Nesting box hotel open for business...when can I expect guests?

wrldlygrrl

Songster
8 Years
Apr 24, 2011
139
2
101
Decatur, GA
So, my easter eggers are now running on to about 18 weeks old and I have opened the nesting box for business. Will they know to go up the ladder when they are ready to start laying, or do I need to show it to them and put a couple of fake eggs in there? Also, I have one long box with no dividers...will that be a problem or do I need to put some type of dividers in?
 

aggie9296

Songster
8 Years
Jan 28, 2011
960
8
111
Panama City, FL
If the boxes are in the coop, they will find them on their own. If you have a separate nesting box tractor or something, then they might need to be put in there to find the nests.

Mine were sleeping in the nest boxes at 3 months. I had to block them off until they started laying at around 4 months. Within 1 week, they all figured out to lay in the nest boxes. I left teh golf balls in there for about 2 weeks.
 

cmom

Hilltop Farm
Nov 18, 2007
23,968
14,903
681
Florida
My Coop
Quote:Ditto... except I never took the golf balls out. They think they are eggs and roll them around the nest boxes with the other eggs. They should start laying any day. Are they squatting and is their combs and wattles getting red?
 

wrldlygrrl

Songster
8 Years
Apr 24, 2011
139
2
101
Decatur, GA
So, I am not sure what a chicken squatting looks like, as I am new to this. I saw a chicken stretch for the first time six weeks ago, fluff up the dust in the coop a week later, walk around half squatting the same day and piled in a heap during the course of the day. Who knew?
All in all, they look happy...and no, no wattles yet. They are getting these cute little combs, however. And they are really getting big fast! I am still giving them chick starter, as per the local "chicken dude" and healthy snacks and things to cool them down, yogurt, fresh greens, and they love watermelon rind.
Today, I put a plastic Easter egg in the nesting box. BTW, how much stuff, like straw or bedding, do I need in there for them? I have a friend giving me some old golf balls tomorrow. Do I decide where they go, or will the girls move them around?
I am planning to build them a run this weekend...I am sure they will love that!

Da gang....
 

aggie9296

Songster
8 Years
Jan 28, 2011
960
8
111
Panama City, FL
So the females have minimal comb development yet, it appears? You may have a few weeks to go yet. They get red combs and wattles before they start laying. I put enough bedding to cushion the egg drop. I use shredded newspaper, but straw, hay, pine needles, shavings all work fine. Some people even use green astroturf type mats. I would put one ball or egg in each box. They will pick a favorite box or two eventually.
 

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