Originally Posted by knjinnm
Please post a picture of the hook. What is the small piece of plywood nailed across the upright for?
There are the hooks. They are very long so the chicken pushes it when she enters the nest. Once released, the door rests on her tail until she turns and settles. Occasionally they get spooked by the door touching their back and they back out of the nest, which just results in a closed door, with no occupant. I don't want them to get stressed so I check on them every 20-30 minutes. It's been fun to do this and totally worth the intensive effort of visiting the coop every 30 minutes for 9 hours a day. I am on my 4th out of 5 planned days of tagging and I have been very surprised by the results. Over half of my hens aren't laying at all, and the ones that are laying, several are laying two eggs per day (pulling the weight for the others!). Some of the hens that aren't very old are early molters and stopped laying already for this year also. It's no wonder our food costs are so high. To break even, we have to sell a dozen eggs for $6. That doesn't even include labor costs!