Chickens scratching all the straw out of new nest boxes...

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by aggielady, Jan 3, 2014.

  1. aggielady

    aggielady Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 3, 2013
    Texas
    My oldest girls are now 17-18 weeks old and I introduced some nest boxes filled with straw and a golf ball in each a couple of days ago. They weren't too keen on the boxes at first (understandably) but now they are sitting on top of (not in) the boxes and scratching out all the soft bedding within.
    They are well fed and are turned out for long periods during the day so I can't imagine its food or boredom.
    Any thoughts?
    Do you think they'll stop making a mess and start using them for their intended purpose eventually?
    Should I hang them higher so they can't just get in and scratch about for fun?
    Should I just buy traditional nest boxes? The current boxes are large totes with the lids on and a large nest box sized "door" cut in the side. Should I remove the lid so they have more headroom?
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2014
  2. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    How high is the lower lip of the boxes? I like a good 4-6", they can't scratch everything out that way. How high off the ground are the totes? Can you put a slanted board or something across the top of the boxes to keep them from sitting on them, assume the poop is becoming a problem? How tall are they, if a foot or so they should have plenty of head room, most hens seem to like the nesting spots dark anyhow.
     
  3. aggielady

    aggielady Out Of The Brooder

    61
    5
    33
    Oct 3, 2013
    Texas
    Hmm, the head room and the height might be the issue. The lower lip is about 3-4" wide. One box is on the ground and one is stacked above it. Maybe I should mount them 4-6" up on the wall. They don't have much headroom. I may need to try something else or turn the box on the side to allow for more headroom...? I just took this of all 5 on the top of the top box.
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