question about nest boxes

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by jlgoinggreen, Jan 18, 2010.

  1. jlgoinggreen

    jlgoinggreen Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 25, 2009
    South Central PA
    My chickens are buff orpingtons. I built a leaning ladder roost for them. they use it well. I built them a set of nest boxes abou four feet hight at the ledge for the boxes. Do they just eventually go in or do i have to train them to? They are not laying eggs yet. I place them in the boxes but they eventually jump out.
  2. gwebbbb

    gwebbbb New Egg

    Dec 24, 2009
    I have never had to do anything except but straw of shavings in the nest. Once the chickens start to lay they will find their way to the nests. Some people place plastic or wooden eggs in the boxes to help them get the idea.
  3. jeslewmazer

    jeslewmazer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 24, 2009
    I use golf balls (the cheapest I can find [​IMG] ) because it is hard to find wood/ceramic nest eggs around my part. I think plastic Easter eggs would work too. Sometimes it just takes time.
  4. Kim_NC

    Kim_NC Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 27, 2009
    Mt Airy, NC
    We put either plastic easter eggs or golf balls in the nestboxes as a 'hint'.

    4 ft is a good bit higher than we mount our nestboxes. I like the bottom ledge at 18-24" off the floor. The most important thng is that they be lower than the roosts. They will roost at the highest spot, so you don't want that to be the nests.
  5. newchicksnducks

    newchicksnducks Chillin' With My Peeps

    I had the nest boxes installed when the chickens were only 16 weeks old. My first layer started when she was 18 weeks old, but insisted on laying on the floor of the coop. When the next layers started (around 20 weeks), it was the first time they ever investigated the boxes. I guess they had something to say about the plastic sand filled eggs I left in the nest boxes....look what they did to the eggs:p


    It only took 2 days of seeing the 4 new layers use the nest boxes (yeah!) that my floor laying hen decided to use the boxes too.[​IMG] No more egg hunting in the corners of the coop! They'll get it. Give them time. (And you would rather they not use the boxes as a sleeping area, but just save it for laying.)
  6. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Did you try to fake egg thing??? If not try it, and show them again. That's pretty much all you can do. A few of mine will get in there and cover up the eggs (I used wooden eggs) with bedding, but no real deal yet. Your nest boxes do sound pretty high. I guess if they're not roosting up there, you're okay though...
  7. Billjr

    Billjr Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 15, 2010
    Central Jersey
    What would be the best dimesions for a nest box for hens the size of RIRs.
  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Quote:12" x 12" minimum. I made mine 16"x 16" and they like them.

    To the original poster, there is no need to try to put the pullets in the nest boxes. They will not know what they are for until their laying starts, then their instincts kick in. I'd recommend fake eggs in the nests from about 16 weeks onward. My first one, a Buff Orp, started laying at 18 weeks but it can be several weeks later. The timing when they start is real variable. I also use plastic Easter eggs. I filled mine with sand and glued them shut. I have not had a problem of them kicking them out of the nest. You can see the eggs in the nests here.

    I did have a couple that wanted to lay on the floor. When I caught them on the floor laying, I locked them in a nest for about a half hour, until they laid the egg. I only had to do that once with a Buff Orp but an Australorp too two tries before she learned.


    Good luck!!!
  9. Billjr

    Billjr Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 15, 2010
    Central Jersey
    Thanks Ridgerunner,
    I was thinking about 16X16. I need to build nest boxes on the side of the coop. Good Luck goinggreen.
  10. gypsymom

    gypsymom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 5, 2009
    My chickens are not laying yet either, but I am also wondering how to prepare. My coop has two nesting boxes inside, but my hens free-range over about 1/2 acre backyard during the day and are locked in the coop at night. I am worried that they won't bother to return to the coop for egg laying during the day and will just lay wherever in the yard. Should I mount some more nesting boxes in a sheltered place in the yard where they spend more time?

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