Refusing to lay in boxes!!!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by basketballndl, Aug 9, 2010.

  1. basketballndl

    basketballndl Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 9, 2010
    My hens continuously refuse to lay in the egg boxes!!!!! the boxes have been attached about 6 in from the bottom of the coop to the side andthey didn't lay in them then. I took it out and they would lay on the floor,they lay in their feces, they lay in the mud, outside, in gras, in flower pots, and when i don't let them free range(which they aren't a majority of the time) they sttill lay everywhere but in the egg boxes. i recently put the boxes back in and they are no longer raised but no luck yet. could my 2 roosters have something to do with it?? do they not feel safe in the boxes? HELP!!
     
  2. kylara70

    kylara70 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 13, 2010
    Put in faux eggs. You can buy wooden eggs at hobby lobby or try plastic easter eggs or golf balls. Any of these will let the chicken know that the boxes are where they lay eggs.
     
  3. basketballndl

    basketballndl Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 9, 2010
    thanks. i will give it another try but i did that whenthey were younger, but maybe it didn't sink into their chicken brains. i don't mind going on an easter egg hunt everyday, but when we go away for holidays its a bit frustrating for whomever is watching over the farm.
     
  4. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

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    If they're used to laying eggs on the floor or ground, I think it's good that you moved the nest boxes down. What size are the boxes and what have you been using for nesting material? They might prefer an open top box, rather than one that has a roof on it, too. They're a little cooler when it's hot. Besides faux eggs, you can also just pick up one or two of their own eggs and put them in there. That might work, if the faux eggs don't work. Chickens, they just don't do what we want sometimes! [​IMG]
     
  5. basketballndl

    basketballndl Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 9, 2010
    the boxes are about 12in by 12in. I've tried hay and shredded paper for the nesting material. i just don't know.
     
  6. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

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    Your boxes are big enough. You can try using shavings in one of them, too. Hay should have been fine, though. It sounds like you just need to "bait" those boxes with faux or real eggs, again. They do love to fill a nest up, once it's started. Just keep picking up the eggs in other places and keep something in the spot you want them to lay. I hope those bad girls start behaving for you, soon.
     
  7. Carebear5

    Carebear5 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 6, 2010
    I had 6 boxes floor level to the coop (with a little lip to walk over/hold the egg in). I put 2 almost real looking eggs in 2 boxes and 2 wooden circle balls in 2 boxes. I had nothing in the other 2.

    They would not lay in the empty boxes at all. Two of my chickens (same breed) will only lay in the boxes with the real looking eggs. (They will go in there and roll them around underneath them.) The rest of my chickens (other breeds) will only lay in the boxes with the wooden circle balls (bigger than a golfball but not much). In fact, they will each lay in those 2 boxes with the wooden box, taking turns (several eggs in those boxes).

    I put golfballs in the 2 empty boxes recently and am now waiting to see what happens there.


    So -- my suggestion... maybe your chickens are like mine and just temperamental on what draws them in. Try various things. (Mine were in there young. I took them out and then just added them about 2 weeks before they laid.)
     
  8. basketballndl

    basketballndl Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 9, 2010
    sounds good! i will try it! My ladies are an odd bunch, just the other day i had two broodyhens sitting on 1 egg...sounds strange right?! well, a silkie was sitting on the eggs and my broody cochin decided she wantedto sit on the egg as well. If you are a silkie owner, you know how stubborn the broody hens are. the silkie wasn't moving and the cochin felt the need to sit. so i found the two hens sitting on one egg. the silkie(who was on the bottom) poked her head through the cochin's wing. **might i add that it was about 90 degrees outside** anyways that didnn't last for long, but i got a chuckle and a good pic out of it.
     
  9. Qi Chicken

    Qi Chicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 3, 2009
    We just got our first eggs this weekend ---So I'm definitely not an expert. But we watched ours get settled in to lay and both of the hens oh so very carefully rolled the plastic easter eggs under their bellies and settled onto them. It was the sweetest thing to watch. I notice they only lay in the box with 2 easter eggs, not the boxes with just one. I would add 2 to each box. I wouldn't use their eggs I don't think. If fresh they might accidentally break one and then eat it. Then you have a bad habit. If it goes rotton and breaks. Ugg.

    I tried hay and straw in the nest boxes and they just threw it all over. It was very messy. I took all that out and put shavings in. It's better now.
     
  10. willjal

    willjal Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 24, 2010
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    I had this problem for a couple days. Didnt want to go buy a golf ball so I just took a paper towel, waded it up into the shape of an egg and wrapped it in scotch tape. They next day i had three perfect eggs sitting in the box. Good Luck.
     

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