As you may or may not have heard I have been gradually switching the nesting material in the chicken coop from straw to pine shavings. I started with three nests about 2 weeks ago. I let a week pass then switched two more nests over to shavings. Then last night I emptied the last 3 (including their favorite one) and filled them with the shavings. I did this late in the day so that when they woke up they would see that all the nests no longer had straw. When I went out to check for eggs I saw that there were two in the favorite nest and one in a separate nest. What good girls! They made the switch!
But it's never that simple with chickens is it? There's always one that has to be "special" or otherwise buck the system. And that chicken is usually a Plymouth Rock.
Case in point...this is Cheese Doodle, my only Buff Plymouth Rock. She's a little girl but a very reliable layer. I happened to be in the coop when she came in to lay her daily egg. She was having a snit. Her favorite nest no longer had straw in it but had pine shavings instead! The nerve! She fretted and fussed hopping from nest to nest looking for one that might have straw in it. The photo shows her eyeing her favorite nest. I picked her up and put her in the favorite nest but she wasn't having it. I decided to leave the coop for a while and see if she settled in. When I came back about 15 minutes later she was under the nest boxes with her backside firmly tucked into the corner! Oh no! My girls have always been very good about using the nest boxes. I couldn't let this bad habit begin! I kept putting her in the favorite nest but she popped right back out clucking away!
I had to come up with a solution and it seemed that compromise was the way to go. I put a large handful of straw in each of the 8 nests, just enough to cover the shavings. Cheese Doodle investigated the nests while I did this and she finally settled on one that seemed right to her. I left the coop again to give her some time alone. When I came back she was still in the nest! Good