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Newbie ?? Chickens used nesting boxes now they don't

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by wingdwolf56, Oct 5, 2016.

  1. wingdwolf56

    wingdwolf56 Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 28, 2016
    Newcomerstown, Ohio
    Hello all,
    We are new to raising chickens. We have 4 Golden Comets about 40 weeks old. All four are laying one egg each everyday. When we first got them, all four were laying their eggs in the nesting boxes. Two chickens lay their eggs at first light, sometime before I let them out to the run. The two other birds lay about 2 hours later. One of the chickens would move the straw around forming a nest in the nesting box. Two of the girls were also sleeping in the nesting boxes. I clean the chicken poop out of the coop everyday. As the chickens became more comfortable being handled, we started putting them on the roosts at night. Now, all four chickens are sleeping on their roost but they are no longer using the nesting boxes like they did when we first got them. We use straw in the coop and the nesting boxes; about 6 inches in the coop and a little less in the boxes. There are 2 nesting boxes for 4 birds and the coop is 4x6 or 24 square feet. Any ideas?
    Thanks
     
  2. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

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    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    Very puzzling. If it was the dog days of summer I'd say that don't like being in the hot nesting boxes. I know mine will lay elsewhere in the intense July and August heat and humidity. But I'm surmising Ohio in October is quite pleasant. Since they have previously used them and now they aren't....and because hens will lay where they feel most comfortable....how about making the coop floor less comfortable in order to make the nest boxes more comfortable?? Maybe remove the straw in the coop but keep it nice and fluffy in the boxes and see if they transition back. They see habituated to laying on the coop floor so they need to be re-trained and habituated to go back to the boxes. Maybe even add in fake eggs like many folks use to get first time layers to lay in the right place. That's my best guess. Hope you find the solution.
     

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