showing hens where to lay

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by capebird, Aug 22, 2011.

  1. capebird

    capebird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 13, 2011
    Cape Cod
    My hens are probably a couple of weeks away from starting to lay eggs.
    The coop has 2 nest boxes, in which I've recently placed soft pine wood shavings
    (before they were just empty). I've never seen any of the hens get into the
    nest boxes, although they do roost on a post sticks out from the nest boxes. I've
    read somewhere to put fake eggs in the nest boxes.... is this true... does this work?
    Are fake plastic eggs what to use, or is there something else I should use?
    thanks very much for the help and suggestions.
  2. jason180sx

    jason180sx Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 26, 2011
    put golf ball in the nesting box
  3. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Instinct is a powerful driver of behavior. The chicken prefers a quiet, nesting spot. The nesting box "works" because it is working with the bird's instinct, not against it. I don't like to release young point of lay pullets to range freely until after noon. Since the majority of young pullets lay in the morning hours, they will gravitate towards having a private, restful place to lay. Eventually. At first, the little robin sized eggs pop out and the pullet seems almost unaware that she laid anything. You'll find them where they dropped in the bedding. But with a week or two, they gravitate toward the boxes and begin to use them. I've never used fake eggs, but I see no reason why the visual cue wouldn't work as it is a replica of what a pullet within a flock would see, if there were older hens laying. The chicken being so social oriented, copy each others behaviors.
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2011

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