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Just last week we've begun to get some eggs from our 3 Barred Rock hens. The problem is they don't seem to want to use the coops 3 nesting boxes. They either lay on the coop's sand floor or they go into the older connected coop which I don't always allow them access to because of nighttime predators. I've lined the boxes with wood shavings and place a couple of wooden eggs but they're not interested. They just scatter the shavings. Is there anything that could make the boxes more attractive or am I just fighting their quirkiness?

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That is  absolutely true,

Once one picks a favorite, they seem to follow suit. Ours are just starting to settle on spots. They're very much like kids with toys, everyone wants what the one is playing with.

rachel whetzel said:

Using a golf ball will encourage them to choose a favorite box too. Chickens like to lay where other chickens have laid. In their "natural" environment, this means that when one hen goes broody, she'd sit on clutches filled with other hen's eggs, because they all like to lay where another has/is laying... and so instead of just a few days worth of her own eggs, she's sitting on 12 or more eggs from the entire flock. It's a pretty genius thing to see... :)

Thanks Mel,

The method you described worked very well for us! They are now accustomed to their box and don't want any other spot.

Mel W said:

Erich,

We placed one of the nest boxes on the floor of the coop; once the pullets figured out that the nest was the better place to lay an egg, we mounted it on the wall about 14 inches up.

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