chicken won't use any nesting boxes : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

We are new with chickens and our first hen just started laying.The problem is she will not use any of the boxes we have, she wants to escape through the fence and find somewhere outside our yard. How do we get her to use the boxes. Also will they lay pretty steady once they start laying?

-- Leslie Davis (, August 13, 2001


A bunch of things to consider. Is the nest box elevated off the floor? I have always placed them probably 36-48" up the wall of the coup. Seem to like it better. If you clip their wings, they will need something to walk up. Is it fairly dark in the box, ie covered, or open? They prefer a covered, semi dark nest box. Good fresh straw should help entice her as well to use the box. I would suggest confining her to the coop for a while. She will likely use the box, rather than the floor, and hopefully get into the habit. Good Luck, Charlie in Oregon.

-- Charlie P. (, August 13, 2001.

To add to Charlie's ideas, put a few golf balls or fake eggs you find at a hobby store in your nests. They might just look inviting enough to encourage her to use the nests.

-- buk buk (, August 13, 2001.

Is it very hot inside the coop. Some of my hens are laying under shade trees, high weeds, any place shady. I think they just do not want to walk across the lawn back to the hot coop and do their thing. They have been doing very good up until it got in the 100's.

-- Russell Hays (, August 13, 2001.

Excellent post from Russell. Our hens also won't lay in the coop this time of the year, preferring the corner behind the feed bins, nearly have to stand on my head to get to the eggs when the bins are full of grain, but I get more eggs, with no fans to run! Vicki

-- Vicki McGaugh TX (, August 13, 2001.

Good point about the heat--hadn't thought about that as we only rarely see 100 degree temps in Western Oregon. If heat isn't a problem, you should be able to get her using the enst box via the suggestions of all above.

-- Charlie P. (, August 14, 2001.

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