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ignoring nest boxes -- b/c of flock dynamics?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by melschicks, Sep 21, 2011.

  1. melschicks

    melschicks In the Brooder

    May 9, 2011
    Dennis Port, MA
    Hi all,
    I have 3 BPR and 2 Red Stars that are 20 weeks and 4 faverolles that are 17 weeks. The faverolles were added to the flock once they were around 7-8 weeks (the hatchery ended up shipping in two batches, so we were stuck integrating the flocks). For the most part, they all get along fine now, roost together, etc. But the faverolles rarely leave the coop to go into the run (when we first integrated, they were enclosed in a subsection of the coop). The older girls spend all day in the run and only come into the coop to sleep and when I'm cleaning to investigate. The favs play in the nest boxes and kick all the bedding out of them fairly regularly but I haven't seen the older girls interested in the nest boxes.

    We have yet to see any "practice nesting" from the older girls and I'm worried that they don't have enough privacy with all the faverolles dominating the coop all day.

    Does anyone have experience with a similar situation? Any advice? We're debating kicking the faverolles out of the coop for a few days and allowing the older girls to better explore the nest boxes.

    I've also considered that they may just not be old enough yet. They were born early May, so they are definitely in the "may not lay the first year" camp since the days are getting shorter.

    Thanks for your insights! This is my first year with chickens!

  2. shelby528

    shelby528 Songster

    Aug 5, 2009
    Have you tried putting flaps over your nest boxes. Its what I had to do ...since I had sussex eggs all over...I noticed they were going in dark corners so I made flaps to cover my nest boxes out of old mud flaps..cut them in half and cut little fringes so the chickens didnt have a problem getting in and out of them [​IMG]
  3. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    They probably aren't ready. When they are closer to laying, they'll explore the boxes. And don't be surprised if the first eggs don't make it to the boxes. They will in time.
  4. melschicks

    melschicks In the Brooder

    May 9, 2011
    Dennis Port, MA
    Thanks! I will try to reduce the entrance.... since they are bigger breeds, we went with a bigger opening, but perhaps they need it a little darker.
  5. audioguy

    audioguy Songster

    Dec 6, 2010
    Branchburg, NJ
    2 of my 4 girls stated laying a few ago and so far they have only layed one egg in the nest box. They are blue too!!

    They like to lay under the shelf which is under the roost. I put bricks in them and they lay next to the brick. [​IMG]
    I know what I can use. My old pool cover is dark and I can cut it to fit over the entrance to the next box. Good idea!

    The other two are laying "fart eggs" that have a leather shell. I think they are practice eggs and we find them out in the run, and just the other day, on the poop tray. I guess they have to get going. They eat layer food and I give them oyster shells mixed in for extra calcium.

    I guess I have to wait and see.

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