Help me

fluffybutt3856

In the Brooder
Jul 23, 2016
12
0
30
This is my first time writing and I don't know what to do
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My pullets are showing the signs that they will start laying soon (submissive stance, red combs and wattles, fat). My problem is that they sleep in the near boxes and I can't seem to break the habit. I don't want to block the nest boxes off just in case. Plz help me to figure out a solution to keep the future eggs from being soiled.
 

TwoCrows

🌻🐣🌻
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Mar 21, 2011
47,951
107,232
1,712
New Mexico, USA
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Hello there and welcome to BYC!
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You need to close off the boxes at night and train them to start using the roost bar. Chicks when first moved to the coop have a tendency to want to sleep in the nest boxes for safety. So it is important to close these off so they don't learn to sleep in them instead of the roost bar. However during the day you will need to open them up so they can use them. Once they roost on the bars for a week or so, they will never again return to the nest boxes and you won't have to block them off at night.

You might go up at roosting time and get everybody on the roost bar and then turn out the lights. They won't want to sleep on the bar at first, but if you keep putting them up there at night, they will get the hint this is where they need to sleep. Roost bar sleeping is way more sanitary than in the boxes. Anyway, keep working with them and eventually they will give up with the box sleeping. Just don't forget to open up the boxes during the day.

If you have standard size breeds, make sure to use a large enough bar...something like a 2x4 with the 4 side up works very well. If these are bantams, you can use a 2x2. Don't keep the bar way up in the rafters where they can sprain their legs coming down or get frost bite in the winter. 1 foot off the ground is plenty enough room.

Good luck with your flock and I hope you get those eggies soon! :)
 

GertrudeLover01

Songster
7 Years
Mar 20, 2012
340
14
126
Murfreesboro, TN
If you're really concerned about them laying in the wrong spot, pick up a ceramic egg or two (or even some golf balls) and place those where you would like them to lay. That will make them think someone has been laying there and they should follow the example and lay there. Best of luck! Welcome to BYC!
 

fluffybutt3856

In the Brooder
Jul 23, 2016
12
0
30
Thank u for ur feedback I put a couple plastic Easter eggs in each nest box and I'll be sure to block them off at night the towel idea is good, I have plenty of those
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TwoCrows

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BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Mar 21, 2011
47,951
107,232
1,712
New Mexico, USA
My Coop
My Coop
They learn pretty quick like and have a tendency to repeat all actions that kept them alive. In other words, what ever they did yesterday and survived, then today they do the same thing! LOL So Once they have slept on the roost bars and survived, they will give up on the nest box sleeping.

I like to keep fake eggs in the nest boxes at all times, even with adults. It can help with egg eating since these eggs are in there at all times, they can't be broken into and the birds will have a tendency to leave the real eggs alone. My birds are so used to fake ceramic eggs in the nest boxes, they will REFUSE to lay in a box that doesn't have one in it! LOL

Good luck! :)
 

drumstick diva

Still crazy after all these years.
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Aug 26, 2009
137,626
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Out to pasture
2 Crows has given you better advice than I could come up with, so I will just say "Welcome to Backyard chickens, so glad you joined the flock.
 

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