I have 7 hens who have access to 3 laying boxes, yet they ALL lay in ONE box. I have personally shown each one of them the other boxes that is at their disposal but for whatever reason they continue to ignore my accommodations.
And everyday they wait around on each other to do their thing.
And sometimes things get a little uncomfortable…
I was speaking to my chicken farmer brother-in-law about this strange predicament and he advised me to keep golf balls in the nest boxes. The hens think the golf balls are eggs thus encouraging them to lay in those boxes. I was about go buy some golf balls when I remembered the plastic eggs that came with my daughters play food. I explained the situation to her and she said I could use them.
My hens lay all their eggs in the far left nest box while the other two boxes on the right are always empty. So, I put the fake eggs in the two right nest boxes and sho nuff the very next day there were eggs in those boxes!
I will recommend that you keep golf balls (you could also use ceramic eggs, or heck, you could probably even use plastic Easter eggs) in every single one of your boxes because you can bet your butt they will lay in the boxes that have the decoys in them and leave the empty boxes…empty.
I was surprised at how easy and well this works. I wish all things in life were this simple to fix.
Update: The plastic fake eggs DO NOT work. They fooled the hens at first but they quickly figured me out. Someone mentioned the weight of the plastic eggs (or lack thereof) gives them away. My chickens are pushing them out of the nests! Golf balls as originally suggested, wooden eggs, glass eggs, door knobs, or ceramic eggs should all work.
Where to buy ceramic eggs: http://amzn.to/1mVQ3SX
What about you? Do your hens use all their nest boxes or do they have a favorite one? Share in the comments below and thanks for reading!