Nesting boxes not ready?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by kris13, Jul 18, 2016.

  1. kris13

    kris13 Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 10, 2016
    We did the whole thing of keeping them closed for the first few weeks, but now one especially looks very close to laying, but my DH is swamped this week and doesn't think he'll get them all done. Is it a problem if one lays w/o the box or do I need to figure out how to finish /get them open this week. Posting the picture of the one who looks close, they are just 12-13 weeks, so do we have a little more time than we think?

  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs I Wanna Be A Cowboy Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    You might still have time. Not all first time layers will do it in the nestboxes. Get them built as soon as you can and put fake eggs in them to show them it's safe.
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    ...and pullets can be maddening, with comb color bursting with color one minute, then paling back out the next..smh..haha!

    Good to get nests ready and baited with fake eggs/golf balls sooner than needed tho,
    so they can scope them out and learn not to roost(sleep) in them before they actually lay.

    12-13 weeks is pretty early tho...even for sexlinks.
  4. jpalmatier83

    jpalmatier83 Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 15, 2016
    Traverse City, MI
    Agree with aart, 12-13 weeks is quite early. Research lead me to be surprised when my girls started laying at 14-15. Most everyone else's general consensus is that 16 is early and 20-24 is average.

    Are they squatting? Mine started to lay about a week after they started to squat.

    All that being said, many times the first eggs don't go in the nesting box, even if it's available. The chicken doesn't even know what's happening. I've heard of them referred to as "top shelf" and "upper deckers" when chickens lay an egg on the roost and it crashes to the floor. As long as you get the nesting boxes in soon and toss in some decoy eggs you'll be fine.
  5. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    You've got time.

    And she only needs one. If there's not a box available, she'll just pick a cozy corner and lay there. It won't be a big deal, once the desired spot is ready just bait it with a fake or sacrifice egg and she'll probably be happy to move spots.

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