Hens & nestboxes

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by chickenwoods, Jul 15, 2007.

  1. chickenwoods

    chickenwoods Songster

    Apr 29, 2007
    Where in the barn is a good place to put a nestbox?
    Should they have to fly up to it,walk a board up to it,or just walk to it on the ground? Whats best to encourage a hen to lay
  2. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

    May 24, 2007
    I'll give you my two cents worth but I'm a pretty newbie to chickens so it's what I've learned from others:

    1) Nest boxes should be off the ground but if they aren't the chickens will still use them. The chickens can "jump/fly" up to a nest. However, heavy breeds need the nests lower than Bantams. My nest boxes are in two rows; one on top of the other. The lower row is only ten inches or so off the ground with the top nests about two feet off the ground. Interesting for me, my bantams use the top nests (for sleeping:() and the larger breeds have jumped into the lower nest boxes just to check them out. My chickens have not started to lay eggs yet so I'm waiting to see who uses which.

    2) Most chickens like a darker nest box - someplace quiet and not in direct light. I've been told that putting a cover over half the entrance can be helpful to get the chickens to use their nest boxes. I used pieces of carpet but I think burlap bags or such would work better.

    3) Putting a golf ball or fake egg in the nest box can encourage the girls to lay their own eggs in there.

    4) Have a 'perch' right outside the nest box so the bird gets up onto the perch and then steps into the nest. To try and be clearer ... have a board with a small diameter (like a 2x4 with the 2" side up) about an inch or two in front of the box. The chicken jumps/flies to the little perch and then steps into the box.

    Hope that helps.
  3. lhamid

    lhamid In the Brooder

    Apr 24, 2007
    I use big rubbermaid totes from walmart. Just cut a hole in the front a few inches from the bottom so shavings stay in. They have a lid that comes off easily to check for eggs. They are easy to keep clean and can be moved if necessary. Don't get really small ones, they tip over. Get larger ones, they are more stable. My girls love them.

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