Introducing the nesting boxes, even though they are not laying...

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by ab333, Nov 16, 2009.

  1. ab333

    ab333 Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 28, 2009
    Amherst
    Hi everyone. I am just wondering how you did this. My girls are just avoiding the nesting boxes?? I have them on the ground for now and plan to raise them 8-12 inches once they get use to them??? Any other suggestions would be sooooo appreciated;)
    Thank
    Amy in Wi.
     
  2. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    I also want to know when to introduce nest boxes. My oldest pullet will be 8 wks old this Weds. and I know it's about 5 months too early for laying, but I just wondered WHEN one puts the nest boxes in the coop. Mine is an A-Frame, so there's not a whole lot of space, but I didn't want to freak 'em out in 5 months when I put nest boxes in it for 'em. What's the best time and method for introducing nest boxes??

    Thanks!!
     
  3. socalchicks

    socalchicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 1, 2009
    Temecula Valley, CA
    My girls turned 16 weeks over the weekend. I just installed the nesting boxes this morning. I hope they start getting the idea! [​IMG]
     
  4. fiberart57

    fiberart57 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 31, 2009
    Colorado
    I had the nest boxes in the coop from day one. Mine are inside with a door from the outside for the eggs and are about 10" off the bottom of the floor. The first night in, they all roosted on top of them. It was very crowded with six birds on a 12"x24" shelf. Since then, I put boards on top, leaning diagonally so they can't roost on it and set their roosts above the height of the nest box. I put some sweet timothy grass in the boxes, a couple of golf balls and left them. This was when they were about 10 weeks old.

    They never went in there and messed it up or anything, but they free range in the back yard so they didn't get bored. I got my first egg about three weeks ago and it was laid (with encouragement) in the nest box. Now three of them are laying and they lay in the nest box. If you set your roosts high enough so they won't go and sleep in the boxes they should be fine. I have also heard that having the nest boxes on the floor may encourage them to scratch in them and they might break an egg and then become egg eaters. I don't know how true this is.

    I would just put the boxes in as they will be when they start to lay so there's fewer changes they have to adjust to. If they get in them and become destructive, you can board them up until egg time. Good luck.

    Mary
     
  5. joedie

    joedie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 17, 2009
    SW Indiana
    I agree with what fiberart57 said.
     
  6. trilyn

    trilyn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 13, 2009
    East Syracuse
    Quote:I did the same thing and put golf balls in there, when they hit 17 weeks-I got my first egg! They were comets though, I know my RIR went to about 20 weeks before they started, my EE was 25 weeks when she started, oh but that was worth the wait. What a pretty seafoam green egg she laid!! [​IMG]
     
  7. socalchicks

    socalchicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 1, 2009
    Temecula Valley, CA
    Quote:I did the same thing and put golf balls in there, when they hit 17 weeks-I got my first egg! They were comets though, I know my RIR went to about 20 weeks before they started, my EE was 25 weeks when she started, oh but that was worth the wait. What a pretty seafoam green egg she laid!! [​IMG]

    I've heard of golf balls before, that's a good idea! I have an EE, 2 RIRs and 2 Silkies. I probably have a little longer to wait, but maybe when they see some golf balls in the nest they'll pick up the pace a bit!! Here's hoping for a pretty green egg from my EE, too!
     
  8. Elite Silkies

    Elite Silkies Overrun With Chickens

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    Jun 17, 2009
    Oklahoma
    My Coop
    I put the boxes in when they were about 16 weeks old. They never messed with them. I put ping pong balls in them (they are cheaper) and when they started laying, they automatically used the nesting boxes.
     
  9. SC_Hugh

    SC_Hugh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 23, 2009
    Santa Cruz, CA
    I installed two nest boxes at 12 weeks (only 4 chickens), but as recommended on BYC - I also put a board in front of the boxes to block all of my chickens from going inside, they hung around on top [​IMG] I keep them blocked off until my first pullet laid an egg on the coop floor, right next to the nest boxes.

    [​IMG]

    If I were to build the boxes again, I would build them with a steeper pitched roof or even better = exterior attached nest boxes for easier egg collection. AND my nest boxes would be made out of new wood, not aged plywood from the yard pile. 2nd egg, laid in the nest!

    [​IMG]

    And now, I got rid of all those feathers and added more shavings, so now it is 6-8 inches deep going into winter. Those chick feathers were everywhere!
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2009
  10. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

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    Nov 18, 2007
    Florida
    My Coop
    I agree with the other posts. I also put golf balls in my nest boxes. I use spainsh moss in my nest boxes as it is so abundant here. I put the nest boxes in as soon as the pullets start squatting as it won't be long after that before they start laying.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2009

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