Build a nestbox and they will come.....

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by chookchick, Jan 10, 2009.

  1. chookchick

    chookchick Songster

    Aug 18, 2008
    Olympia WA
    I never got around to building a nestbox for my hens, what with all the coop moving, run construction, winterizing, etc... It just wasn't super high on my priorities list. They've been laying on the floor of their roosting area, which is a pain to get too, and has a tendency to be poopy. So finally, about a week ago, I got around to making a nice nestbox. It is "community" style, 40 by 14 inches and has a flap on the outside that locks down, to collect eggs easily. Put some straw in, made little nests, and added golf balls. A few days go by, theyve been scratching around in there, but the eggs are still "upstairs". Yesterday, one lays an egg on the floor of the coop. I'm a bit discouraged. Today--come home, nothing in the roost area ("slackers"!), look in the nest box--two eggs!! [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Just goes to show--if you build a nestbox with all the dimensions I have gathered here from BYC, they will not be able to resist it!
  2. redoak

    redoak Songster

    Feb 27, 2008
    Russia, NY
    Congrats on your first eggs and having smart chickens [​IMG]
  3. bills

    bills Songster

    Jan 4, 2008
    vancouver island
    I think it's instinctive that they prefer to have a nest box. Something about the eggs being layed in a safe spot, comes to them naturally.

    I'm sure they will all soon be laying in it.[​IMG]
  4. Skitz

    Skitz Skitz15k

    Nov 11, 2008
    can i put straw or hay in the nest boxes? b/c theres a thread that a chicken died of impacted crop and it had on the crop hay and corn
  5. SunnysideupDale

    SunnysideupDale In the Brooder

    Jan 7, 2009
    You'll definitely want to put something in the box to prevent the eggs from cracking when they drop. We put straw in ours with mixed results. We're often having to put more straw into the boxes because the girls love to kick it out. In the spring we're thinking of stapling down some artificial turf onto the floor of the boxes. It will be something they won't be able to take out, but something that will give the eggs a soft landing. [​IMG]
  6. rdranch

    rdranch Songster

    Apr 13, 2007
    We've been using wood shavings in the nest box since day one. They get scooped out into the coop once or twice a month and replaced with new.

    Seems to be acceptable to them. [​IMG]
  7. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm 10 Years

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    Golf balls in the nest boxes worked for me too.
  8. Omran

    Omran Songster

    Jul 26, 2008
    Bagdad KY
    Congratulations, that's very good news, and you are real lucky, because some hens are real hard to train them to go lay in the nestboxes, thanks God all my hens go to lay in the nestboxes everytime. [​IMG]

  9. grnthmb

    grnthmb In the Brooder

    Dec 14, 2008
    I have three hens and four boxes and only one lays in the box. The other two lay on the floor or on the ground.
  10. chookchick

    chookchick Songster

    Aug 18, 2008
    Olympia WA
    Jhonnyakaskittles--I believe the problem is hay, as opposed to straw. Hay is too much like grass, which they love. A chicken would have to be really dumb, which I'm sure some could be!, to eat straw.

    BTW--my hens didn't lay today. My son was really bummed that he did not get to find the first eggs in the nestbox. So before he came home I took an egg out of the fridge, warmed it up in my hand, and kind of hid it in there. He was very excited to find it! Someday I will be in big trouble when he finds out the egg tricks I have done......

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