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What I Learned From Chickens Not Laying In Nesting Box

When we first got chickens, I had vague imaginations of walking out to the coop every day and gathering fresh eggs for breakfast. Now 10 years later, I still walk out to the coop every day, and I still gather fresh eggs for breakfast. But I have learned a few things along the way! Here are a few things I’ve since figured out from my chickens not laying in their nesting box.

Here are a few things I've since figured out from my chickens not laying in their nesting box both about my birds and myself!

Lessons From My Chickens Not Laying In Their Nest Box

Five gallon buckets may be useful, but not THAT useful. I used to have an overabundance of five gallon buckets hanging around. Need a wheel barrow? Use a bucket instead! Short on pots? Plant something in a bucket! Taking out the compost? Time for a bucket!

But apparently, they are NOT adequate for a nesting box. Not once have my chickens laid their eggs in one, no matter how comfy I made it with hay or how I placed it. Since then, my fervor for five gallon buckets has cooled a bit. They’re still pretty awesome, but they’re not exactly up there on the scale of beautiful things.

Nowadays, I’d much rather have the right tool for the job, and pick something a little more attractive for my plants to grow in. Thanks for the lesson on aesthetics, chickens! (Buckets DO make good chicken waterers though!)

Always sit in the softest spot. For a while my chickens were on a goat manger stint for laying eggs. I can see why. It was soft and secluded. It was always full of the freshest, nicest hay. Just like our chickens, it’s okay to enjoy our comfy spaces each day. And if your birds aren’t using their nest box, maybe it needs to be a bit softer and sweeter. Find your goat manger and sit in it!

It’s okay to take some quiet time in a private place. While you’re sitting in that soft spot, it’s okay to take some alone time. Chickens are able to identify private areas that are good candidates for laying their eggs. If we want them to lay in their nest boxes, we need to give them enough privacy to feel secure. Give them a nest box with a lid or a curtain so they don’t feel exposed. And then go give yourself some privacy too!

Keeping things clean is really important. Cleaning the chicken coop is not the most fun thing to do in the world. It’s not even in the top 10 most fun things to do in the world. However, it is really important. If you don’t keep them clean, your chickens may not lay in their nesting box. Or if they do use them, they can get nasty things like mites. It’s also more likely that your eggs will be soiled as well.

And just like our chickens, we need clean spaces too. A little bit of maintenance goes a long way. If a chicken knows what’s clean and what’s not, and can choose to not lay in a dirty box, so can we feel a difference when our homes are clean and when they are not.

Get eggs every day. These are metaphorical eggs and real life eggs. Gather your metaphorical eggs daily. These are the little jobs that make your life run much more smoothly. They are the tiny jobs that you have to do before you can move on to the next step. Don’t procrastinate them. Just get them done!

And also get your literal eggs every day, or else your hens might try to hatch them, a skunk might try to eat them, or they might break and make a mess. Plus, then you can make cake.

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