adding nests to coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by BowChickaBowMow, Aug 1, 2008.

  1. BowChickaBowMow

    BowChickaBowMow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 16, 2008
    Northern Michigan
    So we haven't built the nests yet.. they didn't need 'em when we built the coop, and well, we hadn't gotten around to it yet! [​IMG]

    Well the girls are getting older, and to my guess should be laying within the next month or two.

    I don't want them sleeping in the nests though. So if I go ahead and add nests now, how do they know what they're for? And what do I do if they start sleeping in them?

    My biggest concern is they've been roosting on the shelves i was going to put the nests on. So if I go ahead and put the nests there, they're already used to sleeping in that area. They have roosts built on the other wall, where I want them sleeping [​IMG] They started sleeping there, but then I guess they liked the shelves better.

    So I guess I'm asking:

    1. should I go ahead and put the nests where I planned on (where they now sleep on the shelf) or should I change locations? Will they be too accustomed to sleeping there, and too set in their ways?

    2. How do they know what the nests are for? And how do i keep them from sleeping in them?

    HELP!!!! [​IMG]

    TIA!
     
  2. sugarbush

    sugarbush Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 24, 2008
    Lexington KY
    I would take the shelf down for a few weeks and let them decide that the roosts are the place to sleep.....then put the nest boxes up.

    They may not know what the nest boxes are for, but a few fake eggs will give them the hint.[​IMG]
     
  3. scooter147

    scooter147 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 30, 2008
    Missouri
    Taking the shelves down would work but when they go back up as nest boxes they might revert back to their old ways.

    When you do put in nest boxes you will have to build them so they can't roost in them or on the sides. You will need a slanted top so roosting is not possible and a way to block them from entering at roosting time.

    I have two hens I have to remove from the nesting box each night and place on the roost, they are low on the totem pole and get beat up if they try and roost with the rest. It is almost dark when I lock up so I place them on the lowest rung and all is well.

    I made four of my nesting boxes (bought four at an auction) and I simple added a piece of plywood and then screwed it to the coop wall at an angle. I also added another piece of plywood to the "roof" of the nest boxes with hinges and I can lower it over the holes to prevent roosting. But as I said above I generally don't go out until they are all in for the night so I very seldom close off the nest boxes since I have several hens that are late in the day layers and still occupy the nest boxes when I feed and collect eggs at about 6:30.
     
  4. Ricks Chicks

    Ricks Chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    My coop is 4'x4' square and about 5' high. the floor is ply wood covered with pine shavings a walk way up 18" to a shelf with another 18" above that. A 2"x2" roost along the front and side wall. The shelves I put hay on and the girls like to sleep on the top shelf. do I need to put another place for nesting or will they lay there eggs where they sleep or on the second shelf? they should start laying in a couple months.
     
  5. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

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    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    I put slanted boards over the nest boxes so that they can't/won't get on top of them.

    I then covered the nest boxes so that they would use the roosts.

    They are 14 weeks old now and in four weeks I will uncover the nest boxes and put shavings/grass in them. Just so they know they are there and then we hope nature starts to work.
     
  6. Ricks Chicks

    Ricks Chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    My coop is 4'x4' square and about 5' high. the floor is ply wood covered with pine shavings a walk way up 18" to a shelf with another 18" above that. A 2"x2" roost along the front and side wall. The shelves I put hay on and the girls like to sleep on the top shelf. do I need to put another place for nesting or will they lay there eggs where they sleep or on the second shelf? they should start laying in a couple months.
     
  7. cajunlizz

    cajunlizz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2008
    Lafayette, Louisiana
    Quote:We use ONLY these as nesting boxes and our roost area is completely on opposite side of the coop . We put golf balls in each nest . Out of 48 head , we only have 4 right now that are laying .

    these are mounted on the wall about 16- 18inches off the floor . The whole coop and nesting boxes are filled with pine shavings .

    [​IMG]


    The golf balls let them know they are for laying . NONE of them sleep in the nest , they ALL roost at night . When we built the coop and run and used for their new HOMEand daytime PEN AREA , we also assembled the nesting boxes and filled each with the pine shavings , SO they can all get use to seeing them , investigating them , and they ALL know they are for LAYING . They learn from the HENS that are already laying .
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2008

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