Need advice on how to make nesting box more appealing

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by truchicks, Nov 10, 2016.

  1. truchicks

    truchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I got my first egg!!![​IMG]but it was on the ground[​IMG]
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    Golf balls in buckets to influence them
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    Are the buckets too small? These are my first chickens and so I am just figuring it out as I go but I think I might have gotten the nest buckets wrong...what do ya'll think? Any advice, tips, or constructive criticism is always welcomed![​IMG]
     
  2. GC-Raptor

    GC-Raptor Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It's looks like it could be small in the photo with the hens in front. A square box should be 13" wide 14" deep 12" high.[​IMG] It will take young pullets a few days to know where they should lay. GC
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2016
  3. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Chicken Obsessed

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    First eggs can show up anywhere. Pullets often don't know what is happening to their bodies, so those eggs just kind of "fall out". My very first pullet egg (not counting the flocks I had in the 60's through 80's) landed beside the water dish. One minute I filled the dish, and she was standing there drinking. The next minute there was a little blue egg on the ground behind her. I'm sure she was as surprised as I was! But, over time, they get it figured out and look for a secure place to "put their eggs." I have a bit of concern about your buckets: I'd trim the edges of the opening in the top back, round them off a bit so there won't be any sharp corners. I'm also concerned about those bails. More than one chicken has gotten her neck stuck in a bail and strangled herself. If using buckets, I'd be tempted to leave them intact on the top as birds like the privacy. Also, are they screwed in place so they won't wiggle and wobble? that's disconcerting to a bird, and they often do a lot of thrashing around in the nest before laying the egg.

    Went back to view your set up again, and I now see why you cut down the top of the buckets. Duh! My bad!
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2016
  4. truchicks

    truchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 15, 2016
    Fort Worth, TX
    Thank you so much! When they were chicks, I thought repurposing those feeding buckets would be a great idea...now that they are full grown, I'm thinking no because they seem too small now for my girls. Do you have any other suggestions about replacing the buckets with something else? Should I keep them in the coop during the morning until they get the idea? I'm just so excited about the egg but I don't want to miss out on any other eggs that might get deposited somewhere random. Thanks again![​IMG]
     
  5. FoodFreedomNow

    FoodFreedomNow Chillin' With My Peeps

    Congratulations on your first egg! It probably won't be the last one you find outside the nest box. [​IMG] I've found them in all kinds of strange places when the pullets first start laying: corner of the garage under a worktable, in the mud outside the coop, in the middle of the coop, nowhere near the coop.

    I use small, hooded cat litter boxes filled with straw for nest boxes. I started with very nice handmade wooden nest boxes...that they refused to use. Everyone seems happy with the litter boxes, though.
     
  6. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Chicken Obsessed

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    What are the total dimensions of the built on nest box with the roof lid? My box is similar, but is "internal" with 3 over 3, and 2 doors that can be opened from outside coop to access 3 top and 3 lower boxes. I used plastic dish pans. Had to screw them to the nest box frame b/c otherwise they are tippy. Any thing that is wobbly will not be accepted by the chickens, IMO. I also put a plywood divider between each dish pan cause laying chickens are persnickety about an other bird being near "their" nest. I do like the plastic tubs b/c they are super easy to wash when they get fouled by a broken egg. In the colder months they can be lined with cardboard to help prevent freezing. With boxes inside the coop footprint, I only had one frozen egg last winter. How many birds do you have? Some people simply have a community nest, which is plenty big so multiple birds can lay at the same time. I'm not sure how that works out with birds who don't like to share. But, I can tell you that birds tend to prefer larger boxes. My girls have all abandoned the dish pans in favor of a large wooden crate from Walmart. I simply removed the top 2 laths on one side. They LOVE that thing.

    https://www.walmart.com/ip/33356942...75035&wl11=online&wl12=33356942&wl13=&veh=sem
     

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