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Opinions on when to uncover the nest boxes?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by arlee453, Nov 25, 2007.

  1. arlee453

    arlee453 Songster

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    Well, my girls will be 20 weeks on Christmas day. I'm not getting TOO excited with the time of year, etc that I'll get eggs right away, but their combs are getting redder by the day. I'm just waiting for them to lean over and ask for a back scratch - Don, I may need you to come down here - they'll probably squat for you right away since you are all experienced in the world of chicken back rubs... LOL

    At any rate, they are 17 wks tomorrow. When I first moved them into the new coop, they liked to roost on the ledges of the nest boxes. To discourage this, I stapled up coroplast to block them so they couldn't roost there and since then they all roost on the roosting poles, no prob.

    How soon should I remove the coroplast so they can get in the boxes again?? And, how soon should I put in a golf ball or two to give them the idea??

    I have already figured I'd just uncover the ones closer to the front of the coop, since they all like to roost back in the way back, darkest and most sheltered part of the coop.

    I really don't want to be collecting eggs covered in poo... BUT I also want them to have access to the boxes at the right time so I don't end up missing eggs because they don't know where to put them.
  2. kstaven

    kstaven Crowing Premium Member

    Jan 26, 2007
    BC, Washington Border
    You didn't mention what breed of chicken. But if you have them roost trained now there should be no issue following the game plan you outlined. Uncover the front boxes and put a few fake eggs in there. If they are cross bred layers it would be an idea to do it now. You still could be waiting weeks for eggs with other breeds.
  3. barg

    barg Songster

    Apr 27, 2007
    Agreed, I never had my box blocked off, I just shooed them out when they went in, and once they established their roosting positions, there was no problem.

    I will say however, that my chickens did'nt accept golfballs as eggs, they just rolled them out of the box, they did accept fake wooden eggs though.
  4. arlee453

    arlee453 Songster

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    Thanks for the replies. I'll go ahead and uncover a couple of the boxes near the front away from where they are roosting - wouldn't want to wait TOO long and miss that first egg LOL - although I'm not holding my breath for any March...that way I won't be disappointed if they decide that it's just too much trouble to start laying this time of year.

    They are not crossed egg layers - they are wyandottes, campine and dominiques...

    Thanks again! I"ll be glad to post that first egg picture!!

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