Nesting/laying on coop floor: coop pics attached for sugegstions

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Wayside Farm, Aug 17, 2014.

  1. Wayside Farm

    Wayside Farm Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 2, 2014
    Framingham, MA
    Two of my three hens are laying on the coop floor in the same spot (sharing a "nest"). Since they avoid laying near the roost, I don't really mind, I'm more curious as to why not in the nesting boxes provided. I've read some of the other threads around the same topic. I have even removed the more elaborate nest in the last cleaning and put less shaving on the coop floor.

    There are 4 boxes totally, two with curtains, two without, although all four are design to go either way. Based on the images, any thoughts, ideas?

    The old nest:

    [​IMG]

    The nesting boxes:
    [​IMG]

    Today's nest:
    [​IMG]


    Nesting box close up:
    [​IMG]
     
  2. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member

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    Maybe just to keep the humans confused? Maybe they aren't yet comfortable with the change. Mine take a while to adjust to anything different in their surroundings.

    Some more info could be helpful in figuring it out. Have they been laying in the old nest box you removed? Are the new ones the same type, size, location?

    Assuming your hens have been laying for awhile and using the old nest then:

    *I would try arranging your new ones like the old one/one's if possible.
    *Try fake eggs in the new nests so they will get the idea.
    *On the lower boxes cover only half or 2/3 of the opening with the curtain. But, leave the other one open. Giving them the choice of what they are looking for. Unless the old nest had the same style curtain?
    *Try placing the nests at the height they were used to.
    *The back of the new nests show some light coming in from the back, try adding something to block it out.

    I don't see how they get into the higher boxes. Mine are only a few inches above the coop floor, but those with elevated boxes usually give them a landing to access them.

    Lucky they picked a place to lay without poops. One of mine was a floor layer for 6 months, right under the roost. I was so happy when she decided a nest box was more suitable!
     
  3. Wayside Farm

    Wayside Farm Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 2, 2014
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    Sorry for the confusion, they have never used the nest boxes. The picture of the nest was on the floor in a different spot. Since posting this morning, they have already started making another floor nest, more like the original.

    Prior to curtains, they used to roost in the upper level boxes, filling them with poop.

    Maybe I can place a nesting box on the floor to get them used to it?
     
  4. biteme2134

    biteme2134 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 21, 2013
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    My Coop
    I put golf balls in mine as fake eggs. I leave one box empty. 2 have 1 ball and the other has 2 golf balls. Seems like they hardly lay in the non golf ball nest. Seldom in the 2 golf ball nest. Mostly in one of the single ball nesting boxes. Even after another hen lays they lay next to a ball and an egg over 2 balls or the empty box. Crazy chickens! I think they like the idea of laying near another "egg" worth a shot if you haven't done so already
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  5. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member

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    I have 6 hens. When the first started laying, she was a coop floor layer and showed no interest in the nests. I blocked her corner, she just moved over a little. I tried moving her egg to a box, and she didn't notice. I added fake eggs in the nest, she never gave them a glance. I added nest box curtains, and again no interest. But after her first 6 months of laying in the floor, for no apparent reason, she started laying in the nest box and has now for the past 6 months.

    The nest box fake eggs and curtains did get a lot of attention from the other 5 girls. They played in the nests, pecked at the curtains before they started laying. And all 5 have laid in the boxes from day 1….except for two who each seemed not to understand they were laying an egg - one laid her very first while walking down the chicken ramp & one other laid her first while drinking at the fount. After that even these 2 have used the boxes. But even when 5 were laying eggs in my 2 boxes, Dottie was still floor laying.

    When I was trying to encourage the first layer to use a nest box, I read texts, forum discussions, and spent hours searching the web. Texts suggested that the floor layers might change and just decide to try the nests. I found one scientific study on poultry behavior which looked at floor vs nest selection for laying. They concluded that a small percent of chickens show preference for the floor for no identifiable reason and a large number of those will change to nest layers without behavioral modification techniques.

    Hope this helps. I would place your nests where they will be the most convenient for egg gathering, add a fake egg - ceramic, wooden, or plastic or a golf ball to each you want them to use. Leave the curtains off so the chickens can see inside the boxes and hope they get the idea. And block off the boxes they have been sleeping in until they start to use the lower boxes.

    I don't know how many chickens you are planning on, but a box/chicken ratio of 1/4 is listed as adequate in my texts. I have 2 nest boxes for 6 layers and have seen no problems although on some occasions one waiting gets quite verbal or just crowds in to lay together.
     
  6. Wayside Farm

    Wayside Farm Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you all for the info and stories. I feel better not being alone :)

    After posting, one of the nesting boxes showed some activity but no laying. I'll give it time.
     

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