Train a chicken to lay eggs in certain place?


10 Years
May 17, 2009
My DH just built nesting boxes for the coop- The girls (BO) are about 20 weeks now. I would guess if they are going to lay this year at all, they will probably start soon?

Anyway, I was wondering if I need to get wooden eggs or something to sort of teach/train them where to lay or if they will naturally gravitate to the nesting boxes- I just don't want eggs under the coop as it is longer than my rake can reach and that might be icky after a few weeks, lol

If you do use wooden eggs have you found brick & mortar places that carry them or do you have to order them online?

Thanks for your help!
I found some very nice marble eggs. They were a little large but I thought they would work well since cleaning them would be a snap(and they would last forever) and only cost me .60 cent each. Problem with these was that when my pullets layed their eggs they would hit these hard marble eggs and crack
Grrr... My great idea failed quickly however I just went back to the golf balls and rarely have any cracked eggs.

Good Luck
I just got some cute wooden eggs in a amall egg basket from MPC. I needed both the eggs and an egg collection basket, so it was a good deal for me. They also sell wooden eggs without the basket, btw.

You could probably also find wooden eggs at a craft store, which was my first option before I decided to purchase the filled basket.
If you place your nesting boxes well ... i.e. safe area, lower than your roosts, and on the floor, or better, slightly above the floor (cleaner!) ... you're halfway there.

Add wood shavings or similar nesting materials, and "seed" with wooden eggs, plastic easter eggs, or golf balls, and they will get the idea.

You'll likely see the fake eggs getting moved around as they try out the nesting boxes in the days leading up to your first real egg.

In my opinion, golf balls work just fine, and save you the expense of wooden eggs. I've not seen wooden eggs at "brick and mortar" stores, though I suppose a "chicken friendly" feed store might carry them or could order for you. Plenty of places sell them on-line, though. Golf balls are, of course, rather easy to find.
You can find fake eggs at craft stores, like Hobby Lobby
i use both golf balls and fake eggs, both are good
I have the same problem, my girls lay in my grain buckets for the horses and only in 1 spot in their 12 x 12 stall, which is under their nesting boxes. We have had chicks for over 10 years moved to a new state 3 years ago and just purchesed our new (18) sexlinks, But no amount of talking to or showing them where they r supposed to lay works they just look at me like beat it, Dad..
Even lay under bushes in yard... ????

Also when I am out in the yard they follow me all over, which I love, But when I turn to face them many of them kind of crouch or bow down, spread their wings slightly and do a funny type of dance, what is this all about Never seen it in all my years with chicks.. Thanks........Reflex
They have fake eggs at my feed store. Many of my eggs still end up in the run or floor of coop. I have at least one hen that lays from the roost at night occasionally. I hate collecting broken eggs. LOL.
I am tired of pick them up all over, The Girls just will not have it my way, Oh well. When they do lay in the coop I will admit that it is always in 1 spot, One girl lays on the nesting boxes but that is it, and I must admit they r lovely nesting boxes just like i built B4 and never had a problem.... Sighhhhhhhhhhhhhhh Still cant figure out this bowing and dancing thing out????? Any ideas
Mine are only 17 weeks so no rush but they so far have not even deigned to visit the nesting box area. I'm trying to lure them with scratch. Figure no big hurry, but I sense I may have a problem here.

Like the OP, I'm wondering, will they lay at all this fall or will we have to wait for spring? I don't think my friends will be able to stand it - everyone keeps asking me when we'll have eggs.

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