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New layers not finding nesting boxes

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by scottewine, Aug 6, 2016.

What should Scott do?

Poll closed Aug 20, 2016.
  1. Not worry about it.

    1 vote(s)
  2. Follow the insightful guidance I have provided!

    0 vote(s)
  1. scottewine

    scottewine In the Brooder

    Apr 18, 2014
    Hello Fellow Chicken Enthusiasts,

    I started with chickens two years ago and built the pictured coop and run that is sized to fit 20+ chickens. I started with 16 two years and when I moved them outside they spent their first few days in the coop before I let them in the run and they have all been healthy and happy, but lost a few over the years so I had 11 left this spring. They are leghorns, RIR, silkies, PR, a couple others, all for laying, no roosters.

    This spring I got another 11 layers and by the time I took them out of the basement it was warm enough where they could be outside, so I cordoned off the right side of my run in the picture and got them acclimated there where the older hens could see them. Everything went great and early this summer I took out the partition and they have all been getting along great. The new batch and the silkies all sleep outside and the others inside, and they seem to still think that is their territory. As you can see, the nesting boxes are to the left in the picture, at the far end from the run, and a couple of the new batch have started laying. I was on vacation this week so I could not witness it, but I have had a couple smaller eggs in the run and I am pretty sure they are from a couple of the new hens that are ready. I did not find any in the nesting boxes.

    So my questions is, do you think the newer hens will eventually find the nesting boxes? Is there anything I can/should do to expedite the process?




  2. BlueBaby

    BlueBaby Crowing

    Since you said that the older ones sleep inside, and the new ones are sleeping outside... Maybe the reason why is because the older ones are not allowing them to go inside. If they are not allowed inside where the nesting boxes are, they cannot lay the eggs there. You may need to rig up another nesting box near the area that you are finding the eggs in the run?
    2 people like this.
  3. scottewine

    scottewine In the Brooder

    Apr 18, 2014
    Update: Over the last couple weeks they all seem to be finding their way either to or near the nest boxes. When I built the coop I hung fabric curtains in front of the boxes, in order to help them find the boxes I tied them back and I think that helped, they could see the other hens in there and were able to get with the program. I still have one Cuckoo Maran that lays right near the nesting boxes, hopefully she will start using them as well.

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