Age & nest boxes question

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by NickyPick, May 15, 2011.

  1. NickyPick

    NickyPick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My pullets are almost 12 weeks. At what age should I get the nest boxes added to the coop?

    Mr. Feathers crowed for the first time this morning!!
     
  2. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Overrun With Chickens

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    My Coop
    about 18 weeks
     
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    I prefer 16 weeks. It is unlikely but possible one could lay at 16 weeks. You definitely want them open before they start to lay. But the main reason I suggest 16 weeks is that if you have a problem with them wanting to sleep in the nest you have time to correct the problem before you get poopy eggs.
     
  4. NickyPick

    NickyPick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How would you correct the problem?
     
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    It depends on your set-up and what is causing the problem. Usually, if you let them get used to roosting on the roosts before you open up the nest boxes and the roosts are higher than the nest boxes, you don't have a problem.

    If they are not used to roosting in the roosts and you open up the nest boxes they may decide to sleep in the nest boxes while they transition to the roosts. They may get int he habit of sleeping in the nest boxes and never finish the transition to the roosts.

    If the problem is you don't have enough roosts, I'd add roosts.

    If your roosts are lower than the nest boxes, raise the roosts or lower the nest boxes.

    Sometimes a chicken will get picked on while on the roost before they settle down at night so bad that they leave the roosts ans seek safety in the nest boxes. This especially happens whe you have immature chickens integrating with a flock. The solution may be to put up more roosts away from the main ones and put the chicken on that roost when it goes into the nest box. After a while, it might get the message.

    Usually them roosting in the nest boxes is not a problem, but it does happen.
     

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