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an egg at last!
My girl was very good, she laid her first egg in the nest box.

I used to get problems with them laying their first eggs all over the place but mostly on the floor under the perches. This happened normally when there were no laying hens to ‘show’ the not yet laying hens where to lay, however, after watching this behavior unfold I think I have found a way to get them to lay in the nest box.

I now look out for a couple of girls that are coming up to lay, its obvious when they start all that crouching and squatting when you pick them up. I then pop them in with the main layers who are mostly nice placid RIR's. The young pullets watch all the older pullets and hens lay on the straw in the nest box. I found that they are normally fascinated by this and the youngsters will actually go into the house and sit on the perches, watching the others lay throughout the morning.

I leave them in there for a week then I put them back in their old house and run. I also open the nest boxes up and fill them with straw. I have been doing this for ages now, and out of the 20 or so birds I have tried it with, every one has laid their first egg in the nest box in their own house.

It may be worth a go for people out their who are struggling with getting them to lay in the nest boxes.
Hi Ross - thats great advice! My problem is with just 5 chooks I don't have any laying other than the Bluebelle :001_rolleyes: so I guess the fact that she made it into the house is a blessing. I've got one sulking ex-batt who has stopped laying from last week when I put her in the sin bin for feather pecking and another in mid moult (the 3rd has never laid). Hopefully the sulker will start again soon when she has stopped punishing me! Then little Dot may get the hang of the nestbox....sadly she thinks its a bed and since they have been evicted at night time I think she thinks its out of bounds!!! :001_rolleyes:

I dream that one day I will have 4 out of 5 laying lovely eggs in the nest box....We will get there in the end.. laugh
I think we have to expect that with no other laying hens to follow then she will not really know where to lay herself. You could try putting a false egg or golf ball in the nest box, this may help her find the way. I have heard other people do it and get good results.

Sounds like you have a right situation on your hands from not sleeping in the right place, to not laying and then the ones who are laying are doing it else where.

I think it’s why we love to keep chickens, it’s a total pain but there is that small window which comes up occasionally, when every bird is doing really well, eggs are in the box every day and you are pleased with how everything’s going. Then you go out to them on a warm summers evening with a drink of something alcoholic in one hand for you and a handful of corn in the other for the girls (don’t get this mixed up) who cluck contently, and you think to yourself that this is the best hobby in the world. I think we all get that moment now and then, it just restores our extreme confidence and passion for what we do.

Keep persevering on, it is frustrating but it will be worth it soon.

Ross - Your post really made me laugh but I no what you mean. We have ups and downs but the ups make the downs worth while!!!!
Ross, that is a great post. Sums up chooks perfectly.

My Bluebelle can't be laying anywhere else as sadly due to the much shorter days she only gets out of her run for about 40 minutes a day except at weekends. (Don't let my OH hear this but I wouldn't care if she never laid, I just like having them in the garden anyway, despite the dustbathx almost everywhere!)
I've got my fingers crossed for you. I'd be really interested to hear what colour eggs you get from here. Dot has laid 3 now this week and 1 without a shell so she's working hard bless her. The eggs are a putty colour with a slight greenish tint..not a colour I've ever seen on a shop bought egg! I was expecting light brown ones! Doris (the light sussex) is 3 weeks older than Dot and the size of a turkey! No eggs yet tho...its a waiting game..
I've really enjoyed reading through this thread! I've got a Bluebelle on the verge of starting to lay and wondered what colour of egg to look for. My Light Sussex has just started laying ( I assume it's her) an producing a tinted/ creamish egg.

What breeds were used to produce the Bluebelle?

Is there an accurate photographic egg colour chart available?
I thought the Bluebelle was a cross of a copper maran and a RIR but I could be talking rubbish?!?

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