Kitty Litter Nest Box Question

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by MamaChick0708, Aug 4, 2016.

  1. MamaChick0708

    MamaChick0708 Out Of The Brooder

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    I thought I was being awesome by re-purposing kitty littler boxes as next boxes, you know the 12X18" boxes, so far my chickens have done nothing but ignore the boxes. Then following advice I placed on inside the portable run just in case a chicken wanted to lay an egg (were waiting, it should happen soon) but so far all the chickens seem to want to do is pull all the nesting material out and scratch in it.....so is it just me or do they hate the boxes? Should I try something else? Maybe they are just not close enough to laying eggs as I thought?
     
  2. wingedshade

    wingedshade Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You could try putting fake eggs in the nests to encourage them. How old are they?
     
  3. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Have they started laying at all.
    How old are they?
    Are their combs and wattles getting larger and redder?
    How many finger widths are there between the two pointy pelvic bones on both sides of the vent?
    The boxes need to be in a secretive spot. A kitty litter box is pretty open.

    A nest box won't cause them to lay if ovulation hasn't happened.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2016
  4. MamaChick0708

    MamaChick0708 Out Of The Brooder

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    My oldest is a Black Copper Maran, she is 23 weeks old her comb has gone from small to large and red, her waddles are red and she is plump as I would call it, she looks like a hen not a baby any more. My other chickens are 21 weeks and only one has started to gain a larger comb however, my silkie turken mixes its hard to tell what is happening with them.

    I have seen individuals make curtains for the nest boxes, would that be better? Does she need a bigger nest box. Im not trying to force egg production but I had read that most hens try to test out the nest box weeks in advance and it seems like nobody has been in them, well except the one in the run and that was to move the bedding back out...thoughts?
     
  5. MamaChick0708

    MamaChick0708 Out Of The Brooder

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    Also the next boxes are closer to the front of the coop, maybe I should have my husband unscrew them and move them toward the back (we have a converted 10X12 shed).
     
  6. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    I think your boxes are plenty big enough but perhaps some sides and a top to make them more discrete. A fake egg or golf ball in each usually helps.
    You're right, they do test them out for size about a week or so before laying the first.
    Sometimes if too much light shines into the nest can be a problem. Soft bedding helps.
     
  7. nchls school

    nchls school Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My young pullets do the same thing, and it does not matter which type of nest box it is. Until they start laying I find the nest material strewn about. Once egg laying starts the problem starts to disappear. Once all are laying the nest boxes stay as they should. It seems that pullets do not know what nest boxes are for until they start to lay eggs.
     
  8. hamard

    hamard Out Of The Brooder

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    I tried to use a unused kitty litter box. It didnot work the hens had nothing to do with it. I think the cat sent was still present. I have had more luck with dark colored tote boxes. Just cut a opening for the hen. When you gather the eggs just lift the lid to gather the eggs.
     
  9. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps

    My guess is that your chickens are simply not ready to lay... I use litter boxes for my nesting boxes and don't have any issues with the chickens using them...

    [​IMG]

    If you are recycling used litter boxes wash them with an acidic toilet bowl cleaner and rinse well... I personally use 'The Works' toilet bowel cleaner to clean/sanitize just about every plastic or glass critter cage I have, does wonders and makes cleaning easy...

    http://www.theworkscleans.com/toiletcleaner.html
     
  10. Cacique500

    Cacique500 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]

    Mine have been working like a charm...try putting the fake eggs in them to see if that helps. Above is the "human" side view with the door open...

    [​IMG]
    This is their side. For some reason the upper right box gets all the action...
     

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