Pullets won’t go in nesting box

E Buschjost

In the Brooder
Jan 13, 2021
32
27
49
Near Jefferson City Missouri
My 4 month old pullets have never gone into their nesting box. I wasn’t so worried about it yet and assumed they would find it when they started to want to “nest” and start laying which I calculated to be a few weeks off yet. Today I found an egg in the yard. No other chickens around. It was a chicken egg. Had to be one of ours.
I have a rollaway nest and it came with a wooden egg. I put that in the nest but they never go in the nest to even see it. Do I physically put them in the nest? What should I do?
Thank you!
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
13 Years
Feb 2, 2009
29,466
27,131
997
Southeast Louisiana
Don't get too worked up about it yet. Laying an egg is a pretty complicated process. That's not just making a good egg in her internal egg making factory but having control over when and where to lay it. Many of them have control over all parts from the get-go but a lot don't. It may take them a while to work the kinks out of that process. Some seem to know an egg is coming and pick out a good nest site a few days before the first egg shows up. Some act like that first egg is a total surprise and may drop it anywhere, from the roost if it comes at night or walking around in the coop or run. It sounds like yours at least laid it during the right time of day. Maybe that part or the process is working correctly. To me the surprise is how many actually get it right from the start.

If the egg is at random places she has not settled on a nest yet. That may still be your nest when she decides. If you start to see the egg in the same place each time she has decided that is her nest and you need to retrain her. Until you see that just keep the eggs cleaned up as she lays them and keep a fake egg in the right nest. If it turns out you need to retrain her get back with us.
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
6 Years
Jul 3, 2016
20,522
42,986
1,142
WA, Pac NW
My Coop
My Coop
If after leaving them to their own devices, they're still not even going in to investigate...

Now this isn't practical if you don't have time to stalk them, but what I did was I learned the problem bird(s) laying schedules, and when they went to their preferred spot to lay, I'd go and pick them up, stick them in a nest box, and barricade them in using my arms to cover the exit. 30-60 seconds was all they needed to calm down and start exploring the box and decide that maybe it wasn't such a bad place to be. They each started reliably using the boxes after that.

Alternatively, some folks design "doors" on their nest boxes so birds can be locked in, which basically does the same as above, but forces the bird to stay in the nest box (whereas once I see them exploring and sitting down in the nest, I leave them to it and walk away).
 
May 5, 2021
1,068
2,266
301
Connecticut
If after leaving them to their own devices, they're still not even going in to investigate...

Now this isn't practical if you don't have time to stalk them, but what I did was I learned the problem bird(s) laying schedules, and when they went to their preferred spot to lay, I'd go and pick them up, stick them in a nest box, and barricade them in using my arms to cover the exit. 30-60 seconds was all they needed to calm down and start exploring the box and decide that maybe it wasn't such a bad place to be. They each started reliably using the boxes after that.

Alternatively, some folks design "doors" on their nest boxes so birds can be locked in, which basically does the same as above, but forces the bird to stay in the nest box (whereas once I see them exploring and sitting down in the nest, I leave them to it and walk away).
Your a good chicken momma! 🐓❤️
 

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