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Getting close to laying age but concerned about the coop crawl space

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by tbonekel, Jul 20, 2011.

  1. tbonekel

    tbonekel New Egg

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    Jul 19, 2011
    I'm new to the chicken raising fun and right now I'm having a total blast! These chickens are so entertaining. Anyway, I have been wondering about chicken laying habits. In all the posts I have read, chickens will sometimes lay where ever they want. We have three that are about 17 weeks old and so I put some nest boxes in the coop. They haven't shown any interest in the nests yet, but I'm being patient. I am a little concerned though that they might decide to lay under the coop. I didn't build it with a lot of crawl space, but the chickens can and love to go under and relax in the shade, far from my reach. We are experiencing a historic heat wave right now in North Texas with records being broken daily. Even though the run is shaded for most of the day, I know that the chickens are staying cool under the coop. I would hate to block off the crawl space to them right now. Should I be concerned about the chickens deciding to lay an egg there? If they do, I will never know about it.
     
  2. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 15, 2010
    Forest Grove, OR
    Hi and [​IMG]

    If you haven't already, place a couple of golf balls in the nesting boxes. That gives them the idea that eggs have already been laid there.
     
  3. wrldlygrrl

    wrldlygrrl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Decatur, GA
    Yay Chicks! :

    Hi and [​IMG]

    If you haven't already, place a couple of golf balls in the nesting boxes. That gives them the idea that eggs have already been laid there.

    X2​
     
  4. Kaitie09

    Kaitie09 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Is the crawl space open on all sides? If it is, I would suggest getting a long stick and put something on the end up it so you could push eggs out if they lay them under there. I keep picturing in my head something like a paint roller, but secured so it does not actually roll. That would be soft enough that it would not break the egg, but it also can get a little grip on it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2011
  5. rjlanger2

    rjlanger2 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 22, 2011
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    Welcome!!

    I'm in Central Texas, and it's definitely been hot! The golf balls in the boxes will hopefully prompt them to lay in the boxes. But, if they have been enjoying the cool dirt and "digging in" underneath, I'll bet that is where they start laying. I have 9 hens (4 newbies) and they alternate between the boxes and the cooler dirt area of a temp coop that was set up to segregate the originals from the newbies until the newbies were big enough to fend for themselves. You might consider closing that area off - - all depends on how much crawling you're prepared to do.

    Bob

    5 RIRs, 3 White Leghorns, and 1 mean Lavender Guinea
     
  6. hcppam

    hcppam Chillin' With My Peeps

    The heat is the big thing dang...I would consider blocking off the craw space, until they started laying in there boxes. [​IMG]
     
  7. Noymira

    Noymira Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I agree with this. I would not close the area off, if they use it a lot to cool off they probably need it!

    I have a tractor that I cannot get into the run part except through the chicken door (will be revamping that this fall), I've gotten pretty innovative in getting things in and out of there as needed using sticks and broom handles through the wire!
     

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