Training hens to lay in their boxes

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by joshermanz71, Apr 1, 2015.

  1. joshermanz71

    joshermanz71 Hatching

    Apr 1, 2015
    Port Wing WI
    Our chickens live in harmony with our 2 ducks and goats. The only problem I've had was the goats eating the chicken feed and the chickens eating the duck feed so we have separated them in the barn. The ducks have their own little hutch and nesting box and the goats can't get into the chicken door anymore. The chickens are able to roam freely though which isn't the problem, the problem is that out hens have gotten into a habit of laying under our hay feeder and in the duck box.
    So today we shut the doors on the goat side of the barn and the duck side so the hens can only go into where their nesting boxes are and they refuse to go into the boxes even though they are clean and accessible. Instead they pace back and forth looking for a way to get past the fence in the barn(we put chain link fence up between the goats and where the chicken feed is) where the hay feeder is.
    What can I do, will this resolve itself or do I need to make changes? [​IMG]

  2. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO. Premium Member

    Jun 15, 2012
    Welcome to BYC! Try putting golf balls in the nesting box. Chickens think they are eggs so they will lay there.
  3. mymilliefleur

    mymilliefleur Keeper of the Flock

    Nov 4, 2014
    East Tennessee.
    Welcome to BYC! Glad you joined! You got some good advise from @BantamFan4Life.
  4. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 Free Ranging Premium Member

    Feb 18, 2011
    Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC! X3 Leave them locked up for a few days until they start reliably laying in the nesting boxes again, it is normal for them to be upset if they are used to laying somewhere else and now all of a sudden they can't.
  5. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    You may want to make the nest boxes more attractive to them - they prefer privacy like a darkened curtain that parts in the middle of the doorway. And don't forget the golf balls.
  6. Chicken Girl1

    Chicken Girl1 Queen of the Coop

    Mar 3, 2015
    Hello [​IMG]and Welcome to BYC![​IMG]

    Glad to have you join! Feel free to make yourself at home!
  7. Cory Cacciatore

    Cory Cacciatore Hatching

    Mar 13, 2015
    The golf ball in the nest has worked for one of our girls but Miss Alpha hen is refusing to use the nest.

    I have a seperate nesting box set up for Miss Alpha, golf ball has not coaxed her use the nest. She has checked it out numerous times, and it has been rejected each time. It seems she just goes in there to eat the nest materials (not good). She acts agitated if unable to nest in her desired spot (an old baby crib not attached to her run - it was used to house them indoors during a storm) and goes nuts at the run door (looks like she is going to do herself an injury) until she is able to access her crib.

    We have tried putting various containers in the corner of the crib she likes to use then moving these containers into her coop/run area with the materials she has used for her nest but she still goes back to her corner in the crib.

    Any suggestions regarding what I can do to make the existing box more appealing, how to coax her away from using the crib and any other bits of advice?

  8. nj2wv

    nj2wv Songster

    Jan 14, 2015
    Lost Creek ,WV
    :frow welcome to BYC !!

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