Nesting box question

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by cosmicredneck, Apr 1, 2017.

  1. cosmicredneck

    cosmicredneck Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 16, 2017
    Do I need to keep the nesting boxes closed off to my chickens when I first put em out in the coop and if so for how long
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I did not block my nests when I first got my chickens and had no problems. Now that I have an established flock I have to leave the nests open at all times, including when I have pullets, since the hens have to have a place to lay. It is not a problem.

    To me there are some potential problems. One is that the pullets will sleep in the nests. They poop a lot overnight and who wants poopy eggs? If the pullets are going to sleep in the nests, I want to know that so I can fix it before I start to get poopy eggs. There are several different reasons some might sleep in the nests instead of on your roosts. Usually if your roosts are higher than the nests and you have sufficient roost length it’s not a problem, but it can still happen. It can be fixed.

    It’s possible your nests are not designed correctly. Hens and pullets like to scratch around in the nests before they lay to rearrange the bedding just right. Before they start to lay pullets often investigate potential nesting sites. That can include a lot of scratching. If your bedding winds up on the floor, you need to redo your nests. That generally means raising the lip to make it harder for them to scratch the bedding, fake eggs, or real eggs out but more drastic modifications may be necessary. Many people discover this problem when the pullets are searching for a good nesting site before they start to lay.

    Sometimes when a pullet first starts to lay, she seems surprised and may drop the egg anywhere, from the roosts or just walking around. Usually these gain control of the process pretty quickly and control when and where they lay the egg. Most get it right to start with and have control over their first egg. Where the pullet lays her first controlled egg is generally where she wants to lay the second and every one after that. If the nests are blocked so she can’t lay that first controlled egg in the nest you may have to retrain her to lay in the nest. That’s not always easy. Why would you want to teach that pullet to lay anywhere except the nest?

    My brooder raised chicks normally start to roost around 10 to 12 weeks of age. Some start quite a bit earlier, some wait even longer. As long as they are not real close to laying age I see no problems having the nests blocked until they start to roost and get in the habit of sleeping on the roosts. But I very much would want the nests open well before they start laying in case there are problems and to avoid creating a problem.
  3. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Overrun With Chickens

    Dec 6, 2012
    New Brunswick,Canada
    Nest boxes
    In my nest boxes I fold a feed bag to fit (nest boxes are 1 ft³). When a bag gets soiled; fold a new one; pop out the soiled; pop in the new. Feed bags are a nylon mesh bag.
    Frozen poop just peels off in below freezing temperatures and just flakes off in summer when left out in the sun to bake and dry.

    I have 65 trips around the sun it is the best method I have stumbled upon.

    Make sure the twine is removed from the open end of the bag it can get tangled around your birds.


    I hold the bag in place with these paper binders.

    Easy Peasy Japaneasy


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