Revisit question: how to get young pullets to use nest boxes ?????

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by sunflour, Aug 1, 2013.

  1. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member

    13,958
    3,144
    436
    Jan 10, 2013
    Macon,GA
    I have read the past discussions on this subject and have added fluffy pine shavings, fake ceramic real looking eggs, added nest curtains..but I have two 20 wk old BR just started laying and not using the luxurious externally opening nest boxes- one has laid 6 eggs in her first week on the coop sand floor and one other laid one today in the run - also a sand floor- under their hanging water fount. The nests were in place for several weeks, and all 6 of my gals have shown interest in the nests. But now laying is starting, and they just don't understand the program!

    Their home is an all- in- one raised coop with covered run and they are not free ranging. It is not possible to lock them in a nest or move to a nest at "the moment". I placed an obstacle in the coop for Ms Dottie-laid 6 out of 7 days-, and her last egg was just next to the obstacle. I don't know who layer # 2 was, but think it was Road Runner who sat a pretend laying just yesterday in one of the nests but dropped it under the fount some time this am.

    ANYONE..ANY NEW SUGGESTIONS. OR SHOULD I JUST GIVE THEM MORE TIME???
     
  2. truckguy

    truckguy Chillin' With My Peeps

    118
    1
    73
    May 14, 2012
    I have no idea really. I found my first today outside in the run. they know where the nest boxes are and go in them. I would like to know if there is anything that can get them to lay in the boxes.
     
  3. davemonkey

    davemonkey Chillin' With My Peeps

    394
    25
    108
    Nov 25, 2012
    Liberty, TX
    Pick the eggs up from where you find them and place then in the nest box. You can leave them there for a day or two...maybe longer depending on how hot it is in your area.
     
  4. truckguy

    truckguy Chillin' With My Peeps

    118
    1
    73
    May 14, 2012
    They have been kicking the shavings around daily and I would clean it up. Yesterday they did the same but I left it alone since I saw nice little depressions in the shavings.
     
  5. icbleu

    icbleu Out Of The Brooder

    46
    4
    31
    Jun 1, 2013
    Antioch, CA
    This is exactly what we used to do when I was a kid. When you dont have an older layer showing them the ropes they need a little guidance sometimes. Just plop the eggs and a few fake ones into your nestboxes and let the girls see the eggs in the box. Hopefully the get the clue that this is the spot to do it. Remove the real eggs every night when you go to close their coop if you are worried about eating, but you should be fine to leave them there like Dave says for a few days.
     
  6. truckguy

    truckguy Chillin' With My Peeps

    118
    1
    73
    May 14, 2012
    I found another one outside the coop today I put it in the nest box and see what happens. Im not worried about them eating since it has been around them all day. so I will leave it their overnight and see what I get tomorrow when I get home from work.
     
  7. buttercup95

    buttercup95 Chillin' With My Peeps

    681
    22
    108
    Jul 24, 2013
    Northern Cali
    It's hard at first because not only do some not have older hens to show them, but they haven't figured out the signals of laying an egg.
     
  8. LadyCluck77

    LadyCluck77 Chillin' With My Peeps

    842
    174
    161
    Jun 5, 2013
    Maine
    I'd love to hear what people have for advice on this subject. After two weeks, one of my leghorns still only lays from the roost, so her pretty white eggs always smash to the ground of the coop, in a messy heap of shell and yolk.
    So far no one seems to eat them, but I worry.
    One leghorn lays in the box every day, but I still keep the decoy eggs in the boxes. Two of my reds are about to start laying, by the look and sound of them. I'd love to correct this issue with my egg dropping bird, feels so wasteful composting all these eggs.
     
  9. buttercup95

    buttercup95 Chillin' With My Peeps

    681
    22
    108
    Jul 24, 2013
    Northern Cali
    Maybe you can take the roost out of the coop just for a little while?
     
  10. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member

    13,958
    3,144
    436
    Jan 10, 2013
    Macon,GA
    GUESS WHAT?? yesterday, late afternoon, Road Runner - BR- looked like she was pretending to nest in one of the boxes. She settled into one with curtains and a realistic fake ceramic egg. She sounded like she was going to lay an egg, every time one of the others entered the coop, she demanded that they leave. She sat, sat, sat for an hour and a half and was still in there. By 630 pm I was becoming worried something was wrong with her. I walked outside to check on her. She came out of the coop to join me and her buddies all in the run. I had great hopes of an egg in the nest, but only the fake was there. Thought she had just been pretending, but while giving them treats, I saw the egg...SHE LAID IT WHILE WALKING DOWN THE RAMP! If I had more patience, I really think it would have been laid in the nest.

    I think buttercup 95 is exactly right and hope that Road Runner will be the role model for my other chicks to use the nest boxes.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by