New layers and they don't know where to lay


12 Years
Jun 16, 2010
We have 22 pullets who are 5 months old are beginning to lay. How do we teach them to lay in the wooden, straw filled boxes we built for them? They have no older hens to teach them. One of them is laying in a box, but 2 are dropping them in the middle of the coop floor, or in front of a nesting box.
Thanks all.
10 Red Rocks, 10 Red Sussox, and 2 Auracunas.
When mine started laying, one would use the nest boxes and two would lay on the coop floor. I tried golf balls, but apparently, these girls know golf, so that didn't work! LOL Went up in the attic and dug out a few plastic Easter eggs and put those in the nest boxes. Worked like a charm. I now get eggs only in the boxes. If golf balls don't work, try fake eggs. It seems some chickens do know the difference.
i got some of the ceramic eggs from the farmers mercantile

that and anytime they tried to make a nest in the hay that is not in the nesting box ... i go mess it up
I had the same problem (no older hens to teach the pullets where to lay). I put wooden eggs, roughly the same size as real eggs, in each nesting box. For the first couple weeks I would very occasionally find an egg on the coop floor right in front of the nesting boxes (I actually watched some girls jump out of the nesting box right before the egg was laid and when she jumped down, it plopped on the floor) Then very rarely, I found an egg in the run. They're now about 8 months old and lay 100% of their eggs in the boxes! The girls really like their nesting boxes and I believe the wooden eggs REALLY helped them. I would watch them preparing the box for laying and actually tuck the wooden egg under her. It's so much fun to watch!!! SO CUTE
I have this problem too. Two of our 7 hens lay while on the roost and another, who sleeps on top of the nest boxes, lays there. We got tired of broken eggs on the coop floor so we strung a net under the roost and now we get 2 eggs in the "hammock" every morning. The hen that sleeps on the nest box drops her egg and wanders off - since the nest box is flat that egg is always there waiting for us like some sort of weird daily egg hunt game joke. I'm going to pick up some golf balls and try this idea - at this point I figure what the heck?
There is a golf course near by; so we have no shortage of stray golfballs lying around, lol. Even though they are small, round, white balls; we still receive large brown ones every day ;-)

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