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New layers using the floor instead of nest boxes

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by yankeefan, Feb 3, 2012.

  1. yankeefan

    yankeefan Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 18, 2011
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    Hello everyone.

    I have just gotten my first egg on Monday and another on Wednesday, exactly 23 weeks after my mixed flock was born. I have 6 birds, 2 BO's, 2 BR's, 1 RIR and 1 polish. I'm not sure who laid the first eggs, but that doesn't matter to me. I know they'll all get to it when they're ready.

    So far, both eggs have been laid on the floor. Not a big deal, I figure that sooner or later they'll figure out what the nest boxes are for. I have showed them the boxes by actually putting each bird in a box. I'm not sure if that helps or not but I thought I'd give it a try.

    I'm kinda new to this, am I on the right track?
     
  2. Tressa27884

    Tressa27884 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Put golf balls in the nesting boxes; that's how I taught my girls.....but most importantly - [​IMG]congrats on the eggs!
     
  3. stone_family3

    stone_family3 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I put wooden eggs in mine, they hated the golf balls and seemed to love the wooden eggs. I'm on the 2nd day of wooden eggs and no egg hunts for me!
     
  4. yankeefan

    yankeefan Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 18, 2011
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    Alrighty than. I don't know where to track down wooden eggs but I'm headed out this evening so I'll check a few stores and if nothing else, I'm sure I can find a few golf balls.

    Thanks for the help!
     
  5. keenecowboy

    keenecowboy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 24, 2011
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    With Easter coming, you should be able to find the plastic ones. Dollar General, Family Dollar, Dollar Tree. Cheap and work just as well as the wooden ones. I have been using them and color doesn't matter.
     
  6. stone_family3

    stone_family3 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Michaels, Joann Fabrics, Hobby Lobby
     
  7. dainerra

    dainerra Chillin' With My Peeps

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    yeah, I use the plastic eggs as well. I put a rock or something inside, to give it weight, and glue it shut. Otherwise they roll them all over the place
     
  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Congratulations on the eggs.

    I've used the plastic Easter eggs and golf balls. Both work. I put sand in the plastic Easter eggs and glued them shut, but after a year or two they fell apart. I now use golf balls. I'm convinced they both work. I've seen them scratch a plastic egg onto the floor and a hen laid there next to that egg instead of her normal place in the nest.

    Mine would scratch the fake eggs out of the nest but I had too low a lip on the front to hold them in. That was even after I glued sand in them. That was why I glued sand in them in the first place. When I raised that lip to about 5" they quit scratching them out. I know others get by with lower lips on their nests. Maybe I just had energetic hens?

    The other thing is that when a pullet starts to lay, she might lay her first egg in the nest box, but often they just drop them wherever they are. That is often under the roost but it can be anywhere. It's like she does not realize what is happening or does not have any control over it. Once they learn control, which is usually pretty quickly but sometimes can take as long as a couple of weeks, they look for a nest to lay in. Almost always, that is in a nest box, especially if there are fake or real eggs in there, but occasionally one will decide to lay on the floor or somewhere else. If you see the egg in the same place regularly and a nest has been sort of scooped out or formed, she may have decided this is the place to lay.

    I see absolutely nothing in your post to think they are purposely laying on the floor. What you describe is perfectly normal. I'm not trying to worry you because I don't see anything for you to worry about. I just wanted to mention something that I rarely see but is a good reason to have a fake egg in the nest box.
     
  9. loundrew

    loundrew Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 30, 2010
    Elgin, TX
    we also use the plastic easter eggs and it seems to do the trick. Although do weight them down or you will have a chicken soccer game in the yard. We did have a silky in the past that did take a while to find the nesting boxes and would keep laying in the yard. Everytime she would make a nest and lay in the yard we would cover that spot with sticks or something to discourage her. Eventually she found the nesting box and in some cases when she was broody we then couldn't keep her out of it.

    Your girls will learn and some will be quicker learners than others.
     
  10. yankeefan

    yankeefan Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 18, 2011
    Upstate NY
    Thanks to everyone for the advice. I couldn't come up with golf balls, but my mother found some fake eggs at Michael's yesterday. I'll take a few for the chickens and she can have the rest for her crafts and decorations. All I have to do is weight them down with a little sand and with any luck I'll be in business.
     

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