N.E Ohio- Suffield
    In the summer mine build a large nest in the straw in the run and they all lay there. I have no idea why. Now that winter has set in they all lay in the nest boxes. They just don't like the cold and snow and stay inside most of the day. I leave the run door open all day but when there is snow on the ground, not a tract to be found.
  6. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Quote:Mine free-range no matter what the weather - their choice. The door to their coop is open all day long and they could go in, but don't want to. You should have seen them playing in the ice the other day. [​IMG]
    No matter how far away from the coop they roam, the girls always walk back to the coop to use their nest boxes for laying. Sometimes the whole flock walks back with them and waits outside for the hen(s) to finish with their egg business.
    If once yours are ranging, you notice a drop in the number of eggs collected, you may have to go on an easter egg hunt. Maybe you'll luck out like I did and have hens that just love their nest boxes.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: