no longer roosting in nesting boxes but now the eggs have stopped . ..

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by dunham, Sep 10, 2009.

  1. dunham

    dunham New Egg

    Sep 2, 2009
    Okay so last week we had to raise our roost so our 18 week old bard rocks would stop roosting in the nesting boxes. As a bonus we put some fabric up to partially cover the nesting boxes for more privacy.

    A week and a half ago we got our first egg, then it was one about every other day and one everyday for the last couple. Shortly after we moved the roosts and put the fabric up, no more eggs. The one hen we think is laying will go in the box but no eggs. We've looked around and can't find them hidden.

    Thoughts? Should I uncover the boxes. We put two strips of cloth on each side, like curtains with an open space in the middle.

  2. chickenannie

    chickenannie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 19, 2007
    Do you have a pic of your set-up? Maybe they can't get to it easily.
  3. dunham

    dunham New Egg

    Sep 2, 2009
    Can't get my camera to work . . . will see if I can use my phone. Good news though, two eggs today in two different nesting boxes. One was larger than the other so I think the original layer is still laying and now I hope we have a new layer.
  4. edselpdx

    edselpdx Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 10, 2008
    Portland, OR
    Mine totally fooled me by hiding 12 eggs off in a corner of the coop after starting out so nicely in the nest box. I swore to goodness that I had searched everywhere for their new spot, and was convinced that they were just on strike. Doh (slaps forehead).

    I've made the nest box cozier with more pine shavings so they can better make a "nest" in the nest box (since that was what they had done in their coop), adding "curtains" like you described, and kept their wooden eggs in there.

    At first they ignored it, and kept laying in the coop, although they all inspected the "new" nest box thoroughly on many occasions. I've been playing easter egg hunt in the coop for almost 2 weeks. Today I crawled up into the coop (it's a raised 7' x 7' -- not a walk-in coop) before even looking in the nest box to check for eggs, and couldn't find any. So I checked the nest box and there were 3 perfect pullet eggs next to their "training eggs" for the first time in 2 weeks!

    So, from my limited experience:
    1. Make the nest box inviting and private (mine seem to like the curtains.)
    2. Make sure you have golf balls or wooden eggs (or hard-boiled eggs in a pinch--just mark the HB eggs with a pencil mark or something) so they're clear on where you want the eggs laid. There's something instinctual deep in their little bird-brains that makes them want to lay with other eggs to make a clutch.
    3. Leave it alone for a a week or two. They don't seem to like change. They may decide it's a good spot once they get used to it.
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2009

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