What is a chicken's ideal play to lay?


11 Years
May 22, 2008
Seattle, WA
My chickens do not seem to be able to get up onto their roost nor into their raised nesting box in the coop. I don't know if this is a physical issue or a mental one.

The first one to start laying did so in the corner of the run, in a big pile of straw that my 4-year-old son constructed. She continued to lay there. I tried covering the area to keep it out of the weather, but when I did that she started laying in front of the area, so I moved the cover.

After a couple weeks, I snuck a nesting box into the area (not covered) sideways. That worked, but then I turned it frontways and that was not acceptable, apparently, because she laid an egg in the coop either yesterday or this morning.

To make matters more confusing, two other chickens have started laying. The first egg for both was laid on the floor of the coop, and then one of them laid their second egg in the middle of a flower bed! I can see the whole egg-laying situation descending into chaos.

I don't want to spend my time wandering around the yard playing egg hunt. What do they want? Does their ideal nesting area need to be covered? Dark? Quiet? What do they want from me???

I tried putting a ball in the nesting area that the first chicken was using, but my son took it. I also tried putting a grocery store egg in the nesting area, but he took that too.


Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!
14 Years
Nov 9, 2007
SW Arkansas
I used some plastic crates that I got at walmart. They are mounted on the wall of the coop that gets the least activity, i.e., away from their food & water and away from their roosts. They are mounted slightly lower than the roosts. A chicken's instinct is to get as high as possible at night to roost, so they pass up the nests and use the roost for roosting. Well, all except two, but we have corrected that by adding more roosts. A little darker, a little quieter is good.
Some of my girls do prefer privacy for laying. They simply wait until I let everybody out in the morning then go back in and get down to laying.


Jul 26, 2008
Bagdad KY
Hello,looks like you have a problem somewhere in the nesting boxex,what I will suggest to do isthe following:
1- I will take all the straw from the run and from the chicken coop floor.
2- I will make it easier for the hens to go up to the nesting boxex with creating some kind of steps(like installing some 2x4 s in diffrient heights which wil lid the hen to the nest.)
3- if it is all possible try to seperate he hen which laying the eggs by herself in the coop time she lays and close the door on herthat way she feel more private till she figures out on her own what needs to bedone.
4- try to put some golf balls in the nest( they work).
here is a picture of my nestingboxes


The Great Guru of Yap
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Aug 25, 2008
The Carpal Tunnel Rehab Center
Our boxes look just like Omran's except bigger - 3 on top and 3 on the bottom. They always lay in the one on top and one on the bottom o nthe far left. All of them do. Kinda strange, but whatever - I'm gettin eggs!


Free Ranging
14 Years
Feb 14, 2008
This world is not my home.
They do seem to like it dark and private for laying, but they aren't real consistent with this. They lay in the craziest places and seem to get a pattern. I would keep them in the coop until late afternoon for about a week, just so they get in the habit of laying in the nest boxes. I would also make sure they can reach them easily, they are cozy enough to be attractive to a hen, etc.

I have to retrain my hens occasionally when someone gets a wild hair and decides to start laying outside.

The Vargas Chics

In the Brooder
11 Years
Sep 4, 2008
I'm glad I'm not the only one with crazy chickens. All of my chickens sleep in one nesting box on top of eachother. They only use the roosting bars during the day or evening and they play on them. Most of my chickens are laying in the nest box though, except one. I put a golf ball in the nesting box to show them where to lay. It seems to help, except for the one that the other chickens pick on. Good luck, hopefully they will figure it out soon.

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