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why wont they use their nest boxes?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by philintheblank, Oct 8, 2011.

  1. philintheblank

    philintheblank In the Brooder

    Feb 27, 2011
    i have some Buff orpingtons and a couple eater eggers, last year i had built in nest boxes that the hens never had a problem using,
    but this summer i changed the coop so that they were external, using the same boxes, and now they hardly use them, i find one egg in the nest
    boxes for every dozen eggs i get.

    this is what the old boxes looked like

    and this is what the new ones look like

  2. Beekissed

    Beekissed Free Ranging

    Those look great to me....where else do they lay if not in the nest boxes?
  3. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Songster

    Apr 15, 2010
    Forest Grove, OR
    All I can think is that chickens hate change. How long has it been?
  4. Erica

    Erica Songster

    Dec 5, 2010
    I would take away all the shavings/litter outside the nestboxes. Sometimes deep litter elsewhere encourages them to floor-lay.

    There might be other reasons why they're avoiding those boxes, e.g. heat. Do the external boxes get very hot during the day? An extra layer of shade on top would perhaps help if that's the issue.

    I can't think of much else, except that to get them over the heebie jeebies about the new nestbox arrangement, you might need to lock them near them for a week or so. Meanwhile wherever else they're laying needs to be made much less accessible or less attractive to them.

    best of luck, hope this helps, [​IMG]
  5. philintheblank

    philintheblank In the Brooder

    Feb 27, 2011
    thanks for the replys,

    they are laying pretty much in two pots on the coop floor, one right by the chicken door, and one by the big door i use.

    i noticed that there is some light that gets through the small egg door on the back of the nest boxes now, but only on the left and middle, the right side nest box is the one i have found a couple eggs in... do you think its the lights thats getting though?

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