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Exterior Nest boxes close to floor? IS THIS OK?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by sutphindanesnchickens, Feb 25, 2009.

  1. sutphindanesnchickens

    sutphindanesnchickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 6, 2009
    NorthofColumbus Ohio
    Need to redo my coop didnt think it thru and need to add exterior nest boxes b/c the hens arent using the interior ones they are roosting on them instead of laying in them....if i put the nest boxes near floor level will this work? they are laying the eggs on the floor right now instead of in the boxes
    THANKS
     
  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    You want your roosts to be higher than your nest boxes, so yes putting the nest boxes on the floor would work. My nest boxes are (now) lower than my lowest roost. I left myself just enough room under them so that I can the scoop shovel under them when I do coop clean outs.
    If the hens are already "programmed" to sleep on the nest boxes, after you lower them they might still want to sleep on them so you'll have to "re-program" them to sleep on the roosts. The easiest way I've found to do this - although it's still a pain - is to go out at night with a penlight and move them to the roosts. You have to be consistent and do this every night and they'll finally get the hint after a week or so.
    The penlight should be bright enough for you to see what you're doing, but not so bright as to get them up and moving around again.
    ETA: IMO, it's best that the nest boxes remain inside the coop so as not to attract egg eating predators - snakes, possums, and skunks - to your chickens.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2009

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