Nest box.... to big?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by cajun Rabbit, Dec 6, 2011.

  1. cajun Rabbit

    cajun Rabbit Out Of The Brooder

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    OK, One of my chicks waddle and comb has turned bright red in the past 2 days and from what I read that means she will lay soon. So I put in the box I made and put some hay in there along with 2 golf balls. When I got home today to check on things, the balls were buried and the hay was moved around (along with some poo:/ ) so I know someone was in there... but I wonder if the box is too big? It is big enough to fit two birds side by side in the single box (not that I expect them to sit together, just to give reference on size)

    This color change is sooner than I expected, I didn't expect eggs until Jan/Feb ish

    Thanks
     
  2. mommissan

    mommissan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Be patient. She's just practicing. 12"x12" is ideal, but a few inches here or there doesn't matter, as long as it's dim and private. I like to think of it like a public restroom stall. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2011
  3. beach livin'

    beach livin' Chillin' With My Peeps

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    probably not too big, its probably just from them laying on them. i finally got our first eggs this week, and a clue i noticed with mine was the hay in the box itself was not the normal matted down hay. the hen had made it more circular, like a birds nest. thats when i knew something was up.
     
  4. Nonny

    Nonny Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If her wattle and comb are going red, you could still be waiting a while. My girls did this about a month before laying.

    Our nesting box used to be two, with a partition down the middle. I removed the partition, redistributed the straw, and they use it as one nest quite happily. The reason I removed the partition was that their tail feathers were rubbing against the top of the back wall where the lid closes and I figured if I removed the bit in the middle they could sit sideways rather than frontways. It seems to have worked well.

    I'd say as long as the nest box is private, being a bit on the big side shouldn't matter.

    BTW - I could be wrong, but I believe the golf ball idea isn't to make them start laying, it's just to point them in the right direction of a safe place to lay their eggs. If they see "eggs" already there they're less likely to go laying them in weird places. I never did this with my girls and as soon as they started laying they just naturally stopped sleeping in their nesting boxes and started using the roosts for sleeping and the nest for eggs-laying.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2011
  5. fireguy56

    fireguy56 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hey, They will share. Have community nest boxes in both coops and find 3 different colored eggs in each every day. they are more tolerant than we are for sharing their space. good luck
    Erik
     
  6. beach livin'

    beach livin' Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I also do a community box. the one layer has chosen a corner she likes, so it will be interesting to see if the others follow suit. here is what i have set up
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]my girl likes the left corner [​IMG]
     
  7. cajun Rabbit

    cajun Rabbit Out Of The Brooder

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    ah, so maybe I should let the hey mat down for while (I have been trying to fluff it up for them)?

    And I agree, the balls are to help guide them to where to lay eggs, not to get them to lay. My one girl is more developed than the other girls so I don't know if she will lay soon or not... I just figure better to get them trained or at least thinking that way, rather than trying to get them to find the box after they lay in what THEY think is the best place to put an egg. I just hope there is no down sides to putting nest box and balls in too soon.... (my other RIR has a little comb, and the W-dots comb is there, and still chalky pink-white) I will try to get pics tomorrow.
     
  8. kathyinmo

    kathyinmo Nothing In Moderation

    I have some of those small 12" square nests, and I hate them. I really like the big community nests, because the girls all like to climb in the same one anyone.
     
  9. Ole rooster

    Ole rooster Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mine are 12 X 14 and I've had a hen in each one all at one time. But I have an old dog house I put some straw in for a brooder and now they are laying there. It's a 3X2 house and they go in one at a time and lay in the same spot. There's room in there for 4 or 5 spots but they all wait their turn and go to one place. I've read about some hens settin on top of each other to lay. Mine are so cranky with each other I just don't see that happening.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2011
  10. cajun Rabbit

    cajun Rabbit Out Of The Brooder

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    OK,
    I started this thread thinking that one of my girls may start laying as her comb became bright red.... well today while giving treats..... the thought occurred to me... how is it that out of 4 chickens only one has bright red comb?? [​IMG] wait!!! is that one a Roo?? I took some photos, not many of them turned out... shooting fast moving chickens with a slow old I-phone.... don't work so well. but I attached some pics. (hopefully I get some feed back here, if not I can start a new thread)

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     

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