Nesting Boxes for Motley Flock

Aunt Angus

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Jul 16, 2018
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Hope this is posted in the correct forum... And I tried to search existing posts for this topic. If I am repeating, please forgive my naivete....

I have a small flock of mixed breeds, and I am a newbie who is on a learning curve - big time! I have one of each: standard Cochin, Buff Brahma, Buff Orpington, Barred Plymouth Rock. They are still young (only 11 weeks), but I am trying to learn before the time comes.

They already sleep on a roost nightly, but I don't want to put in nesting boxes too early and run the risk of them roosting in the nesting boxes instead. My roost will be higher than the nesting boxes, of course. From what I have read, it seems as though my BPR likely will lay much much sooner than my larger girls, as soon as 16-20 weeks, Orps and Cochins at 6 months at the earliest, and Brahmas even later. To add to my uncertainty, I think my BPR, Zinnia, is older than my other girls. All four were ordered from a hatchery, but when they arrived Zinnia was far more developed than the others.

So, experts: When should I put in the nesting boxes? Would I be inviting problems putting them in in December (Zinnia will be 20 weeks on Christmas Day, if she is as old as the hatchery led me to believe). What are your recommendations?

Thanks in advance!
 

Aunt Angus

Free Ranging
Jul 16, 2018
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Nevada County, CA
Thanks for the reply! So it's not too soon? I have seen in some fora (or is it forums? my Latin is rusty) that some choose to put the boxes in but close them up.

I just picture myself having to scoop tons of poop out of them. Ew. :sick
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
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2 boxes are plenty for 4 chickens. You can put them in now. If someone decides to move off the roost and into a nest box, cover the entrance to the boxes for a week or so to break her.
This^^^
I think it's good to open nests before they need them. You can deal with nest sleepers before eggs start to come, either block nests or remove bird to roost after dark. Fake egg or golf ball in all nests are good.

This all makes so much sense. Some times I just overthink things... Thanks, all! :)
Hey, ya don't know until you know!
It's good to ask questions and learn before you need to know.
 

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