Nest box use/timing

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by MTchick, Jun 2, 2007.

  1. MTchick

    MTchick Songster

    Feb 2, 2007
    Western Montana
    My hens are getting close to the age that they should start laying. I've been keeping them out of the next boxes (by leaving empty gallon milk jugs in there). I'm wondering if I should line the boxes with straw now, and let them learn the boxes are there (i.e. take the jugs out), or if I should wait until one lays an egg before I let them into the boxes.

    Thanks! Any advice on this transition will be very helpful.

  2. CoyoteMagic

    CoyoteMagic RIP ?-2014

    I've been wondering the same thing.

    My girls are only 6 weeks old and I've been wondering if I should even put the nestbox in the coop yet or wait until they are closer to laying age to set it up.
  3. justusnak

    justusnak Flock Mistress

    Feb 28, 2007
    South Eastern Indiana
    My buff girls are 12 weeks old. I have not yet put nesting boxes in there. I do not want them to learn to sleep in them, and mess in them. As soon as I find an egg...the boxes go in.
  4. cookinmom

    cookinmom Songster

    Mar 14, 2007
    Saint George GA
    I'm wondering this same thing. Mine are 13 weeks (today!). I don't want them to get used to laying on the floor and then have to try to teach them otherwise. [​IMG]
  5. jefra

    jefra In the Brooder

    Mar 26, 2007
    Utah Valley
    not that i'd know or anything, but i'm going to put in a couple nest boxes early and equip them with golf balls so that the girls' get the idea that this is where the eggs go. that way, when they actually start laying they'll know 'just the spot' to lay [​IMG].
  6. Backyard Buddies

    Backyard Buddies Songster

    Jan 11, 2007
    Orange County, CA
    I think I lined my girls box with shavings when they were about 14 or 15 weeks old. If you notice submissive squatting beginning to occur, definitely get those nests started. Put a couple of golf balls in there to give them the idea. My girls have been great about using their boxes so it seems to have worked just fine.

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