Community nest box ?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by jmtcmkb, Feb 28, 2012.

  1. jmtcmkb

    jmtcmkb Chillin' With My Peeps

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    First time raising chickens, mine are just starting to lay. We decided to do one 24 wide, 12 high nest box. I read and a lot of people said the separation isnt neccesary as they often lay in same spot. Now I am wondering if that is why I have one laying in the nest box and one laying all over the place. They are not laying at the same time of day, but I am second guessing if I need a smaller space to offer. The nest box is attached ( access from outside coop) it's dark /cozy enough, but it's 24" wide, slanted top etc.

    I have 3 more ready to lay soon, have to wait and see where they end up laying.

    I'd rather not have to hunt for eggs in a poopy coop or on the run floor if I can make it happen by adjusting the nest box. any thoughts?
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2012
  2. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

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    Do you have any fake eggs or golf balls in your nest box? My new layers tend to just lay wherever, including while they're just out scratching around in the run :rolleyes: I have older layers, they really seem to help show the new girls where to put their eggs. If you don't have that option, the golf balls/ceramic eggs will likely help them. I have 12 nest holes, and all of my hens lay in the same box everyday (all 10 of them that are currently laying). They literally wait in line for that particular box, I like the idea of one big box. Good luck!
     
  3. jmtcmkb

    jmtcmkb Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I do have a fake easter egg in there, maybe I should put golf balls. My first one to lay has consistently been laying there in the exact same spot in the nest box. Probably just need time. No older hens, just these 5 cutie pies. so curious and friendly who would of thought....
     
  4. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    This external box is 24 to 26 inches wide. The entrance doors are 9X9. I just used scrap nailers and scrap piece of sheathing to divide in two.

    Not all birds "get it" right away but all mine have within first few weeks of laying. It's nice to have 2 nest in case one is occupied for long period of time a hen will use another. And sometimes they all just start using the other one. They seem to like choices even though they usually follow the group.
     
  5. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    https://www.backyardchickens.com/image/id/5825731/width/900/height/600/flags/LL

    II can't seem to get an image to show in this new forum yet...eventually I'll get all my photos from BYC albums on computer so it works...ugh.

    Anywho, this box is 24-26 inches wide. The entrance are 9X9 and center is just a few scrap nailers and scrap siding to divide in half. All of my chickens have eventually used the nesting boxes. It can take a few weeks but they will "get it". One thing I do is use straw in nests and pine chips in coop. Once I cleaned the coop forgetting we were out of pine chips so used straw. Yup, they made nests in the coop for about a week.
     
  6. jmtcmkb

    jmtcmkb Chillin' With My Peeps

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    thank you, will have my husband take a peek and see if we can slip a divider in. Straw hmmm I wonder if that would work, my luck they would eat it.[​IMG]
     
  7. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    I've never had a problem with straw. The only reason we use it instead of hay is to keep grass seed out of garden and compost pile [​IMG]

    I mention the difference of medium because I think the chickens notice and attribute the "dead grass" material to nesting area. Hence them laying in coop the time I used straw when out of wood chips. BTW I left the straw in until dirty, they just figured it out on their own to start laying in boxes again after a week. Of course I was russling up their nests each day too so that helped to manage their behavior. The nests they make in boxes stay nest like and aren't disturbed. That's probably the biggest thing- keep tussling up any nesting areas they make in coop, then they know it's not a good place to nest.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2012

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