19 weeks, 2 days... 0 nesting box interest. Normal?

Panhandler80

Chirping
Feb 11, 2020
322
373
90
NW Florida
So, at the very end of July, just a couple days before hitting 18 weeks, I removed the barricade that restricted the boxes from them. I added some nesting material (excelsior straw pads) and a fake egg to each nest.

Since then they have showed zero interest. They all roost in the coop at night. I check on them about an hour after actual sunrise (so maybe 90 minutes of actual light) and by that point they have all left the coop and are in the run.

I have a speckled sussex who is suddenly very interested in my presence and will squat when I put my hand on her. She's actually the only one that will semi-allow petting. Her comb is fairly red. Some of the other ones are a very light pink, and some are fire engine red. I figured with 21 chickens we would have had an egg by 19 weeks 2 days, but I guess not.

What, if anything, should I make of the lack of interest in the nesting boxes. I placed a little ramp to allow super easy access to two of them. Still, it's obvious when I access the boxes, that they have not been in any of them.
 

Mamatomany123

Songster
Mar 14, 2020
2,199
2,671
203
Midland, tx
That's funny. Of my 21, I think 8 are EE, and they show the LEAST sign of egg interest.
Every chicken will be different. One of my easter eggers started laying at 16 weeks, before my production birds. My other EE started at 21 weeks. The last one is a production blue who is now 23 weeks and still not laying. She is the lowest on the pecking order so that may be why also.
 

Panhandler80

Chirping
Feb 11, 2020
322
373
90
NW Florida
I wouldn't worry too much about the lack of interest in the nests. I suppose if you want to encourage exploration, you can take any birds that look closer like your SS, and put her in the box to see if she'll hang around a bit and take a look.
None of my birds take too kindly to being picked up, and/or, put anywhere. They should have been handled a lot more a little ones. I ready somewhere not to handle them when, and I think I took that too literally.

My five nesting boxes are about 10" off the ground. There is a 2x4 that serves as the sill of the window the box assembly is bolted into. Running down exterior side of that 2x4 is siding (so there is no exposed area coming into coop, or the boxes), then the box assembly went on.

Anyway, the boxes sit slightly below that 2x4, and the the 2x4 itself and the siding serve as about a 3" lip to prevent material / eggs from coming out of the nesting boxes.

I figured the 2x4 would also serve as a perch of sorts for them to stage on before hoping into the boxes, and a surface on which to check out various boxes. I hope it is not serving as an impediment to exploration.

SO... 10" jump to that 2x4, and then each box entry is approximately 11" wide and 13" tall. I sure hope the entry way isn't too small and that's discouraging use. Plenty of depth. I have fake eggs pushed all the way back and they can see them from the ground when in the coop.



IMG_20200813_064934891.jpg
IMG_20200813_065109836.jpg
IMG_20200813_065141944.jpg
 

rosemarythyme

Crossing the Road
Jul 3, 2016
11,786
21,796
792
WA, Pac NW
My Coop
I figured the 2x4 would also serve as a perch of sorts for them to stage on before hoping into the boxes, and a surface on which to check out various boxes. I hope it is not serving as an impediment to exploration.

SO... 10" jump to that 2x4, and then each box entry is approximately 11" wide and 13" tall. I sure hope the entry way isn't too small and that's discouraging use. Plenty of depth. I have fake eggs pushed all the way back and they can see them from the ground when in the coop.
I don't see any obvious access issues. My nest boxes are floor height and my previous batch of chicks still didn't seem to notice them! Sometimes I think it just takes a chick that likes exploration to get the others to start looking around too.
 

Jadakraft1

Chirping
Jun 27, 2020
63
150
60
I’m just throwing it out there, what kind of fees are you giving them? Right now I’m giving mine chick to hen as some are younger than my four silkies.
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom