Are these nesting boxes adequate?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by grcrockett, Nov 5, 2016.

  1. grcrockett

    grcrockett Out Of The Brooder

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    I received four new adult hens from a friend who couldn't take care of them anymore. I slowly introduced them and everything was fine. After about a week my roosters started acting like a bunch of turds and would gang up on the new hens and umm...you know. My young roosters obviously didn't quite know what they were doing or how to do it like nice boys so we've now put four of the roosters into the smaller coop and let the hens loose in the chicken yard because the hens were obviously unhappy in confinement. Because the rest of my hens will not be old enough to lay we had not made nesting boxes so I had to come up with these real quick. I found the idea on Pinterest and was wanting more experienced opinions as to whether they should work AND how to help the hens know they are there for them. I can't catch them right now and I don't want to stress them more than they already are because of the roosters by chasing them around the yard. These were somewhat quickly put together but they are secured to each other and to the railing in the back. There's card board in the bottoms (to be replaced by some wood or something that will hold up better later) and the card board is covered by a sheet of roofing rubber. chicken wire is in the front which has card board in front of it and the back is card board too. The card board is all temporary until I can get wood cut to fit in it's place. There are also golf balls sitting in two of them (that's all I could find) to attempt to help the hens see that it's a safe place to lay. What do you all think??
     
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  2. PeepersMama

    PeepersMama Living in a galaxy far, far away...

    Looks like a good set up! [​IMG]
     
  3. grcrockett

    grcrockett Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you for your help!
     
  4. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Overrun With Chickens

    Hi, welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    Your lay boxes look fine as long as they are lower than your roost. How old are your new girls? They may not continue to lay because of the move and cockerels, until they get settled in. And hopefully they aren't getting ready to molt on you. [​IMG]

    What are you feeding? Since you have layers and non layers, I recommend a Flock Raiser with about 20% protein and 1% calcium with oyster shell on the side. To much calcium in non layers including cockerels and molting girls can cause long term kidney issues and the protein is usually pretty low in layer as well.

    I have a bunch of cockerels (5) who have recently started ganging up on one of my pullets. It is quite brutal. And they can see her from clear across the pasture and make a bee line for the pore girl. I am growing them out to choose my keeper but can see a stag pen is in quick order. Especially since I am growing birds that won't be eaten until 24 ish weeks, they will all be in puberty before that.

    Golf balls are good. I have great success with the fake eggs showing the girls where to lay. [​IMG]

    Best wishes!
     
  5. grcrockett

    grcrockett Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks! My new girls are about 1 year old so they'll probably start to lay less than they were for the previous owners. They started laying for us the day after we started letting them out of the small coop after their introduction period. They were all very happy for about a week, obviously happier with us since they had not layed for 3 weeks for the previous owner. They are also obviously calcium deficient as their egg shells are very thin. In the hopes of helping their deficiency I got some oyster shells but they aren't seeming to be very happy with it. I'm guessing I'll have to get creative in how I feed it. When we put them back into the coop to protect them from the cockerels they stopped laying again. We've just let them back out so I hope this gets them going again. It's also getting to be the cold season around here with shorter days so I'm really not expecting much from them in the way of eggs anyways.

    Feeding was my next question so thanks for getting to that! I've been taking a bowl of layer feed to them and staying with them while they eat it and taking it out when they stop. I've done this about 3 times a day. They usually peck at it twice a day although the grower feed for the younger chickens is always out. I'll definitely be looking into flock raiser. Is that the same as chick feed? It sounds like the same protein calcium ratio.

    We plan on butchering our roosters in December after we've had time to fatten them up with some scratch and game bird feed. By that time they'll be about 12-16 weeks depending on when in December we do it.
     
  6. Little Fuzzy

    Little Fuzzy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Some people mix the oyster shell in with the feed if you have all your chickens laying you could try that. But the roosters don't need it , so I would just let them pick it out of a separate container when they need it.
     
  7. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Overrun With Chickens

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    Nest boxes
    In my nest boxes I fold a feed bag to fit (nest boxes are 1 ft³). When a bag gets soiled; fold a new one; pop out the soiled; pop in the new. Feed bags are a nylon mesh bag.
    Frozen poop just peels off in below freezing temperatures and just flakes off in summer when left out in the sun to bake and dry.

    I have 65 trips around the sun it is the best method I have stumbled upon.

    Make sure the twine is removed from the open end of the bag it can get tangled around your birds.

    [​IMG]
    I hold the bag in place with a pair of these. Clipped to the top of the milk crate shoved in along the back and on the bottom. Works for me and my flock.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2016
  8. grcrockett

    grcrockett Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks!
     
  9. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Overrun With Chickens

    Layers need to have feed and a side of oyster shell available at all times. It probably isn't much issue if they are accessing the grower feed. Grower also will be fine for everybody. They will use the OS when they need to. Thin shells can be a result of stress, or deficiency. Or maybe the lay system stopping and starting. Sometimes I crush the oyster shell a little smaller for them

    I kinda don't see the point in giving your boys game bird feed to up protein but then diluting that with scratch. [​IMG]

    I have used game bird starter with 28% protein... I would think the higher protein would be better all along to increase growth rate instead of right near the end. And I get that scratch would fatten them, but who needs fatness? I don't know if it adds marbeling to the meat and not just an extra layer under the skin.

    My boys are meeting their end closer to 24 weeks. We aren't there yet though.
     
  10. grcrockett

    grcrockett Out Of The Brooder

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    [​IMG]
    oh, ok. I saw on another thread here that scratch was good for fat to keep the meat a little more moist so it was good to add it in at times. I like to keep a little fat on my meat from the stores for that reason. I haven't been feeding the game bird feed yet because I didn't expect to eat them so soon. Until I did research the last few nights I thought I had to wait until they were about a year ( can't remember where I read that at). Obviously I still have a lot to learn! But eventually with all the help I get here I should get the hang of it at some point [​IMG]
     

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