Nesting boxes

J99

Songster
Jul 25, 2019
479
907
181
Kentucky
My Coop
My Coop
Do I just put my regular bedding in them ( I use pine shavings big) and why don’t I want them finding them to early and what is to early?
I’m getting mine ready now they are 17 week buff orpingtons and 16 week polish , 17week EEer, 15 week wyondotte and 14 week or spitshauben and more polish
 

SueT

Crossing the Road
Premium member
May 27, 2015
7,354
19,257
777
SW MO
You can put the pine shavings in the nest boxes. I would add fake eggs as well. I put hay in my boxes, as in long dry grass after mowing and weed-eating, I don't actually buy it. It isn't too early. I had a Buff Orpington lay at 16 weeks, the others more like 20. However, with the days getting shorter, be aware that they may all wait till spring. I have 2 pullets 20 weeks old and am still waiting for their eggs.
 
  • Like
Reactions: J99

ConnieA

Songster
Mar 9, 2015
293
687
201
I have nestboxes available to my pullets at least a month or so before I expect them to start laying. It doesn't matter much what you put in them, straw, dry leaves, shavings, etc. The most important features are "dark" and "dry" and "cozy" as in not too big and something to make a nest in (wood shavings, etc.). A cardboard box, a small dog or cat crate with the door removed, a "boughten" (that is, "expensive") laying nest, a secondhand rubbermaid stepstool on top of shavings or straw, a dark corner of their coop, are all acceptable, and pullets will explore them before selecting where to lay. Just make sure what you provide them is accessible for you!

If you have cockerels, they will explore nesting boxes, too, and inform the pullets of their recommendations, because that's part of the rooster job description.
 

J99

Songster
Jul 25, 2019
479
907
181
Kentucky
My Coop
My Coop
If you have cockerels, they will explore nesting boxes, too, and inform the pullets of their recommendations, because that's part of the rooster job description.

Lololol That’s funny I didn’t know that , I have one and he’s a bit older he’s about 6 months old now his name is Russell lol He’s a silver laced Wyondotte and so far he’s a great Rooster
 

so lucky

Crowing
8 Years
Jan 31, 2011
1,225
2,747
362
SE Missouri
Dry grass. The bedding needs to be dry and ...well, nest-like. Although I have seen the point-of-lay pullets for sale at the farm store laying eggs on the cage floor. You want to keep the nests unaccessable to the girls before point-of-lay because they may see them as a good place to spend the night, and get in that habit. The nests would get nasty with poop. Then the eggs would get nasty with poop.
I just didn't put any bedding in my nests till I thought the girls were getting close to laying. No one seemed to pay any attention to the nests until the right time.
 

ConnieA

Songster
Mar 9, 2015
293
687
201
Dry grass. The bedding needs to be dry and ...well, nest-like. Although I have seen the point-of-lay pullets for sale at the farm store laying eggs on the cage floor. You want to keep the nests unaccessable to the girls before point-of-lay because they may see them as a good place to spend the night, and get in that habit. The nests would get nasty with poop. Then the eggs would get nasty with poop.
I just didn't put any bedding in my nests till I thought the girls were getting close to laying. No one seemed to pay any attention to the nests until the right time.
In my experience, most pullets and hens will prefer a roost to sleep and a nest for laying. If there is a good roost (at least 12-20 inches of roost length per bird, and 12-30 inches off the ground, depending on their size and inclination), most pullets and hens will prefer that for sleeping. They will only investigate and occupy the nest to brood or to lay...or to hide from meaner birds higher in the pecking order, or to recover from an unknown injury. Those last two need to be investigated and resolved.
 
Top Bottom