17 weeks old - no interest in nesting boxes/no more free ranging ??

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by GermanChick, Aug 9, 2010.

  1. GermanChick

    GermanChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 12, 2010
    NW Missouri
    My girls are getting close to laying. Their combs and wattles are getting big and red and I think one of them made the "squat-thing" yesterday when I petted her. When we build the coop we covered the nesting boxes to discourage them sleeping in them. One week ago we opened them up, I made it all cozy with hay and put some golf balls in a couple of boxes. We have 6 boxes and 4 of them have golf balls in them. The girls show no interest in the nesting boxes, none of them has been in there, I can tell because the hay is not rearranged, it is still a big pile not walked on. Usually I let them out in the morning around 8 and let them free range all day. Now I am worried that they will make nests and start laying around our property, we have 10 acres and some wooded area where they love to hide in the shade. Today I started to leave them in the run, which is plenty big (20x30), and I am planning on letting them out only in the afternoon. Does that seem to be a good plan ??? Do they only show interest in nesting boxes when they really are laying ??
  2. Indy acres

    Indy acres Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 27, 2010
    Lebanon In.
    I think mine is really ready to start laying she is really squaking and she got up in the nesting box and it was the only one I didn't have straw in then she got down and I put straw in that one but this is the first time any of the have them have gone in the next box. Can someone tell me how far the nesting boxes should be from the ground? I think ours might be to high but am not sure. We let ours free range all day too and lock them uo at night. I couldn't believe my eyes when she got in that box I thought she was going to lay an egg right before my eyes but no such luck but at least now I know it will be real soon![​IMG]
  3. sheila3935

    sheila3935 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 10, 2010
    Stonington, illinois
    Today I got my first 2 eggs. Being new to having chickens I can only tell you of my experience. We put nesting boxes in when they were about 16 weeks old they are 22 weeks now and are Production Reds. They had no interest in the boxes. Barley even looked at them. Put golf balls in too. Their boxes are up kinda high and I wonder too if they were too high, but this morning 2 got into different boxes and laid me 2 beautiful eggs. I would say they are small to medium size here is a pic next to a large store bought egg
  4. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    Once you see that squat, they are truly ready to begin laying. (YAY, EXCITING!) So what I do, is I keep them locked up until I get home from work around 5pm, then I let them out to free range for a couple of hours before dark. That way, they will poke around the coop more and really establish the habit of laying in the nesting boxes.

    Hope this helps!
  5. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life Premium Member

    When we had our nest boxes off the ground even just a few, the baby chicks would get out and not be able to get back in so now all the nest boxes are on the floor. now no problem with the chicks not being able to find mom and siblings after falling out. LOL works for us
  6. gaillardia

    gaillardia Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 20, 2010
    Larkspur, CO
    My girls free range, and I was afraid that they would not lay in the nest boxes. But, they all come back to the coop to lay. Mine have been laying for 3 weeks now and some still don't do the squat.
  7. GermanChick

    GermanChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 12, 2010
    NW Missouri
    Quote:I hope mine will be as smart as yours [​IMG]

    Thanks so much for all your replies, can't wait to find my first egg!

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