nest boxes

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by jarzmom, Oct 7, 2009.

  1. jarzmom

    jarzmom New Egg

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    Oct 7, 2009
    NE Ohio
    Our nest boxes are level with the floor of the coop. There is a little "step" into the nest box and we have excellsior (sp?) in them, while the coop floor has straw & leaves. My husband also hung fabric over the face of the boxes after cutting it into strips.
    We got 4 Golden Wyandots (our "dots") and 4 Plymouth Barred Rocks (our "rocks") 3 weeks ago. They were 17 or 18 weeks then. Starting that first night they'd sleep in the nest boxes. We started blockading them at night so the hens couldn't access them. Only 3 so far are consistently using the roosts (!!). The rest sleep/rest/hangout on the floor.
    I logged on here to find out what behavior I should be watching for as egg laying time approaches. After reading all of these posts, I'm worried that we shouldn't be blocking their access to the nest boxes. We only do it after dark (I work past sundown, and come home after dark to lock up. I have to gently push the hens out of only one of the nest boxes{we have 2}--from outside of the coop, through the access door)
    I am very IMpatiently awaiting that first egg!!!
     
  2. Alyssandra

    Alyssandra Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 22, 2009
    snohomish, WA
    I am fairly new and have only had chickens since mid april but what we did to get them to sleep on the roost was the first few nights just after it got dark we went out there and put them on the roost...after 3 nights they started sleeping up there all on their own. As for signs that they are getting ready to lay...there faces turn red and if you go to pet them they will squat down and kind of stick there wings out a little....usually after they start squating you have less then a week or two before you start getting eggs....atleast from my eggsperience and reading.
     
  3. gsim

    gsim Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 18, 2009
    East Tennessee
    Am new to it all too. You are right to try to get them to roost. Way I did it was to have nothing in coop but roost-poles until they were 12 weeks old. Now I have added 12 boxes, and have had two eggs in last three days in one of those. They are (except for two on floor) level with the roosts, at 24" ht. I need to darken them. Two birds perch on the edge of one and poop in it all night. I may have to give up on having them at a comfy height for us, and just put them on floor. The two I put on floor have never been disturbed or pooped in.

    Am going to have to install poop shields if I put on floor, as I have 24 pullets and the boxes are small, being 12" sq. Some will have to be under the roost poles if I use the boxes I have. Alternative for me it is to make two large community-style boxes with no partitions on floor opposite roosts. They would be darkened by steeply sloping overhead, to discourage roosting . ANother alternative is to add a 2nd tier roost in hopes that the box-poopers would find an alternative.
     
  4. jarzmom

    jarzmom New Egg

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    Oct 7, 2009
    NE Ohio
    Well all of my girls are using the roosts now!!! Every night. And the nest boxes! I have at least one (maybe 2) laying right now. We've gotten 5 itty bitty egss thus far. OH> MY> GOD> are they ever tasty!!
     

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