17 week old pullets won't go in nesting boxes & hardly go outside ?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by DanLeaAnn7, Mar 16, 2011.

  1. DanLeaAnn7

    DanLeaAnn7 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 9, 2009
    Hempstead, TX
    Hi, these are my first chickens, we have 22 pullets we got from Ideal back in November, they are a mix of sex links, barred rocks and easter-eggers. We built an awesome coop, 12 by 12. They've been in it since they were 8 weeks. We put the nesting boxes in about 4 weeks ago. I have never, NEVER, seen a hen go in one. There are 8. They roost on the perch and they pull the shredded newspaper out, (I did put golf balls in a few of the boxes). Is it normal for the hens to NOT go in them?
    Also, I have another question about these chickens. We live in Texas, the weather for the most part has been beautiful, why do the chickens spend so much time in the coop? The fenced in run is about 16 by 20 with bird netting on the top. There is no grass growing, they scratched it up. Is this area too small, is there something I am missing? The inside of the coop has sand, dirt outside. thanks for your time!
     
  2. ailurophile23

    ailurophile23 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 21, 2010
    VA
    My chickens never investigated the nest boxes until they were ready to lay (which happened at about 23 weeks). And then, they really only used one of them. The preferred box changes every so often (I have 3 nest boxes for 12 hens) but there is usually one they do not use at all. As for them staying inside - I have no idea. Maybe they like the sand better than the dirt. Your set up sounds like it has plenty of space. As for the lack of grass, that's how my run is as well. I actually have a secondary run off the back side of the coop that the chickens have limited access too - it still has grass but we have to move the fence to give them new patches every so often. Be patient and good luck with your hens.
     
  3. DanLeaAnn7

    DanLeaAnn7 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 9, 2009
    Hempstead, TX
    Thanks much ailurophile23 - I feel better, more confident now - thanks !
     

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