why did they stop using the nesting box???


13 Years
May 11, 2010
Plymouth, Massachusetts
We have six red sexlinks and 2 nesting boxes
Our girls have been laying eggs for about 6 weeks and up until three days ago they've always used the nesting boxes and we get six eggs every day
We're puzzled because for the past three days we have found 2 eggs on the floor of the coop
Has anyone else experienced this
I wonder if maybe we need another nesting box
Has anything changed around the nest boxes? Did you leave something "scary" near the boxes?

Are they as secure as they have always been? i.e. stable as the girls try to enter or leave?

Have rats or other rodents taken up housekeeping under/around the nests?

Remember chickens are easily frightened by things that suddenly move or move on their own. So try to look at it from their point of view. Also, if a hen decides somewhere else is safer/ more secure others may just be following her lead.

You have to make their nest boxes the "safer" place again.

Good luck. I hope this helps you.
Mine have done this as well after establishing a habit of using the boxes, however, I also think that one of my EEs is actually moving eggs out of the box after they are laid.

I think perhaps they may have seen me snatch a fresh egg one too many times.
very interesting thought ... you got me thinking bec my daughter has opened the door to the nesting box with a hen or two sitting and they let out a very loud squawk!!! Maybe we'll need to be a bit more discrete when gathering the eggs
Thanks for the post
We also had that problem and was told not to mess with them when they were sitting.
We have an outside box with a hinged door on top for gathering the eggs.So when I go out to check for eggs I make sure all the girls are out in the run.If they are then I check for eggs.I'm not sure this really made a difference but they all use the nest boxes to lay now.
I don't know if this plays into the picture or not, but are there more than enough nest boxes? I was hanging out in the coop today, when I saw two birds decide to "sit" on whatever was in the two available nest boxes. There was a line-up outside the boxes, waiting their turn, and when I came back later, an egg was laid on the floor, over to the side of the nest boxes (which were then empty, other than eggs and golf balls). Is it possible that they are not able to get a turn at one of the nests, or maybe the preferred nest?
Yesterday, my husband was squatting down in the coop to look at the broody and babies and there was a backup at the nest. Suddenly I looked down to find an egg right behind my husband! Apparently one of the girls wasn't able to get into a nest in time, and discretely laid an egg behind "Daddy" and then just as discretely got up and left. You know I had to ask him if it hurt. . .
and why he wasn't singing. . .

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