At how many weeks should I open my nesting boxes?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Orchid, Aug 18, 2010.

  1. Orchid

    Orchid Songster

    May 10, 2010
    North Central MN
    My little chicken tractor has attached nesting boxes which are currently closed. My chickens are around 16 weeks old (I made the mistake of not marking their purchase date on the calendar); I have one BO and two EE pullets. And one big annoying should-have-been-a-hen production red rooster. [​IMG] Should I remove the cover from their nesting boxes now or wait a couple more weeks?
  2. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

    Sep 25, 2007
    I typically go by their combs - when they begin to turn red, I open the nest boxes. You may have to put something in them at night because they sometimes want to roost in them at first, and you don't want poo in there. I just put a shoe box in them at night when my girls think they should hang out there at night, and then remove early in the morning.
  3. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    Hi Orchid-

    I put my nesting boxes in then the ladies are appx 17 weeks old, but since you don't know the exact date, then you can look for these signs: Once your hens start doing the little rooster submission squat for you, as you reach out to pet them, then they are about to lay soon. So as soon as you see a hen do that, open your nesting boxes and put some wood shavings or straw in them.

    How exciting for you! First eggs are so much fun.....
  4. Orchid

    Orchid Songster

    May 10, 2010
    North Central MN
    Thanks ladies! [​IMG]

    My kids are really excited, they informed me as soon as we got the chicks that collecting the eggs will be "their job", so they ask me about once a day when the chickens will start laying eggs! And of course my best answer: "Pretty soon." [​IMG]
  5. tuesdays chicks

    tuesdays chicks Songster

    Apr 26, 2010
    stuart florida
    Not all pullet do the squat. If your chicken have learned where to roost I would open the nest and put fake eggs in as soon as they look close to laying

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