There are many ways to Train Chickens to Lay Eggs in the Nest Box. The common ones include the number of nests and their positions, light, regular egg collection, and enough roosting spots
You are likely to come across floor eggs, especially if your hens are laying for the first time. Floor eggs refer to the eggs your birds lay on the coop floor rather than in the nest.
These types of eggs are less appealing because they get cracked or become dirty. This makes them unsuitable for hatching or unsafe to eat. A cracked egg breaks easily and may encourage your birds to sample them. If they do, they will like them and become egg-eating chickens.
This is the last thing chicken owners would wish to wake up one morning and find their flock doing it. To avoid such cases, it is advisable to train your layers to lay their eggs in the right place. Here are a few tips to train chickens to lay eggs in the nest box.
Here are a few Tips to Train a Chicken to Lay Her Eggs in the Nest Box
Provide Enough Nest Boxes
One of the reasons your hens could be laying on the floor is the inadequate nest boxes. The rule of thumb states that each nest box should serve at least four birds. If you have a small flock, you may provide extra nests to prevent them from laying their eggs on the floor. For instance, if you have four layers, consider providing them with at least two nests.
Enough Nest Boxes For All Layers
Some chickens may become impatient after waiting for too long for their turn and lay their eggs on the floor. None of these incidents would occur if there are enough nest boxes for all layers. Make sure that the number of nests corresponds well to the number of layers under your care.
Too many nesting boxes can cause your birds to misuse them rather than depositing their eggs in them. The number of nesting boxes is not a complete solution to the problem. These poultry equipment needs to look nice and appealing to your birds
Place the Nests in a Dark Corner
Ensure that your boxes are in a dark and quiet corner of your chicken coop. By nature, chickens prefer laying their eggs in safe places. When you place the nesting boxes at a corner, your layers will feel safer laying their eggs in them.
On top of that, a dark corner will look appealing and comfortable for your birds to deposit their eggs. Most importantly, the nest boxes should at least a few inches from the ground. This will prevent small predators from accessing the nest and take away your eggs.
The Nest Position
The position of your nest is one of the tips to train a chicken to lay her eggs in the nest box. Floor eggs are common among pullets. This is when these young hens start to lay eggs for the first time.
Out of their confusion, they cannot figure out where their nest boxes are. Or they do not know the use of nest boxes. Thus, you should minimize floor eggs by installing nest boxes early enough for your hens to get used to them.
Give Your Pullets Easy Access to the Nests
- Place the nests at a lower level or directly on the floor to give your pullets easy access. Once they are using the nests, you may elevate them to about 20 inches off the floor. At this height, pullets will enter their nests when they want to lay eggs and not for other reasons.
Provide Adequate Light
In addition to the nest position, you must ensure that the nest boxes have adequate light. This means the light should not be too bright or too dim to confuse your birds. Too much light can force your layers to find darker corners to lay their eggs.
This is because the main purpose of laying eggs is to hatch new chicks. Your hens will have instincts to deposit their eggs at a safer location. In this case, dark corners or dark nests will provide the ideal spot for them to do so. A well-designed nest box located at a darker corner will most likely meet your layers’ needs.
A Nest Egg or Fake Egg
A nest egg or fake egg is another smart way to train chickens to lay eggs in the nest box. When placed in each nest box, nest eggs can help your pullets learn what this equipment is for.
Turn to Golf Balls If Possible
Also known as ceramic eggs, fake eggs are a good fit for this job given that they resemble real eggs. If you don’t have nest eggs, you may turn to golf balls although some birds aren’t that easily fooled. Use of fake eggs as an old trick that encourages new layers to deposit their eggs in their nest boxes.
Confine Your Hens
Alternatively, you can keep your layers confined until mid-morning. This enables them to lay their eggs at the right time and place. Most of the hens lay very early in the morning. In this case, confining them helps to maximize their chances of laying in their nest boxes.
Also, confinement will discourage them from finding a comfortable place outside the coop to lay the eggs. Laying in nests will provide adequate security to the eggs unlike when they do it away from their coop.
Make the Nest Boxes Comfortable
- Comfort is a necessity for your birds regardless of whether they are laying eggs or not. Comfortable nests are one of the tips on how to train chickens to lay eggs in the nest box?. To achieve this feat, ensure that the bedding material in the nests is changed regularly.
Keep the Bedding Materials Clean and Fluffy
Old or depleted bedding material can keep away your birds or provide a suitable ground for pests. If this happens, your hens will avoid them and find other places to deposit their eggs.
For that reason, keep the straw or shavings clean and fluffy to attract your layers in their nests. Additionally, make these bedding materials comfortable and soft for your hens to spend more time in the nest boxes.
Take Your Layers to Their Nests
If you discover they’re still avoiding their nests despite making them comfortable, then think of another alternative. This may take some time and involve some careful surveillance.
Should your layers settle somewhere else rather than their nests, you may grab them and take them to their nets. Gradually, they will get used to their available nest boxes if you make this exercise routine.
Provide More Roosting Spots
Nest boxes are designed for your hens to lay in them and not use as their home. Sadly, a few chicken keepers allow their chickens to sleep in the nest boxes. This isn’t a good idea because they make them messy and create an unfavorable environment for laying eggs
Enough Roosts for Chickens to Sleep
To avoid such cases in your chicken coop, make sure there are enough roosting spots for your birds. Compared to nest boxes, roosts provide an ideal location for chickens to sleep. This will help to reserve nests for layers instead of letting your chickens mess them.
Roosts play a critical role in keeping the coop clean and a little bit organized. Since chickens love perching, they prefer staying on roosts rather than lying in nests throughout. For that reason, install more roosts in the coop for your birds to spend more time perching on them.
How do you keep a shared nest box clean for your hens? Since hens prefer laying eggs in a clean environment, you must keep the nests clean throughout. With that in mind, clean the nest box immediately after one hen is done with laying eggs.
Does the amount of light affect the laying pattern of chickens? The answer is yes. Chickens don’t like bright light, especially when they are laying eggs. Less light provides them with privacy and comfort. So, hens would feel happy to lay their eggs in dark places. On the other hand, light is necessary for winter to stimulate egg production among your layers. A combination of artificial light and natural daylight will be ideal for your hens to lay eggs as usual.
Egg production is one of the reasons for keeping chickens. You can maximize this productivity by training your hens to lay eggs in the right place. Apply the above-mentioned tips to train chickens to lay eggs in the nest box for better results.
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