Not using their boxes?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by FURSANDFEATHERS, Sep 5, 2009.


    FURSANDFEATHERS In the Brooder

    Jun 15, 2009
    Before they started laying I used golf balls for coaxing them into the boxes. The first hen to lay, layed hers in a box for several days. Know almost all my girls are laying and none of them are using the boxes just the coop floor. Should I place eggs that have just been layed into a box to encourage the next hen?

  2. ecocheapomom

    ecocheapomom Songster

    Apr 30, 2009
    New Hampshire
    I am also wondering the same thing. We got our first egg today and it was on the floor and broken. I am nervous there are more in the litter or under the coop that I can't see. I was thinking of trying the golf balls too. I would be curious to see if putting the eggs in works.

    FURSANDFEATHERS In the Brooder

    Jun 15, 2009
    echocheapomom, You like myself need some advise on this. This forum is for people like you and I in need of help. Not sure why we haven't had more response.
  4. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

    May 19, 2008
    Western MA
  5. ~*Sweet Cheeks*~

    ~*Sweet Cheeks*~ Songster

    Mar 12, 2009
    Medford, Oregon
    What do your nest boxes look like? What are you using as nesting material? How high are they?

    For some reason, your girls don't like them. Try putting a box of some type on the floor with shavings and see if they'd like that.

    My eight have only layed in the boxes I provided and I never did do the fake egg or golf ball trick. I just figured they would know what to do - and they do.

    Good luck with yours.

    This was their stock tank brooder.

    Sitting next to the stock tank is the banty brooder I turned on it's side, added divider, and lip to keep in the shavings. None of my girls kick out the shavings. They just make a little cozy indent in the middle.
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2009
  6. ldemmert

    ldemmert In the Brooder

    We were all out collecting eggs until now. Patience, please.
    I have 4 BR year old hens; all lay in 2 boxes or often one box. Sometimes they line up and cluck to the others to hurry up...or something.
    I also have 3 Golden comet pullets. They started laying at 17 weeks. The eggs just seemed to pop out without the poor dears realizing what was going on. The eggs were soft shelled, light tan, and small; about 3 days worth broke or smashed before the little girls figured out what was going on. We have golf balls (AKA chickenballs) in the nests.
    Now they are first in the boxes and we have 5 minute old eggs for breakfast, hard shells and dark tan.
    If you have chickenballs in the nest, I'd say, have patience and they'll probably figure that a nice dark next is a good place to drop their eggs.
  7. Dixiedoodle

    Dixiedoodle Songster

    Apr 14, 2007
    It could be your nest boxes are too high! I have wooden, painted eggs and a golf ball in mine and all three of my girls (they ones who are laying) have laid in two different boxes. I have four nest boxes (2 on top of 2)..the lower boxes are only 11" off the floor, the top ones are 25" and both 'floors' have a roost board out front for them to hop up on before they enter the nest.. Try either providing them with tubs, boxes, drawers, etc lined with shavings, straw, hay etc.. and see what happens.. IF they use the items you provide..try lowering you nest boxes and see if they pay attention to them.

  8. embkm

    embkm Songster

    Jan 16, 2009
    Colbert, Ga
    My first brown egg was laid on the ground, right next to the nest with the golf balls in it. Within 3 days, she was using the nest and I haven't found a brown egg on the floor since (knock on wood). When the others started laying, all but one use the nest box. My olive EEer refuses to use the nestbox. She makes nice little hollows and lays there. I will be adding a different nest box to see if maybe she just doesn't like how enclosed the other one is.
  9. andalusn

    andalusn Songster

    Sep 6, 2009
    Ridgefield, WA
    I am very new to this whole chicken keeping thing, the hen house was given to us and is more like a large tool shed. There is fairly deep hay in the box area and I did add a wooden wine crate with hay. One of these days we are going to build boxes that can be accessed from outside but now I wonder. They climb on the crate, in it and hop all around it but none of the hens lay an egg inside it. I am always finding them in the hay. I am not sure if I should add different type of boxes or not. Then I see folks using cat litter box trays and other things and then I am really confused [​IMG] Today it was so rainy and the wind howling. The hens could come and go from their yard and hen house to the barn about 5 ft away. This evening I find one egg in the hay and one in the aisle way of the barn "inside" a dog crate that I used to bring a new hen home in last week. There was still hay inside to make it more home like. They are too funny. I have this mental image of the hens happily scratching away in the barn with one hen deciding to take a egg break and then go back to it like using an outhouse [​IMG]

    Ridgefield, WA
  10. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    Do you have any pictures you can post?

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