Using only one box??????

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by mamagaines, Nov 20, 2015.

  1. mamagaines

    mamagaines Out Of The Brooder

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    We have a coop with three egg boxes. We get anywhere from 2-6 eggs a day. 95% of the time they are all laid in the same box. One box has never had an egg in it. We have added golf balls but nothing seems to help. I have 4 pullets that will start any day, is there anything I can do to get them to use the other two???
     
  2. Free Spirit

    Free Spirit The Chiarian

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    The chickens pick a favorite and pretty much stick to it.

    I have 7 hens laying in the same one of my 3 boxes too. They may sit in one of the others until one hen gets done laying then they move over to the "community" box to lay theirs. I've even had two hens sitting in that same box at the same time. I haven't had any issues to their arrangement they all seem to be happy with it.
     
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  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Maybe get a couple hard plastic or ceramic fake eggs to go along with the golf balls.
    I leave mine in the nests at all times, and sometimes change them around to see if it makes a difference. I did have one pullet who wouldn't lay in a nest with fake egg at first.

    You have 6 layers and 4 pullets and 3 nests?
    Do all 3 nests have the same shape, size, and bedding?
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2015
  4. tdepointe

    tdepointe Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree with aart's recommendations. Having enough boxes is important. I had 50 hens with 20 boxes of the same size and bedding and they regularly layed in 3 but would occasionally lay and of the other for one reason of another, sometimes they would lay in quite a few of them for a week or so at a time. I could not tell you exactly would cause they to change laying habits.
     
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  5. mamagaines

    mamagaines Out Of The Brooder

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    we have three boxes that are all 12 by 12. No differences. I may just leave an egg in one of the other ones. I have read in a few other places that this is common. Just seems weird to me.
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    They want to lay where it's safe to lay...an existing egg deems the place safe to lay
     
  7. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    The presence of an egg in the nest says, "This is a good/safe place to lay your egg" to the next hen(s) to come along - which is why you often find one or two nests with several eggs and other nests with no eggs at all. The "favorite" can change from one day to the next sometimes. As suggested above, "bating" the nests can be a good way to encourage exploration of other options, but as long as everyone remains happy with the consolidated laying and eggs are not being broken or excessively dirtied (ie by dirty feet walking on them, which is easily addressed) there is no reason to force them into using other nests. If/when someone refuses to give up the favorite nest and the next hen can't cross her legs anymore she'll use another nest.
    Your number of nests is more than sufficient.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2015

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