Nesting boxes

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by jeri40, Aug 3, 2011.

  1. jeri40

    jeri40 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 13, 2011
    We have 10 ISA brown chicks who are four months old. They are outside in the coop area but we haven't let them into the nesting boxes yet. When do we open the boxes up so they will be used to using them? Also how many nests do we need? This is our first experience with baby chicks so not sure what to expect. Have had hens before who were laying when we got them. Thanks for your help.
     
  2. nickie

    nickie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 25, 2011
    north central KY
    Go for it.
     
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    I'd open them now. ISA browns could start to lay real soon. You want their first egg in the nest box if you can manage it. They are reatures of habit. If they get in a bad habit about where they are laying, it could be a little tough to break.

    The other reason to open them just a bit early is if you find you have a problem, you have a little time to correct it. The type of problems I'm thinking about are maybe they want to roost in the nest box. Or maybe when they are playing around, you find the fake eggs and maybe the nesting material on the floor. That would mean you need a taller lip on the front of the nest to keep the nesting material and eggs from getting scratched out.

    I suggest you put a golf ball or some other fake egg in the nests to show them where to lay. That does not always work but most of them can take the hint.

    For ten hens, I'd suggest three nest boxes. You could probably get by with two, and they will probably all want to lay in the same one or two anyway, but two is the absolute minimum and three gives you a bit of flexibility. I know ISA browns are not supposed to go broody much, but if one does and you only have two nest boxes, you could have a bit of a problem.
     
  4. NottinghamChicks

    NottinghamChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    I would open them up now. As long as they are using a roost they will not go into the boxes to sleep. Sometimes they lay their first eggs anywhere but the boxes, but they will eventually get the idea [​IMG]
     
  5. luvinmychickens

    luvinmychickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 15, 2011
    Ohio
    My chickens are 4 months and the nesting boxes are opened. In fact, one just laid their first egg today! But not in the nesting box....
     
  6. jeri40

    jeri40 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 13, 2011
    Today my husband found two eggs in the coop where our four month old chicks are. We were really surprised since we thought they wouldn't be laying for almost another month. The eggs were small--wondering how long will it be before they lay larger eggs. Needless to say, we got our nesting boxes ready. Need to make a higher and longer roost. Thanks for all the information. [​IMG]
     

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