What is that thing?
OK, enough of the chicken POV. Initially, things looked promising. They were curious about the new box and kicked the tires around for a few hours, so to speak.
When it came time to make a deal, though, they chickened out and started looking for old familiar places to lay. They sat in the new box, but no eggs. The eggs began turning up in weird places, on shelves, in corners. Anywhere they could make a nest EXCEPT the new box.
I had blocked off the shelves (it’s an old storage/playhouse) with improvised barricades, but they overcame the barricades with great persistence until I knew it was time for more drastic action.
I removed the shelving and took out the straw, basically eliminating any place other than the new nest box.
Finally, I started to see results. Stripped of their fallback locations, they reluctantly began to lay in the new box. Yay!
It’s been about a week now with the new arrangement and they’re getting more and more used to it. I have eggs again and all is well in the coop.
For the moment.