Metal Hen Boxes

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Jeralmac, Oct 28, 2013.

  1. Jeralmac

    Jeralmac New Egg

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    Oct 25, 2013
    Rochester, MN
    Hi all, I'm new to BYC and chickens in general. Just started in May of this year with 6 Barred Rocks, 3 Cochins, 2 Orpintons, 2 Buckeyes and 2 Wellsomers. Really having fun with them and already getting attached to a few of them!

    I have a question regarding hen boxes. A relative to my Wife donated a metal hen box to us when I built our coop into an old stall of our old barn. Our hens don't seem to want to go in the metal boxes. I've tried a few different types of bedding (straw, wood shavings, etc.) and they just roost outside of it or on their roosting poles that I made out of 2x4's. All of the hens are roughly 5 months old and I see no signs of eggs. We live in SE Minnesota and it's starting to go below freezing at night lately.

    My concern is that the metal boxes are attracting the cold temps and making it so the hens don't want to go in there. Could that be keeping them from laying eggs?

    I'd be happy to provide any further information!
     
  2. Hanna8

    Hanna8 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 26, 2012
    What you said about the cold is possible, but if you have a nice warm bedding in there it shouldn't be that much of a problem. Another possibility is that they don't like where you put it or don't know to go in there. They aren't likely to use it all before they lay though. If later on they are laying everywhere but the nest box, I would try changing things up a bit and see if it helps. Until you're getting eggs though, I wouldn't worry much about it. The nest box isn't keeping them from laying. That will happen when nature says so whether the chicken uses a nest box or not.

    It sounded in you post like you may have be them to sleep in it. Chickens much prefer roosting. They'll be fine in the cold. They've got feathers and each other for warmth.
     
  3. Jeralmac

    Jeralmac New Egg

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    Oct 25, 2013
    Rochester, MN
    Thank you for your reply! Sounds like I'm possibly expecting eggs from my birds a little too soon. We were originally told that they would start producing at around 20 weeks but the more I read, it sounds like it's closer to 6 - 8 months so I just need some patience!

    Thanks again!
     

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