Refusal to lay? (Privacy Question)

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by LN2008, Jan 6, 2012.

  1. LN2008

    LN2008 Songster

    Jul 27, 2011
    Larryville, KS
    This may be a stupid question, but my girls are at 27 weeks, all signs say that they are about to lay... but... Is it possible for a hen to be stubborn about laying due to lack of privacy? The girls all sleep in one nest box even though I've tried to deter that. There are two other boxes, but other than that, no real privacy. I just wondered how crucial privacy can be to a layer.

  2. Papa Rooster

    Papa Rooster Chirping

    Nov 15, 2010
    put a higher roost pole or put more nest boxes. hens will stay in the one that the head hen is in. same thing 4 eggs. they will all mostly lay in the same box
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2012
  3. Judy

    Judy Crowing Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    They lay during the day so where they sleep shouldn't have much effect. Lots of folks have community nest boxes. Some hens do seem to prefer a more private nest box, though. Or at least a somewhat darkened one. I think there is an instinct to lay in a hidden spot, to keep predators from getting the eggs. I imagine the strength of that instinct varies from bird to bird, though.

    I'd certainly do what I could to stop the nest sleeping, though, or you will get poopy eggs. If they were younger I'd suggest closing off the nest boxes til they get older, and put them on the roost each night just after dark til they go there on their own. You may want to do this anyway.

    I've never had to teach chickens to sleep on the roost. You might check out the coops section or make a thread to see if you can figure out why they sleep in a nest. Or, just tell us more about your setup and what the roost is like.

    I don't believe that the lack of privacy is why they aren't laying yet, though. When they are ready, they will lay. If the nest box is closed off when that happens, you will find the egg somewhere else.

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