How do I get them to lay in nesting boxes?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by junkprospector, Aug 31, 2009.

  1. junkprospector

    junkprospector Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 28, 2008
    Boise, ID
    I just built a new coop - with nesting boxes and outside access - it's a great setup - IF i can convince the hens to use the boxes. I switched from Pine shavings to straw for the bedding - this is a mobile coop with OBS floor above the run. I'm wondering if I should have straw in the main coop ares as well as in the nesting boxes or only in the nesting boxes...
    In my old coop, I had the bedding throughout and the girls would lay in the boxes - I'm wondering if I should do something to initially (like only have the straw in the boxes) to coax the hens into laying in the boxes and then maybe gradually put the bedding throughout after they establish the laying patterns - thoughts?
     
  2. The Chicken People

    The Chicken People Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 4, 2009
    Smithville, Mo
    Golf balls in nesting boxes!
     
  3. junkprospector

    junkprospector Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 28, 2008
    Boise, ID
    Really! this will tell the hens "HERE's the laying area Ladies..." I'd never have thought of that, I'll have to give it a shot. Thanks!
     
  4. The Chicken People

    The Chicken People Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 4, 2009
    Smithville, Mo
    Yep Yep! And I use hay in their nest boxes!
     
  5. junkprospector

    junkprospector Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 28, 2008
    Boise, ID
    is there an advantage of straw vs. hay for bedding?
     
  6. staceyl

    staceyl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 2, 2009
    The advantage of straw is that its better for the compost pile. Disadvantage is more bugs.
     
  7. TammyTX

    TammyTX Overrun With Chickens

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    Feb 16, 2009
    Texas
    I use shavings but the girls tend to move it around and make a bare spot....CRACK!

    Also, you can use ping-pong balls...I didn't have any golf balls.

    If your girls aren't old enough to lay cover the openings with cardboard or something until they are ready because I had a heck of a time getting them (and the roo's) to quit sleeping in the nest.
     
  8. junkprospector

    junkprospector Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 28, 2008
    Boise, ID
    they're all old enough except the GSL - the hens are all around 6 months; 2 buff's, 2 Brahma's and a gold sex link that's about 4 months old. the buffs and brahmas are laying. Cool - I'll certainly get some golf balls or ping pong balls tonight. Thanks so much!
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2009
  9. michiganlarry

    michiganlarry Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 7, 2009
    Marine City, Michigan
    The golf balls work. I have 11 pullets that are just starting to lay. I put golf balls in the nesting boxes and we have only found 2 eggs out of the 40 or so out of the boxes. Amazing!
     

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