Why are my hens laying UNDER the nest box

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by BCMominMD, Jan 6, 2010.

  1. BCMominMD

    BCMominMD Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 12, 2009
    Southern Md
    Monday I discovered a clutch of 14 eggs (out of 5 possible hens) under the nest box behind a half full feed bag I put there two weeks ago. I wondered why I was getting 1 to none eggs/day! I pulled out the feedbag and smoothed the area. Tuesday my husband collected 5 eggs (one was a first welsummer egg:)) from UNDER the nest box again. The nesting box is a community box that they have been laying in since they started laying in July. It's clean and nice. The only thing that has changed is that the weather has gotten much colder and they have had a bit less free ranging due to snow & single digit wind chills. The coop is an 8x10 amish shed with a 10x10 run attached. Plenty of room for 12 chickens.
    Any ideas how I could get them back in the box - the eggs are poopy and harder to collect!
     
  2. M@M@2four

    [email protected]@2four Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2008
    USA
    Hello fellow Marylander! [​IMG] Mine do the same thing sometimes. I don't think there's a reason for it except they prefer the ground and once one does it, more follow and lay in the same pile. We have nice, clean nesting boxes mounted on the wall--not too high and not too low and they still sometimes lay under it, in the corner, etc.
     
  3. Garden Gal

    Garden Gal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 11, 2009
    Virginia
    On one side of my coop I have eight hens who all lay nicely either in the nest boxes or in a corner on the floor. On the other side of the coop I have twelve hens and a few lay in the boxes, a few lay in the corner, a few lay where ever they happen to be when they get the urge, but a few are laying ON the poop board - and THAT is ticking me off!! I have stood out in the coop and when they go up on the board and start to get into position, I nicely and calmly pick them up and put them in the boxes, but noooooo - out they go and right back up to the boards!! [​IMG]
     
  4. Marlinchaser

    Marlinchaser Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 18, 2007
    MERRY LAND
    Quote:There is your answer, you made them a better HIDEING spot, the reason a hen goes into a nest box is because it is a spot to lay an egg usually surrounded on all sides, and only one way in or out. Also they tend to like darker out of the way spots. SO buy putting the bag on the ground you essentially gave them an even more enclosed area to lay. Pick up the bag, and they should return to laying in the next best spot(the nest box)
     

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