Won't lay in nest boxes.....

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by flockanuts, Nov 2, 2013.

  1. flockanuts

    flockanuts Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have 12 girls but only 3 of them are laying so far. The first one made a little nest underneath the corner of the nesting boxes and refused to get in a box. Now the next two are laying in the same place. I have tried golf balls, different nesting material, etc. but they are still underneath! Am I going to have 12 eggs in the same spot or is there something I can do to get them to relocate their laying spot? I have also tried putting them in the boxes when they go in to lay but they jump right out again. I can tell some chicks have been in the boxes because the material is all messed up but no eggs! Any answers???
     
  2. granny hatchet

    granny hatchet Tastes like chicken Premium Member

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    put a little x on their eggs so you dont get them mixed up and put the eggs in the nesting box and leave them there for a while. where they are laying now, put a box or something there so they cant lay in that spot. and are the nest boxes the right size and covered top?
     
  3. flockanuts

    flockanuts Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'm pretty sure they are the right size and the top is covered. There are 2 long pieces of plywood with ends and dividers making 4 boxes. I have tried hand towels (saw that hint on here), pine needles, dried grass, pine chips, no go!! They will get in and scratch everything out in the floor, they have relocated the golf balls (!!!), and I don't know whether to just leave them alone or what!
     
  4. granny hatchet

    granny hatchet Tastes like chicken Premium Member

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    then if they can get in them ok dont put anything but the egg in there. it may be they dont like the top on them. they have to be able to ease into a nest, small jumps because their goal is to raise babies and they wouldnt want to go from floor to nest, the eggs would break. you could also try a perch in front of boxes but not real close maybe 10 in. from nest
     
  5. floridabelle

    floridabelle Out Of The Brooder

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    My mother had this problem with her hens when they built the nesting boxes. I cane out to spend the day and decided to put the eggs in the boxes and then next day there were new eggs in them. :)
     
  6. ChirpyChicks1

    ChirpyChicks1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Get new nesting boxes. They simply don't like what you've got, or at least the set up. Can you put them right on the floor? If not, block off access to the underneath. In my coop I've learned that plastic (kind used to cover windows in winter) is my new bff lol, love that stuff. Also there are a TON of different things you can use for nesting boxes, including a "community nesting box". I've read on this site people that just let their chickens lay where ever they want, they'll find a place they like and stick with it, no real harm done.

    What I did for mine was take a tall and skinny wooden shop cabinet, laid it's back flat on the ground and cut it into smaller parts, it's perfect, no cover so I can see everything and clean easily (my mom has terrified me with her stories of reaching in nesting boxes and finding snakes [​IMG] ) the sides are tall enough that my girls don't kick the pine shaving from the coop floor into the straw in the boxes, they can easily get in and out, and the boxes themselves are roomy enough for two birds to be comfy together.

    This picture is rather old, chickens have grown quite a bit lol. But as you can see I originally allowed them a little cut out but quickly saw that it wasn't needed so I turned the boxes around so the opening is to the wall. The sides are tall so I can add lots of straw. When the chickens would create their little nests they would end up digging to the very bottom and I was worried that the eggs would hit the wood and break. After I turned the boxes around I was able to add lots of straw and no longer have that worry.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. flockanuts

    flockanuts Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks, everyone! I put eggs in the nesting boxes for 2 days and ..... nothing. They didn't like it. I have finally decided to just let them lay their eggs underneath until I can somehow get new nests. I was thinking about taking the boxes I have now out and putting in a couple or 3 buckets turned on their sides and nailed down with holes cut into the lids for their access. At least they would have some privacy. I kinda think that is the problem with the boxes I have now. Everybody can see what they are doing! LOL [​IMG]
     
  8. ncbrew

    ncbrew New Egg

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    I have a similar problem. I have 3 or 4 hens laying but they all lay in the same nest box. I have 4 other nests alongside this one but they all seem to go to the one in the corner. The coop is 8 feet long.

    Next problem.
    I have 15 chickens (13 hens and 2 roosters). most of them go in the same coop at night but 2 laying hens sleep in a tree and not too far off the ground. 4 other newer hens that all seem to have their own click also roost in the same tree but now roost very high.

    Question?
    Should I just let them roost where they want to or try to lock them up in a smaller coop I have and not let them out for a week?
     
  9. flockanuts

    flockanuts Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oh, lordy!!!! Not only will they not lay eggs in the nesting boxes but, now, I've just found a clutch of TEN eggs laid out in the WOODS :rant!!!!!! What am I gonna do with this flock of nuts??? :rant
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2013
  10. ChirpyChicks1

    ChirpyChicks1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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