nesting Boxes

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by daddy_roo, Sep 13, 2011.

  1. daddy_roo

    daddy_roo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 6, 2011
    Kentucky
    Has anyone ran into the problem of their hens roosting in the nesting box and laying eggs on the ground? That is exactly what mine are doing. BUt I have an idea but I want to run it by Y'all first. I have my nesting boxes raised about 12 inches off the ground. One of the places they lay the most is in the oposite corner I put my boxes in(Naturally). So I moved the boxes over to that corner and that is when they started roosting on them.They will fly off the nest to lay an egg. So my thought is that since my nesting boxes are old milk crates they would not be hurt to dig them in the ground for them to use that way. Is this a good idea or am I crazy?
     
  2. TigerLilly

    TigerLilly I failed Chicken Math

    Jul 18, 2010
    Central Florida
    Never heard of it being done that way, but you never know 'til you try! Let us know how it works out for you.
    You dont mention what you've tried to dissuade the hens from resting in the boxes & laying on the ground, though. When mine take the notion to just lay around in the nest boxes, I take them out & put them on the floor, sometimes repeatedly. Also, I've read that if you put fake eggs (wooden, ceramic, plastic) IN the nest box, that helps them get the idea.
     
  3. daddy_roo

    daddy_roo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 6, 2011
    Kentucky
    Ive done the plastic egg thing and I work durring the day so Im not home to watch them and make sure they dont lay around in the nest. The coop is built under my mother in laws porch and she is not mobile enough to mess with them anymore. So that is a major draw back. I have replenished the bedding daily, and weekly and I am out of ideas. The biggest issue I see is durring the summer time snakes can easilly get to the eggs this way. But maybe if I get them used to the boxes I can move them up and not have this problem this summer?
     
  4. spiritdance

    spiritdance Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 13, 2010
    Is your roost higher than your nest boxes?
     
  5. TigerLilly

    TigerLilly I failed Chicken Math

    Jul 18, 2010
    Central Florida
    I think it might be worth a shot. Put it where they seem to like to lay, then gradually move it until you get it where you want it.
    How does that work out by having a coop under a porch? Do you have any photos? How do you get to the eggs?
    Of course, I'm picturing my porch, which is only about 3 ft off the ground...I can't imagine having to crawl under it to get to the eggs!
     
  6. daddy_roo

    daddy_roo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 6, 2011
    Kentucky
    No this coop accually works out great. It is not a 3 ft porch, her house has a full walk out basement. The top of the coop is 8 feet, the sides are 12 feet and the front is about 18 feet. I used chicken wire and learned that is great for keeping chickens in but terrible at keeping anything out. So I reinforced the bottom with steel wire. It has a door leading into the basement, and I installed a used stormdoor outside to enter the coop that way too. I will try to get some pics uploaded her soon.
     
  7. daddy_roo

    daddy_roo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 6, 2011
    Kentucky
    Ironically enough I had a hen doing the Looking for somewhere to lay dance when i went to the coop. I quickly dug 2 milk crates in and put a lean-to over them. Before I could get out of the coop that hen was laying in the box that I just dug in. I dont know yet if she is laying in it, or just taking a break. My daughter has s softball game so I am going to go to that and come home and check. hopefully she is laying in it. Also per the request of a couple of BYC'ers I have taken pics of the coop that I built, and a few of my chickens and roosters. I will get them posted after my daughters softball game.
     
  8. daddy_roo

    daddy_roo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 6, 2011
    Kentucky
    what a night, daughter lost her softball game, and the hen layed her egg but she laied it over where I took this new nest box from in the coop. Now Im definately concuzzled
     
  9. TigerLilly

    TigerLilly I failed Chicken Math

    Jul 18, 2010
    Central Florida
    [​IMG]
    I still wanna see the pics! I'd love to have a coop that big!
     
  10. Aussie Bill

    Aussie Bill New Egg

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    Jun 29, 2011
    Hi you-all ...
    When I was a kid, lo, those many years ago ... I lived on a farm. Dad used horses instead of a tractor and I can recall running down to ride one of the horses back to the barn in the evening ... I was a real young 'un. We moved into town when I turned six so I could go to school, or at least that's how I remember it. I also remember going out to the barn to collect the eggs. No big deal, hens everywhere and each had a favorite nesting spot. Or maybe my memory is faulty, I dunno.

    So here I am, an old man who recently moved onto some acreage ... and was gifted with three hens. So I fenced in an area and built a hen house complete with a nice oversized nesting box. The nesting box is 18 inches off the floor across the house from the roost. Two problems ... first, the boss hen won't go onto the roost, likes to spend the night in the nesting box. Second, three hens and no eggs! Two of them were laying before I acquired them and I'm told the third should start any time. Okay, maybe it's having a new home. How long will it take for them to settle in? Or maybe the boss hen didn't want to mess with eggs so she scared the other two out of laying.

    Now what do I do to teach the boss hen where not to spend the night? I tried covering the nesting box opening before they go to roost for a couple nights but that didn't work. I've tried kicking the boss hen out after dark, she just settles in the straw on the floor.

    What's the answer? Guess I'll go back to buying my eggs at the supermarket.
     

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