Help with nest boxes please

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Top Hen, Jun 6, 2008.

  1. Top Hen

    Top Hen Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 16, 2008
    Hello, My chickens are about 12 weeks old. They are just starting to roost on the high roosts in the coop. Right now I have the three nest boxes covered with a piece of plywood so they cant get in them. I figured that I would let them get use to roosting first, hoping they won't sleep in the nest boxes when I uncover them. My question is: When should I uncover the nest boxes so they will know to lay their eggs in them? Should I have never covered them? Also what is the deal with the chickens running up to each other and chest bumping? Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2008
  2. lengel

    lengel Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 30, 2008
    MA
    We never covered our nest box but they don't necessarily lay in it either. At the moment, everyone lays together at the bottom of the coop. A few weeks ago, the nest box was the way to go. I guess I'm just happy with the fact that they lay in the same place now so I don't have to hunt the eggs down.
     
  3. SeaChick

    SeaChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 25, 2007
    Southern Maine
    The running up and bumping each other thing is what they do a lot at this age, they are establishing pecking order amongst themselves. The also puff up their neck feathers and stand up tall, right?? Trying to look BIG..... totally normal (and I think cute to watch. Ours take flying leaps across the yard when they do this, or come barrelling at each other with heads down and then rear up looking all big and "oooooh, scary!!")

    We introduced the nest boxes at about 17 weeks, with fake eggs/golfballs in them, lifting the girls up to see. I think a lot of folks do what you have, and block them off until then. Sounds like you're doing everything right!

    Stacey
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2008
  4. Top Hen

    Top Hen Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 16, 2008
    Thanks, that's what I will do, uncover them at about 17 weeks. It is funny to watch them run up to each other chest bumping and standing tall. Thanks for the reply.
     
  5. Wolf-Kim

    Wolf-Kim Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 25, 2008
    When should I uncover the nest boxes so they will know to lay their eggs in them?

    If they are sleeping on the top roost, go ahead and uncover them. If they understand sleeping on the roosts, they shouldn't go to sleeping in the nestboxes.

    Should I have never covered them?

    It's fine that you covered them. It was probably unneccessary as they would naturally roost on the highest roost. It is not going to "mess them up" that you covered it. They'll know what the nestboxes are for when the time comes.

    Also what is the deal with the chickens running up to each other and chest bumping? Thanks.

    It's just them working out their pecking order. They bow up at eachother trying to make themselves look bigger or more aggressive. It's nothing to worry about as long as it doesn't get violent.

    -Kim​
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2008

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