Not laying in boxes, need help

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by wifeofyoyopro, Sep 5, 2010.

  1. wifeofyoyopro

    wifeofyoyopro Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 4, 2010
    North Carolina
    We got chicks at Easter for the first time. I am very new to all this but loving it. I have 7 hens and one roo (1 bo, 2 rir, 1 br, 1 blk sexlink, 3 ameraucanas). One Ameraucana stated laying on a shelf about 2 weeks ago. And a RIR started laying today - only it was in the soft dirt near coop while free roaming.

    How do I get them to lay where I want them too?

    We have a large fenced in back yard (approx. 3/4 acre) with 6 ft privacy fence. Lots of room to roam and I let them roam most of the day while I am at home. If we are not home, they have a large run (16ftX20ft).

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    We built the coop inside a large shed that houses tools and yard equip(Not a great pic but you get idea). Coop is a 8X4X6ft box in the corner of shed and we cut a hole in the side of the shed for them to get out.

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    We butted up an old white cabinet to use for their nesting boxes which are cat litter pans.
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    As you can see in the pick, we have wooden eggs in the cat litter boxes.

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    There are tons of feathers in the nesting boxes-so I know that they go in there. The only bad thing about the old cabinet is that the headroom between shelves is 11" on the bottom and only 10" on the top (and I read the were suppose to be 12x12x12). Is that enough room? The top shelf we could pull out the draws so they could have more headroom if we need too. But our Ameraucana still chooses to lay on the shelf.

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    The shelf she lays on is in the top left hand corner of the above pic.


    The rest should be laying any time soon and would love to fix any problems. Need help! Do you have any suggestions on what I could do better or different? Do I need to not let them free roam until they get the hang of laying? And could I do anything to improve the nesting boxes and are they adaquate? Open to ideas and suggestions!
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2010
  2. TigerLilly

    TigerLilly I failed Chicken Math

    Jul 18, 2010
    Central Florida
    Can you put something on the shelf to keep them from getting up there, or put another shelf on top of it that is angled?
    Maybe the laying area is not tall enough?
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2010
  3. queenbeezz

    queenbeezz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 2, 2010
    Orlando
    We bought wooden eggs at JoAnn's, if you put them in the nesting box (you can also use golf balls, ping pong balls) it says to them LAY HERE. My girls have never lais anywhere else. My grandmother even used old white glass door knobs.
     
  4. D'Angelo N Va.

    D'Angelo N Va. Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 28, 2009
    I had some hens that laid on a shelf...literally the width of the hen only....they kept falling down and breaking, finally I just removed the shelf. I then put fake eggs in the nesting boxes and they laid there. Growing up, my grandmother used to put golf balls in the nest..it works.
     
  5. CathyRN

    CathyRN Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 17, 2010
    Sevier County, TN
    Golf balls worked for us too. Also, when the girls started laying we limited their "free range" time to only after 4pm, which was after the peak laying time....when they all learned where the eggs were laid we opened up their schedule slowly to allow full day free ranging....In the beginning though it was funny. Some girls couldn't make it to the boxes. I think they weren't good on anticipating when the egg was going to come out. We had this one chicken always come and tell us where the egg ended up (usually somewhere on the way too the coop). Anyway, all of the girls ended up laying in the right place.
     
  6. rancher hicks

    rancher hicks Chicken Obsessed

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    Feb 28, 2009
    Syracuse, NY
    I keep fake wooden eggs in the nest boxes 24/7. I occasionally have to wash them off but it encourages them to lay in the boxes. I even have goose size eggs it doesn't matter. Even though I have more than enough boxes they prefer to lay in the same box. I find all the eggs in one box and none in some of the others. What's up with that?

    It appears to me you need boxes darker inside and bigger lip on the front to keep the bedding in.
     

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