Sudden refusal to use next box

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by tmarsh83, Oct 16, 2016.

  1. tmarsh83

    tmarsh83 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This week, along with production dropping off the face of the earth, a couple birds that have been using the nest boxes for the last four months decided to start laying on the floor of the coop, under the roost bars.

    They are raised nest boxes, about 20" off the ground, the roost bars are 40". They are also rollout nest boxes.

    The frustrating part to me is that they used the boxes all summer, now all the sudden they are refusing. Four of them yesterday, thanks to monkey see money do.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    Unfortunately that happens occasionally. Someone decides they want to lay elsewhere and others follow. Most times I block off the new place so they can't use it, sometimes it works sometimes it doesn't. You can't force them to use the nestboxes, they have to want to.
     
  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Are they laying those eggs while on the roost or coming down to do on the ground?


    My game hens will move nest site if I take all the eggs out of the nest while the American Dominiques do not respond in that manner.
     
  4. tmarsh83

    tmarsh83 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They're laying them on the ground.
     
  5. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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    Do you think there could be an infestation of some kind in the nest boxes?
     
  6. tmarsh83

    tmarsh83 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No. they're rollout boxes with indoor outdoor carpet in them. They're clean. And several birds still using them.
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Wonder if there was a shift in pecking order for some reason?
    No changes in population or housing or anything?.....you know how sensitive to changes they can be.

    Not sure what to suggest, other than the blocking off of the new laying place(s) as OHLD suggested.
     
  8. tmarsh83

    tmarsh83 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The only change is they've been allowed to range less the last two weeks because our septic system is being replaced, and with the coming and going of the contractor, I just wanted to keep them hemmed up.

    The more troubling thing that coincides with the refusal to use the nest boxes is a drop-off in production from this springs chicks. I have three birds flirting with molting that have been hit and miss for a few weeks now, but I still have 10 pullets from this spring, for the last week or ten days I'm getting three or four eggs, when a month ago I was getting eight to ten.

    No changes in feed aside from the garden winding down so the byproduct from that not being available.

    It's been a frustrating week or so...
     
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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  10. tmarsh83

    tmarsh83 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've got clean-out on my list to get done before the end of the month. I'm trying to hold off until the leaves come down (at least more of them) so can pile it all up in the garden for the spring.
     

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