Changed my nestboxes - I shoulda known!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by gritsar, Nov 2, 2009.

  1. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    My hens are just coming back into laying after taking a break to molt. So far today I've gotten 7 eggs from thirteen hens and they're not all finished yet. [​IMG]
    They've always used totally open nestboxes with no problem. Several months back I added an enclosed nestbox on the floor that quite a few of them prefer.
    Tomorrow I plan to replace all of the remaining open boxes with enclosed ones, the same as the one on the floor.
    Do you think the change is going to disrupt their laying? Or maybe not since they are already used to the one enclosed box?

    UPDATE: So I changed the nestboxes out yesterday, leaving only one of the open boxes and the original covered box in place with the new covered boxes. I just checked on things out in the coop. The hens are all squeezed into the old, open box and the original covered box! I shoulda known this was going to happen! If there's any creatures in this world more set in their ways than me, it's my hens. They're just going to have to deal with it. They have three choices - lay in the new boxes, keeping squeezing in to the old ones, or lay on the floor. I so hope they'll pick option one! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2009
  2. blue fire

    blue fire Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't think it will affect their laying, they might even prefer these boxes more due to the extra amount of privacy.
     
  3. chookchick

    chookchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My hens will take any excuse to not lay, but--I have changed their nest box arrangement on them several times, and they have adjusted to it very well. If an egg is in the chute, they will find a place to lay it! Doesn't seem to bother them too much.
     
  4. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Quote:Awww [​IMG]
    Mine never used to mind change, but the older they get the less the like it. Like someone else I know.
    We'll be finding out tomorrow, that's if I can make the switch between the early morning layers and the evening crew. [​IMG]
     
  5. MaggieRae

    MaggieRae Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 12, 2009
    North Texas
    Not meaning to hijack, but I'm curious. Do hens need enclosed nest boxes? Our nest boxes are just a hole cut in the wall of the coop, with 3 long boards set up to for a box structure on the external side of the coop. Do they need dividers? Or will they lay there since I've got the golf balls and such in there? They don't really have anywhere else to go since I don't free range them except for when I'm watching.
     
  6. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Quote:Nah, they don't need enclosed boxes but I've found my girls do prefer them.
    When we built my coop I put in four nestboxes that are essentially large storage bins anchored to two 2x4s that run the length of the west wall of the coop. Then I started thinking about my half blind hen and how she might have trouble jumping up to those boxes, since she does have trouble getting up to the roosts due to her limited vision.
    So, I bought a large covered litter box and put it on the floor of the coop, under the original nestboxes. She won't use it and somehow manages to make it to the other nestboxes. My other hens however love the covered one and will wait in line for it. Out of thirteen hens, I'd say nine of them prefer the litterbox/nestbox.
    Tomorrow I am going to replace the storage bins with more covered litter boxes. It's an expense up front, but they are durable, easy to clean and the girls do like their privacy (from humans, not their sisters). I've had up to three hens jam themselves into the covered box at once.
     
  7. MaggieRae

    MaggieRae Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 12, 2009
    North Texas
    Quote:Thanks for the info, and that sounds like a funny picture!!! [​IMG]
     
  8. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    I'mma gonna scream! All the eggs are being laid in the one original box. They won't go anywhere the new boxes. They weren't cheap and I played heck installing them by myself. [​IMG]
     
  9. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    Girl Raised, if I may be informal enough to call you by your first names, when you see them in the old box laying, be strong and decisive. Show them who is in charge. Imprison them in the new boxes until they lay an egg. Then let them out as you tell them about that incubator you are getting for Christmas.

    I had a Buff Orp laying on the floor of the coop. It only took one half-hour term in egg-laying prison to teach her where to lay. I now have an Australorp laying on the coop floor and an unknown one laying in the run. They will spend time in egg-laying prison when I can catch them in the act.
     
  10. Kittymomma

    Kittymomma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Give them a couple of days. I love my chickens, but they are soooo silly about any kind of change to their coop area. I accidently bought a different kind of shavings last time, really fine almost sawdust looking stuff.

    Well the feed store is quite aways away and I'd allready cleaned out the old stuff so decided to just go ahead and use it. You've never seen such a bedtime ruckus! Nearly 30 chickens jammed up at the pop door giving their alarm call, pacing around, and generally being a bunch of goofs all because the shavings looked more like sawdust. They got over it in a couple of days and I'm sure your girls will go from--this is just wrong!-- to hmmm, what an interesting little cave--in no time at all too. Gotta love the fuzzy butts!
     

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