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Adding Nesting Boxes Soon

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

Warning - newbie question ahead!!

 

So, my hens are getting to be about the age where I'll need to add some nesting boxes. I've got the design and spot all laid out, but how do I keep them out of them until it's time to lay? I don't want them roosting so I can add them after they start laying or block them off until then. Anything special I should do besides adding a fake egg or two to let them know that's where they lay? I mean, they're chickens, so I'm pretty sure they know what to do, but how will they know where to do it? Or, like most animals, will they just do what they want and I follow along after? LOL

Poultry - 13 (+15 meat chickens who are unnamed)

2 Polish crosses - Elvis & Priscilla, 1 Dominique - Cruella, 1 light Brahma - Theo, 1 buff Brahma - Louise, 1 black Australorp - Bea, 2 blue laced red Wyandottes - Elsa & Lucy, 1 black sex-link - Ebony, 1 Barnevelder - Olive, 1 Welsummer - Harriet, 1 Bantam EE - Meredith, 1 Buff Orpington - Princess Buttercup

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Poultry - 13 (+15 meat chickens who are unnamed)

2 Polish crosses - Elvis & Priscilla, 1 Dominique - Cruella, 1 light Brahma - Theo, 1 buff Brahma - Louise, 1 black Australorp - Bea, 2 blue laced red Wyandottes - Elsa & Lucy, 1 black sex-link - Ebony, 1 Barnevelder - Olive, 1 Welsummer - Harriet, 1 Bantam EE - Meredith, 1 Buff Orpington - Princess Buttercup

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post #2 of 3
If they have proper roosting areas they generally will not roost in the nesting box unless they are broody or stressed...

Fake eggs or golf balls are a good idea for new layers as it gives them a visual clue where to lay, and if they don't lay in the box pick up the egg and put it in the box, best to sacrifice one or two early eggs to train them to use the nesting box then dealing with finding dirty eggs all over the place...
post #3 of 3
Personally I want to know if they are going to sleep in the nests before they start to lay so I can fix the problem before I get poopy eggs. As MeepBeep said as long as the roosts are higher than the nests it’s usually not a problem, but there are a few things that can cause them to sleep in the nests even then. I suggest you give them access to the nests and see what happens. If you don’t have a problem you don’t have a problem. If they do sleep in the nests get back with us and we can discuss it hopefully before they start to lay.

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

 

"If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." — former North Carolina coach Dean Smith

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

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When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

 

"If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." — former North Carolina coach Dean Smith

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

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