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Nesting box questions

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by notiones, Dec 1, 2011.

  1. notiones

    notiones Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 12, 2011
    Big Springs, KS
    I am having trouble with my hens adjusting to their new nesting boxes. They moved in Thanksgiving weekend and about half of the eggs are anywhere but the nesting box. I used the plans out of the Chicken Coops for dummies book so it must be something besides design. Please take a look and help me figure this out.

    I am showing the front of my coop (unfinished) because I was wondering it is is too bright inside. I actually took a piece of tin and leaned it up against the nesting boxes because I thought maybe they wanted a little less light.

    [​IMG]

    And here's the nesting boxes. At least the hen in the picture is using it.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Have you tried putting golf balls or fake eggs in the nest boxes? You could also hang curtains over them ( I just use an old t-shirt tacked up and split in the middle) but you have A LOT of nest boxes!
     
  3. notiones

    notiones Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 12, 2011
    Big Springs, KS
    Yes, there are a lot of nesting boxes and I put eggs in the boxes so hopefully they would know what the boxes were for! This was one part of the coop I didn't pay much attention too. I just grabbed the book and followed the plans.
     
  4. OmyChickens

    OmyChickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 22, 2011
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    I would say that there may be too much light on the boxes. My hens find the darkest corner of the coop and have told me that that is where they want their nest boxes.. I do like the curtain idea though... how fun.. im going to redecorate my hen house![​IMG]

    maybe the easiet thing to do would be to simply turn the boxes to face the wall.. leaving room in front to walk and whatnot.. it sort of sections that area off for the specific purpose of laying eggs and it darkens the boxes a bit. But then again upon further inspection [​IMG] , it looks like they are pretty well nailed to the wall..so plan b... maybe a small partition type wall..

    Just keep trying different things.. your girls will let you know one way or another what they like.

    As for the amount of light in the coop, I like to have my coop lit or open to natural light for at least 14-15 hours a day. I let the natural light in in the earlier hours when the girls are laying.. its less intense inside the coop than the artificial lights.. Your window looks to be just a bit smaller than the wall of that side.. Just make sure the birds have a place to get shade when the sun shines straight in. Other than that, I dont see a huge problem with the window.
     
  5. notiones

    notiones Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 12, 2011
    Big Springs, KS
    Thanks for all of the replies. I guess I'll have to play around with ways to darken the area around the nesting boxes. Bummer. I didn't think this would be an issue. I like the curtain idea, but have no idea how to make something like that. Maybe I can get my DW to help?

    The boxes are not permanently attached, but they do butt up against a nesting box door so we can retrieve eggs from outside. Moving the nesting boxes would render this useless. Besides, every wall is already spoken for. The north wall has the people and chicken doors, the West wall has two clean out doors that extend the full width of the coop, the East wall has the giant picture window, and the South wall has the nesting box door.

    Maybe, for now anyway, I'll staple some old t-shirts over a couple of the nesting box openings mimicking curtains and see if that helps.
     
  6. CupOJoe42

    CupOJoe42 CT Chicken Whisperer

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    You can always trim a shower curtain and leave it on a tension rod to hang it.
     
  7. JackE

    JackE Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I like the 'OpenAir' style coop you have there. About the nestbox situation. I don't think it has much to do with how well lit your coop is. My coop is well lit by the sun, and my nest boxes are straight across from the entry door which is open for most of the year. I have an occasional oddball that drops an egg on the floor sometimes, but I think it has more to do with the chicken not getting to her favorite box because somebody else is using it. What you could try is to make new nestbox entrances. Take some plywood and cut 10" entrance holes for each nestbox, or maybe just half of them. Some chickens like to feel a little more hidden and secure to lay an egg. By addding the new entrances, You don't have to do any major recontruction to the coop.
    Jack
     
  8. 7L Farm

    7L Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Are they sleeping in them at night?
     
  9. JackE

    JackE Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Could be, looks like he needs to raise the roosts.
    Jack
     
  10. Ole rooster

    Ole rooster Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That plus it looks like the chickens will be crapping on each other on the roost. The roost poles look mighty close to each other. But yes, I wouldn't have the bottom roost pole any lower then the top of the upper level of nesting boxes. Then make a little ladder so the fat ones to get on the roost poles.[​IMG] You've done a good job. I've changed mine around as I found what worked and what didn't. I still have things I'll change later on. So you probably will too.

    But anyway, my hens do like it dark where they lay. I've noticed the hen I have settin on 6 eggs has her tail turned to the interior on the coop, with her head to the back of the box. When I open the access door to collect eggs there she is with her head down in a corner, almost like an ostrich. I thought she was dead but when I put my hand in there to see I found out real fast she was fine. She sure has gotten an attitude since she got on those eggs.

    I like a lot of light, but I don't guess the chickens do. Maybe you have so many boxes they are confused and can't make up their minds? Just for a test I would block off the top or bottom line of boxes so they can't get to um just to see if that made a difference.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2011

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