Nesting Box Question

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by gvntofly05, Dec 28, 2009.

  1. gvntofly05

    gvntofly05 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 21, 2009
    IN
    I ended up having to cover my nesting boxes about 4 weeks ago because my chickens were sleeping in them and filling them with poop.
    My Chickens are now 14 weeks old. When should I uncover the nesting boxes?
    And when I do uncover them should I have them set up with wood chips and a fake egg in each?
    I have 26 EE's and I am hoping at least a couple of them will lay between 18 and 20 weeks.
     
  2. tofumama

    tofumama Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have the same problem...I would be interesred in what to do as well. I have 4 nesting boxes for 8 chickens and they all sleep in one and poop in it...oy!
     
  3. joedie

    joedie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 17, 2009
    SW Indiana
    You might try putting a droppings board in front of the boxes. My droppings board can be flipped up at night so they can't get in and then put back down in the morning. Normally I'd say to uncover now but EE's are slower to begin laying. I put straw and wood chips in mine and golf balls when they first started to lay. I only have 2 out of 28 that continue to lay on the floor under the nesting boxes.
     
  4. gsim

    gsim Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 18, 2009
    East Tennessee
    Is the roost pole higher than the nests? If not, that could be your problem as they automatically try to overnight in the highest place in the coop that they can reach.

    If they cannot be broke of this I would rig a one-piece cover that hinges up to cover the nests at lockdown time which will force them to use the roost. Problem is, you need to be there before sunup to let the cover down because some always lay that time of day. ( I have 3 to 5 eggs a day waiting for me at 7:30 and it is just sunup about then.) You could put the cover up an hour before lockdown and then wait until dark to go out to lock down the coop. At that time, just lower the cover since they will all be on the roost by then.[​IMG]
     
  5. gvntofly05

    gvntofly05 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 21, 2009
    IN
    I had the roost lower when I first put them in the coop since they were only 6wks then. I have since moved the roost up. The lowest roost pole is about the same height as the nesting boxes.
     
  6. Lunachick

    Lunachick Chicken Slave

    Mar 19, 2007
    Brick, NJ
    You may have to go in there each night and place each bird on the roost. I had to do that the first week I had my pullets. Then they got the idea. [​IMG] No fun having poopy eggs.
     
  7. gkeesling

    gkeesling Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 24, 2008
    Hagerstown, IN
    First. All of your roosts should be higher than your nest boxes. I had a couple hens try to sleep in the nest boxes even though all of my roosts were higher. I would go out and physically take them out of the nest boxes and place them on a roost. I did this for about a week before they got the idea. Another thing I've done is to cover the nest boxes before they go to roost then I'd uncover them before I left for work the next morning. both of these remedies should be just short term action. After they start roosting then you can stop doing these things
     
  8. RocketDad

    RocketDad Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 25, 2008
    Near US 287
    I didn't even install the nest box until they were older. Not on purpose, but because it took forever to build my coop... I put it in about 2 weeks before the dates on the calendar for the earliest possible eggs, based on estimated hatch date (we bought chicks from the feed store). When I installed the nest box I immediatly filled it with shavings and put 3 golf balls in, moving them around between the 5 nests so they would notice.
     

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