Are your nest boxes ground level or elevated?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by chickenlickin8, Jul 6, 2008.

  1. chickenlickin8

    chickenlickin8 Chillin' With My Peeps

    947
    30
    176
    Jun 26, 2008
    Valrico, Florida
    My Coop
    Hi gang, I bought these beautiful EXPENSE sheet metal nest boxes online and hung them about 2 feet off the ground at the back of the hen house. Well, my girls are starting to lay now... YIPPEE....and they don't even look up at these beautiful boxes. They were laying on the ground until I had my hubby build a wooden box and set it on the ground underneath the other boxes. This is where they are laying now. How do I get them to use the elevated boxes or should I just lower them all to ground level? For some reason, I always thought hens like to lay off the ground??
     
  2. purr

    purr Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 30, 2008
    east freetown, ma
    try placing a wooden egg , a golf ball or I've heard even a plastic easter egg would work inside the nest box.
     
  3. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

    3,788
    12
    221
    May 24, 2007
    Colorado
    Nest boxes should be closer to the ground - roosts should be higher up.

    Some people just set their nest boxes on the ground. Others have them six inches or so off the floor. I have mine in two rows (on top of each other) with the bottom row about 8 inches off the ground making top ones about 2 feet off the ground. My girls actually use the tops ones more than the bottom ones.

    If your chickens are using the nest box on the ground I would lower yours and be very happy they they are laying in the nest box!
     
  4. chickenlickin8

    chickenlickin8 Chillin' With My Peeps

    947
    30
    176
    Jun 26, 2008
    Valrico, Florida
    My Coop
    I do have a white ceramic egg in each nest too. I will have to lower them to just above ground level and see if that does the trick. I am very glad they are using the ground box at least being that they are all new to laying. Thanks!
     
  5. crooked stripe

    crooked stripe Chillin' With My Peeps

    846
    3
    161
    Jan 14, 2008
    N.E Ohio- Suffield
    http://www.ext.vt.edu/pubs/poultry/factsheets/designs.html

    All
    the info I have read says you need a roost just in front of the nest boxes say 4-6" in front. I built my coop from the info I got from the University of Virginia poultry site. The nest boxes are 18" off the floor. My hens use the nest boxes every morning. Never had a problem in where to find the eggs. I have watched my hens jump to the roost and walk back and forth till they decide what nest box to use. Hope this helps. John
     
  6. arlee453

    arlee453 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    My coop has a roost level with the nest boxes. I WISH they were lower - next time if I use this pattern again I will reverse the design so the nest boxes are on the bottom rather than the top.

    All my girls wanted to do was sleep and poop in the boxes.

    Finally I blocked them off and waitend until they were JUST ready to lay and that got them out of the habit of sleeping in the boxes. Still, had I known then what I know now, I would hve put the boxes lower...
     
  7. ashyannehand

    ashyannehand Chillin' With My Peeps

    296
    1
    131
    Jun 25, 2008
    Wade, Mississippi
    I have two simple milk crates filled with hay on the ground. The girls love it and I have only had one egg on the ground since they started laying. Good luck!
     
  8. chickenlickin8

    chickenlickin8 Chillin' With My Peeps

    947
    30
    176
    Jun 26, 2008
    Valrico, Florida
    My Coop
    Thanks for the advice. My nests do have a perch attached to the front of them. It's 3 boxes and the perch is the length of the boxes. The really like the nest on the ground and don't look up at the nests right above it. I guess as long as they are laying in a box, I should let them be and not worry about it but I would like to watch them use those beautiful boxes [​IMG]
     
  9. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

    3,788
    12
    221
    May 24, 2007
    Colorado
    Crooked stripe said:
    All the info I have read says you need a roost just in front of the nest boxes say 4-6" in front.

    That would be a perch for the hens to jump onto and then walk into the nest boxes.

    A roost is where they are supposed to sleep at night - they should be higher than the nest boxes or you may have chickens sleeping in the nest boxes and that's when you end up with poopy eggs.​
     
  10. crooked stripe

    crooked stripe Chillin' With My Peeps

    846
    3
    161
    Jan 14, 2008
    N.E Ohio- Suffield
    I also have a roost 5' off the floor that they sleep on. They seem to want the highest spot to sleep. John
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by