Nesting boxes?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by stroud2009, Sep 2, 2016.

  1. stroud2009

    stroud2009 Out Of The Brooder

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    My hens are pretty close to 15 weeks and I want to get their nesting boxes made for when it's time but I have a problem . None of of chickens sleep in their coop , let alone go inside . They would rather sleep in our Apple trees . So I'm just confused about where to put nesting boxes .
     
  2. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    Coop training is needed...Do they have an attached run? Sounds like you will find eggs hidden around your yard...
     
  3. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Overrun With Chickens

    Hi, that must be difficult.

    I feel fortunate that all my chickens are trained to go in the coop. However, they don't all lay there. Good news is, when you do add the boxes they won't be trying to sleep in them.

    What breeds have you got? My leghorn that was supposed to lay at 16 weeks barely practiced an egg song at 19 weeks. [​IMG] One BR laid ar 20 and the other at 24 weeks.

    One option is to lock them in the coop/ run for a few days once they start laying. They will lay at the same place every time.

    The reason they are roosting in the tree is they feel safer. It must be higher than their roost. They will go to the highest spot possible.

    One thing I do know is that a nest will be low to the ground because a hen will want to be able to lead the chicks to food and water and they can't fly that young. Also they like it to feel private.
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    How big is your coop and do you have a run associated with it? Is the combination coop/run big enough to leave the chickens locked in there for a week or so? If so, you can try to get the chickens out of the tree after dark and lock them in the coop/run for about a week. Have the nests in the coop with fake eggs in them. They might or might not start sleeping in the coop when you eventually let them go but they will at least have seen the nests and fake eggs. That might or might not be enough to get them to use those nests.

    If you do that, feed them in the coop and keep feed in the coop after you let them out. That should get them to going in and out of the coop during the day. Again that might be enough.

    There is no telling when they will start to lay. It could be in another three weeks or it could be months. There is no sure way to be able to tell when they are about to lay, especially if you can’t catch them and physically examine them. A clue is when the comb/wattles turn bright red but that’s only a clue and it does not always work. It would be nice if you could time locking them in the coop with when they start to lay but that’s a lot easier said than done.

    You could try building some nests sheltered from the weather near or under that apple tree but that does not come with a guarantee either.

    I’m assuming they are pretty flighty, scared of you? Do you feed them treats? Take a container, a bucket or a bowl, and start feeding them treats from that bucket or bowl a couple of times a day. Give the same call, something like “here chicky chick”, whenever you feed them these treats and rattle that bucket. After a while they will come running whenever they see that bucket or here your call. You may be able to lure them into the coop or run and lock them in there. Or at least get them used to getting their treat in the coop so they go in there and hang out near the nests.

    They are really good at hiding nests. I’m afraid you may be in for some challenges. Good luck!
     
  5. stroud2009

    stroud2009 Out Of The Brooder

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    When they were in the house we held them all the time and gave them treats ,, now when I try to give them treats they just run from me . But come every morning when I go into the yard to feed and give them fresh water they follow me around .

    Their food and water in in the coop area . While we were on vacation we shut the door so they couldn't get out .. Thinking this would teach them where to stay , but as soon as I got home and open the door for them, they went right back to wanting to sleep in the tree. I had my husband build this huge coop for them and they don't even sleep inside of it . Our last chickens has a tiny coop and loved it , but I wanted something bigger for the new flock and they won't sleep in it . My three silkies do but the others won't .
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Post some pics of coop, inside and out.
    Give dimensions of coop in feet by feet.
    How many birds total do you have?
     
  7. stroud2009

    stroud2009 Out Of The Brooder

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    What's the easiest way for me to post photos ? I haven't figured out how to post photos from the app on my phone . We have 11 total chickens and 2 turkeys . The number is going to be decreases soon because only 5 are confirmed hens the rest are rosters .
     
  8. AmandaMBG

    AmandaMBG Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sounds like you may have unintentionally made your life a bit harder [​IMG] I kept my chickens in my coop until they started roosting. They were only allowed access to the run in the day time. Now I can let them out and I don't worry at all where they'll end up because they put themselves to bed. Retraining when they've basically been trained to roost outside by not being locked in when younger does not sound like an easy task. I would think the only thing that will probably work is fake eggs and locking them in every night until they start to use it.
     
  9. stroud2009

    stroud2009 Out Of The Brooder

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    over the summer I was out of state for a few weeks . Before I left , they all went into their coop at night on their own and I would lock them in before bed . Halfway into my trip my husband said the turkeys started sleeping on the roof of their coop and he couldn't always get them inside . Then a few of the other chickens started doing this . Then they discovered my Apple trees and soon they were all sleeping in the tree .

    We are building them a run attached to the coop and plan to put w net over the top . I'm hoping this will help . They have been lock in their coop area since yesterday . So far they are sleeping in the coop at night . I'm worried once I open the door and they have free range that that will go back in the tree at night .
     
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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