The Ladies refuse to lay in the box.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Roy Rooster, Oct 12, 2011.

  1. Roy Rooster

    Roy Rooster Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,333
    23
    163
    Jun 9, 2010
    Tennesee Smoky Mts.
    Hi All, [​IMG]

    This is my first time raising chickens thus my first time with trying to get
    the hens to lay in the boxes.

    I have looked at other posts and tried some of the suggestions I found there.
    - Fake eggs in the box
    - clean laying area
    - straw in the box/wood shavings in the box
    - an enclosed box
    - an open box
    - and so on and so on.

    Ok, I have tried everything still the girls refuse to use the laying box. [​IMG]
    I use the 5 Gal buckets because I heard that the hens like the privacy that it
    offers.

    They were at first using them just fine but now they like to lay on the
    other side of the coop where it is hard to get too.

    Can anyone tell me how I can get the girls to use the laying boxes again?? [​IMG]

    I have tried all that I know to do.

    thanks.
     
  2. djennings

    djennings Chillin' With My Peeps

    321
    1
    101
    Jun 10, 2011
    Sabine Pass, TX.
    I would maybe block off the spot they are trying to lay in until they start using your boxes again.
     
  3. Roy Rooster

    Roy Rooster Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,333
    23
    163
    Jun 9, 2010
    Tennesee Smoky Mts.
    I thought about doing that but where they are laying is
    under the roosts. Not to sure if blocking it off is going
    to work.

    I have a coop that sits on stilts about 4 feet off the ground.
    so the roosts are pretty close to the floor.

    Maybe I could put something there that they do not like.
    or are unfamiliar with to deter them from nesting there.

    Does anyone has any ideas of what that could be?
     
  4. Kaeta44

    Kaeta44 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Before you block the area off, just check the nest boxes thoroughly to make sure they're not infested with red mites, or anything else that might make the chickens reluctant to use them. Or maybe it's simply too light where the boxes are now. Try moving the boxes, if that's possible.

    I can understand a couple of them wanting to be independent and lay where they want to lay - some of mine have their personal preferences. But if all of them are laying on the other side of the coop, there's a good reason for it.

    http://muckycluckers.blogspot.com/
     
  5. vclark321

    vclark321 Chillin' With My Peeps

    204
    4
    91
    Jul 30, 2011
    Bonney Lake
    I am also new to raising chickens. I only have 3 per city code. Mine have just started laying in the last month & it has certainly been an ordeal! I built the tractor with all of the advice I gleaned from this website & I have a nesting box elevated for the girls but they only use it sporadicallyat best. They will lay under the box or on the floor of the coop or anywhere else they feel like. I had a problem with them roosting on top of the box & I bolcked it off & now they are roosting where they should. My tractor is small so I don't have a problem getting eggs if they lay them elsewhere. I put ping pong balls in the nesting box to 'encourage' the gals to lay in the box, but they do what they please!

    Like the previous poster stated, I would try blocking the area they use until they are in the habit of laying in the box. That is the only thing I can think of & would be interested to know others thoughts. Good luck!
     
  6. Tracydr

    Tracydr Chillin' With My Peeps

    I would try making new nest boxes for them, new bedding. Block off or make the place they prefer inhospitable. Might try making one of the new nest boxes very private with a curtain, some hens like a dark, cozy spot. Make sure the boxes don't rock or move, aren't infested with mites or ants, aren't wet or smelly. Add a golf ball or fake egg. Try something smaller and larger as size matters and it depends on the size of your hens what size they will prefer.
    For my banties, who just started laying, I have a nest box made of a plastic bucket which would be far too small for even my smaller standard hens, except maybe the Buttercups. I've moved it around the yard to find the spot they like. Once they are used to using it, I will be able to train them to use it in the coop but for now, I'm glad that I'm getting them to use the nest box and not hiding eggs in spots where I can't find them.
    In a few weeks, when everyone else is close to laying, I'll make some larger nest boxes (I don't like the ones built into my coop as they get filthy from being roosted over) and do the same.
     
  7. Roy Rooster

    Roy Rooster Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,333
    23
    163
    Jun 9, 2010
    Tennesee Smoky Mts.
    Those are all good suggestions. I will try them and see what happens.
    I will make sure that I check for mites and other pests that
    may be bothering the hens.

    Thanks again for the great advice.
     
  8. laseterlass

    laseterlass Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,195
    40
    178
    May 13, 2011
    Anchorage Alaska
    I watched a hen lay the other day. She stood up to push the egg out. I am glad I did not build a topped nest box. I let her figure out where she prefers and then make sure there is always plenty of clean chips in that area. Luckily it is a far corner of the house where the eggs are not likely to be used for soccer practise by her roomies. The others are following her lead and laying in the same nest she has carved out.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by