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Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by skeezix05, Oct 8, 2015.
Not every chicken will fall for the golf ball trick. LOL
I don't know what your nest boxes look like, but on the video (that was so helpful, by the way!) it looks like she's plastered as close to the wall - both from the side and in front - of her as possible. Now, it may well be that your nests have that same "enclosed" feeling as well, but if not that may be what she's looking for in a nest spot. Just a thought. They can get pretty persnickety about what they want sometimes. I had one, a Buff Orpington, who would simply NOT lay in the nest box and it didn't matter what I tried to do. In desperation one day while I was out there working I saw her fly up to the poop board and then watched pretty much what your video showed. But before she actually dropped that egg, I gently picked her up from behind and put her in the box, then held my hand in front of it. Within a few minutes she laid her egg right where I wanted it. I thought I was on my way to solving the problem. All I had to do was go out there at the precise time she was going to lay, wait for the moment, then put her on the nest. Yeah, right - like that was gonna happen! I have a life, doggone it, and it doesn't include that kind of devotion!
So I put an old wooden bushel basket on it's side on the floor of the coop. A couple of the other girls took to it first...
...but she almost immediately adopted it as "her" nest and woe be onto the interloper! Gladys, the EE in this shot, was the other one who really preferred the basket, and she'd wait patiently right there until Kat was done. But within a week or so the novelty wore off and the pecks on the head from Kat were just too much so Gladys went back to the nest boxes. Kat preferred the basket until we did a total revamp on the nest box setup and I "forgot" to put her basket back in. She finally adapted. Only took her 8 months. <sigh>
Thanks all. The extra nesting box on the floor for her has three eggs a day in it now. In addition, two eggs are always on the floor... Sounds like from what you all say they will all get the hang of it and use the nesting boxes eventually. Im thinking about getting rid of the nesting box on the floor to help them get it faste.
Don't think I saw your nests in the video....
Are they easy to access, both getting up to and down from?
Do any of the birds use them? If so, it might just be a matter of time.
I think Blooie might have a good point. Maybe she doesn't feel safe in the nest boxes but she does feel safe on the high roost next to the wall. It sounds like there are several other chickens in the hen house. Is she lower in the pecking order? That would be a reason for her going up high out of the way of them at this moment when she feels vulnerable and strange. If your boxes are low down and open, I would make a covered one and place it off the ground or in a corner facing the wall so it's quite dark inside. It doesn't have to be anything clever. An old small furniture drawer from the tip inside a cardboard box placed on it's side or even an old heavy duty card board box with a hole cut out will do as a temporary measure, although you may need to place something solid in the bottom under the bedding to stop them tipping it over .
Or if you have covered nest boxes, maybe fitting a curtain to one may make it feel safer and more secluded for her.
Good luck with it and as others have said, great video!
What a great video! Thank you for posting this. We are having the exact same problem. Plenty of nesting boxes, and all six are new layers. The rest seem to figure out the nesting boxes easily, but the last seems confused. We've had probably 4 eggs, so far, crash to the floor of the coop below. I hope she figures it out, soon. In the meantime, I think I will give that area of the coop floor some extra "padding" with straw for an easier landing. Silly birds!
I think she's feeling vulnerable. Do you have an option of mounting a nest box up high for her, perhaps with a curtain over it?
Looked like the hen next to her couldn't believe what she was seeing. "What are you doing?!? " lol
I couldn't help but lol. It's not funny, but it is. I have had a couple pissy hens lay outside the nesting box. 1 was in protest of me kicking her out of the coop so I could clean it and I wouldn't let her back in until I was done (she will start kicking ALL the new stuff off the shelves). She decided to let me know how angry she was later by laying on the ground. Another time I had put shavings in and no straw and she decided she didn't like that so she laid elsewhere. I'm mixing shaving with straw since weather is getting cooler, and she let me know 1 time she wasn't happy with it, but she's laying in the nesting bin now.
All of mine seem to prefer the bin with high sides over the baskets. Maybe try some different options and see if she will lay in them instead. I have 5 right now all laying in the same bin. I will be buying more of the bins, but they aren't cheap, so it's not top priority when feed and bedding are the necessary items, or like this month I had to buy new feeders (and unrelated I had to buy a water heater too, so bins fell in priority to those).