Nesting box and golf balls

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Patoot, Sep 8, 2010.

  1. Patoot

    Patoot Chillin' With My Peeps

    293
    2
    116
    Aug 20, 2010
    I haven't made the nest boxes yet. I was planning on making it out of a rubbermaid bin. Should I have 1 or 2? (I have 4 RIR)

    When should I make sure I have them ready? The girls are currently about 16 wks. I think I should make it this week since sometimes they can lay early, right? Do I put gold balls in there?

    Bree
     
  2. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,787
    38
    213
    Apr 15, 2010
    Forest Grove, OR
    I have four as well and only have one large nesting box. I put a couple of golf balls in their to give them an idea. Seems to work. They kicked them out at first. And the BO gets both of them and tucks them under her when she is laying.
     
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

    20,311
    3,620
    496
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    The rule of thumb is one nesting box for every four hens. By that, you only need one.

    I like to have then ready at 16 weeks. They can lay as early as 16 weeks, but that is pretty unusual. You do want them to lay the first egg in the nesting box if they will. They are creatures of habit and if they start laying somewhere else, it can be hard to break them of that habit. Plus, if they start roosting in the nesting box or your lip is not high enough to keep them from scratching out the nesting material or fake egg, I want to know soon enough that I can fix the problem before they start to lay.

    I am a firm believer in fake eggs in the nesting box. I have seen a hen that normally lays in the nesting box lay an egg on the floor next to a fake egg that got scratched out of a nesting box. When I put the fake egg back and raised the lip a bit, she went back to the nesting box.
     
  4. cjdmashley

    cjdmashley Chillin' With My Peeps

    183
    1
    101
    Jul 29, 2010
    Vermont
    we found using milk crates works great too! Ours have only been laying about a month now and they love it
     
  5. Patoot

    Patoot Chillin' With My Peeps

    293
    2
    116
    Aug 20, 2010
    Thanks. I will make it this week and get some golf balls. <---I find that so funny, but whatever works. [​IMG]

    I was going to use a rubbermaid bin that I saw someone make into a nesting box on youtube. He used a bigger one and made a divider to make it 2 boxes, but if I only need one, I'll just get a smaller bin and do that so they have more room in the coop. Would a milk crate be better? I thought a bin would be good because I could lift the lid off to grab the eggs easily. I was going to cut a hole in front for them to climb in, but make sure there was a big lip to prevent them from scratching all the stuff out and keep the eggs from rolling out. Is straw, shavings, or shredded paper better for nesting material?

    I know I only need one box for 4 girls. Do they prefer more than one or do they use one anyway even if there are 5 boxes around?[​IMG]

    Thanks guys!

    Bree
     
  6. rebelcowboysnb

    rebelcowboysnb Confederate Money Farm

    I think you should always have at least 2 boxes. If you only have one then fighting will eventually happen especially if one hen decides to go broody.
     
  7. carrlr

    carrlr Chillin' With My Peeps

    703
    1
    131
    Mar 31, 2010
    Southern Illinois
    Quote:I have 12 hens and four nest boxes. Generally they all lay in the same ONE.
     
  8. cochinfan

    cochinfan Out Of The Brooder

    87
    0
    39
    Aug 5, 2009
    I have 8 boxes and 14 hens so that seems reasonable. Can I assume that if they are laying in the boxes they won't be laying in the grass somewhere?

    Also, I have one rooster that beds down in one of the boxes every night. He cuddles in there and looks very pleased with himself. How do I stop this or should I worry (besides the fact that he poops in there)?
     
  9. carrlr

    carrlr Chillin' With My Peeps

    703
    1
    131
    Mar 31, 2010
    Southern Illinois
    Quote:You could block that one box for awhile. he'll either move to another box, or he'll quit sleeping in there. Do you have plenty of roosts?
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by