My Backyard Chickens

Will chickens stop laying if coop is dirty?

Hens will stop laying eggs if the coop is in a mess!

Chickens will most certainly stop laying eggs if their coop is not well taken care of. A dirty coop will produce a horrible smell and even harbor some parasites like mites that will considerably affect the laying behavior of the hens. Pay attention to their behavior once in a while. You may not notice it at first, but their laying will eventually stop if you neglect the cleanliness of their chicken coop.

What causes the hens to stop laying?

Mismanagement of the coop will most certainly cause the chicken to find their own area for laying that they think is most suitable. Here are some of the things that will make the hens not lay in the coop;

  • Presence of mites.
  • Presence of rodents and snakes.
  • Ignorance of the regular collection of eggs will cause the chicken to start eating the eggs, which is a vice.
  • Build up of a horrible smell.
  • Lack of a proper nest.


How to build a nest for your hens.

Will chickens stop laying if coop is dirty?Hens genetically love laying their eggs in one specific place. They are quite organized. Creating a clean environment for them to settle and lay their eggs will be great for their laying curve. In order to ensure that your hens continuously lay eggs for you, you need to construct a proper nest for them.

Essentially, chicken nests are usually made from fine sand or dried grass or leaves. But who says you can’t be creative? You can make your hen nest out of any suitable and available material, provided that the hens actually lay their eggs in it.

What if my hens do not lay their eggs in the nest you build for them?

  • Try and keep the area clean at all times.

If your hens do not actually recognize their new nest, it may be because they are not used to it at first. No need to panic, and do not neglect the nest that you built. Just keep maintaining it and one day, you will find an egg in it! Your hens will continuously lay eggs provided you feed them well and what are the odds that at least one hen will not find their new nest? So, keep it neat and tidy!

  • Feed them around the nesting area.

Maybe they need some form of sweet talking! Most of the time, feeding the hens near the nest just promotes them to make a mess of it and scratch it down to a mess. Feeding them around the new nesting area will make them accustomed to it and one time you will find one cozying up to it wanting to lay one for you.

  • Use dummy eggs.

This is my favorite. Using dummy eggs just works in a way to give the chicken some form of direction as to where they should lay their eggs. How do you make dummy eggs?

-Boil an egg and leave it in the nest

This has always worked for me and once I try to explain this to a new farmer, it looks more fun than I actually think it is. But it works!


In order for these to work, however, you need to build the nest out of soft material. So, always remember, if you cannot find fine sand, you will find some dried leaves or grass!

You may place the dried leaves or grass in a box or a wide basin and leave it in a strategic position in the coop.

Will chickens stop laying if coop is dirty?What are the best conditions for a hen to start laying eggs?

  • Quality feeds.

This is the most important thing that hens need to start laying eggs on a consistent basis. Did you know that the best quality feeds yield better results in terms of laying? So, do not leave any stone unturned when considering the quality of your layer feed. Typically, layers mash is the best feed for layers to start laying. There are different companies that produce layer feed, each with different ingredients and quality, so it is entirely up to you to pick one that suits your desired goals within the coop.

  • Enough sunlight.

It is true! Chickens need sunlight to lay eggs. They actually need a specific amount of sunlight in the morning and in the evening. This is quite different from the point you see the chicken basking out in the sun. That may be for other reasons. So, while constructing a coop for your hens, build one that lets in a considerable amount of sunlight or one that can be adjusted to suit the sunlight needs of the hens.

  • Enough exercise.

Exercise is naturally great for the growth of muscles. It works the same way for hens. They need to walk around to get enough exercise as their bodies get ready to start laying. This can be made possible in a free-range chicken-keeping system.


Desmond Wekesa is the director of Agripreneur, with experience in new methods of farming and digital marketing. His background in digital marketing informs his mindful but competitive approach in the online-agriculture space. Desmond is fueled by his passion for understanding the best methods to network and achieve ones goals of advertising. He considers himself a ‘forever student,’ eager to both build on his knowledge in agriculture and stay in tune with the latest digital marketing strategies through continued hard work. You can email him HERE.