I got some chicks and they are old enough now where they sould start laying soon. how to I prepare the coop for egg laying hens?
pullets-about to lay
I'm assuming you have nest boxes right?
Add pine shaving or straw (but most don't use this since I've heard it attracts mites). I used wooden eggs to encourage my girls to lay their eggs in the boxes, some use ceramic eggs, golf balls or other.
Don't expect the perfect egg the first couple of times. Usually they are misshapen, without a shell, extremely small or have soft shells. This is normal and will normally fix itself as the hen matures. Also as they are getting used to the whole thing there could be eggs found just about anywhere, coop floor, run floor, under the roost; this too should right itself as they get more used to the whole business.
Also if you see one go into the nesting area, leave her be, if she doesn't feel safe she will leave and lay the egg some where else.
Some things to keep in mind with your nesting boxes.
A. Try and keep them below your roost or the hens will sleep in there and that makes a little mess
B. I found that golfballs worked well for me. Ive not found one egg outside of the nest boxes.
C. I also put a old cut up blanket on the front of the box because the way my coop is set up the sun shines right in the boxes and it seems they lay better in a dark and quiet box. I just cut a slit in the front and they climb right in
Mine usually lay shortly after I let all of them out in the morning but im sure this will vary with all flocks