WHY the girls are laying in the grass not in the box?

chicken ridl

In the Brooder
10 Years
Jul 27, 2009
I have 22 barred rocks.
The pen is 36 x 48. On the back end the grass was tall this spring when I built the pen so I left it that way. I figured that would give them some place that had some shade and a good place for bugs to gather.
My nesting box is a 10 hole metal box were the eggs can roll to the front. It's hanging on the wall in the house. Some of the birds use it.
I thought the other day the egg count seemed low.
My wife noticed last night that there is about 50+ eggs in the grass part of the pen. 2 large clutches of eggs and several singles all over.
No one seams to be sitting on eggs.
I have 1 rooster in with the hens.
What is my problem?
I do not want to get into the pen to collect the eggs.


10 Years
Jun 8, 2009
Pliny, West Virgina
I'd love to give you advice BUT I have 2 of the 14 pullets that refuse to use my nice new nest as well..... They have decided they like the floor best and one always lays in the floor next to the door and the other one always lays in front of the nest box. I have tried every this including laying a pieces of plywood over the deep litter in the area where she lays... she just layed on the plywood *sigh*

Maybe they will change there mind on their own lol

(you would think they would want some privacy.... gezzz)


chicken ridl

In the Brooder
10 Years
Jul 27, 2009
Well since no one has any ideas.
heres what I did.
I picked up the 33 eggs that were in the grass.
I am going to take them to buddy who has the bator. Hate to waste them.
I then mowed the grass. Put straw in 2 of the boxes. Then marked 6 eggs 3 in each box NG with a marker. Put them in the boxes of straw.
Before I was finished I had one hen in the straw box. I think I have one or two broody hens.
But what do I know. Learning as I go.

Hangin Wit My Peeps

11 Years
Apr 20, 2008
Birnamwood, Wisconsin
Are you nest boxes low enough? They should be about 18 inches off floor. Do you have enough soft material for them? Once they start laying outside you will most likely have to lock them inside the run/house area for a few days so they can find a new place to lay (hopefully the nest boxes) Good luck! Let us know how they do. Hens seems to love either straw/hay or pine shavings in the box but a lot of it becasue they tend to scratch around a lot to make the nest perfect. Also how big are your boxes? For standard hens they recommend 12x12x14 Although I think you said yours were FOR hens so should be fine.

Also add some fake looking eggs in there. Hens seem to like to lay eggs where there are already other eggs laid.


10 Years
May 25, 2009
Adelaide, Australia
my idea was to mow the grass.

I think the reason that they would have been laying there is because its nice and dark and secretive. Now that you've mowed it I hope they stop.

My hens seem to think the most comfortable place in the world for eggs is directly under the roost in all the poop
I just put a piece of fabric over the top of the box to hopefully it seems dark and comfy.

If you work out the secret of the perfect nest box please tell me.. this has been going on for a month now *sigh*

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