Nesting Box Quandary

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by AlGalMom, Jul 31, 2011.

  1. AlGalMom

    AlGalMom In the Brooder

    Mar 28, 2011
    I am a newbie to chicken keeping, and we have our first flock of four hens fast approaching maturity (they are about 18 weeks old). We have a very nice A-frame coop/tractor for them, but have not yet installed nesting boxes. They free range during the day and do not return to the coop until evening. Our plan is to put the boxes in the enclosed part of the coop (their sleeping quarters). However, we live in Louisiana, and it is pretty toasty here--my concern is 1) if we install boxes in the enclosed part of the coop, will they know to go in and use them during the day? (They have access but do not generally spend any time in the coop except at night) 2) SHOULD they be entering the enclosed part of the coop during the heat of the day to lay? We generally keep the coop in a shaded area of the yard, but it has been in the 90's all month and humid. Would it be better to make a nesting box for them to use in the yard so they don't have to go into the hotter part of the coop? Alternatively, should I put a nesting box in the open air portion of the coop? Do I need to teach them to lay their eggs in a nesting box? Like keep them penned in the coop for a few days after they start laying?

    I'm feeling nervous and excited about the first eggs--like a doofus I have been scouting around for white eggs....but today remembered that my marans and cochins lay brown eggs. Duh! Thanks for any advice!

  2. savingpurple

    savingpurple Songster

    Apr 2, 2011
    NW Ohio
    I am so new so many more may have better advice....

    Mine just knew what to do. I did however take the advice I read on here, and added golf balls to the nest boxes. I have 4 (out of 7)laying now.They just knew...

    I did add shredded paper, on top of the wood shavings to the nest boxes, and they love it. Funny, how they arrange it. Each chicken has her own style.

    I think they will know what to do, and how to do it, but a golf ball or wooden egg, was sugeested also.

    Mine go in at the hottest temps, and lay. I have a small fan that during the day points downward at the nest boxes, and floor, and at night at the roost.

    THey have food, water, and oyster shells in the coop, and water outside the coop. They do go in and out all day, but spend 90 percent outside....

    Good luck !!

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