Question on nests after moving outside

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by PacsMan, Feb 24, 2009.

  1. PacsMan

    PacsMan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 8, 2009
    Salt Lake Valley
    Hi,
    My chicks are 4 weeks old, and within a couple of weeks, they will be ready to get outside and start munching the ground!

    We've built a chicken tractor with a nesting/roosting area. They are going to need all of the room.



    [​IMG]



    My question;
    When new chicks go out into a new coop/tractor, do you let them have access to the nest boxes? My ladies won't lay for another several months, so is it ok to let them use the nest boxes for sleeping and/or roosting? (I've got lots of pearches....) Or, should I cover the boxes up and let them in a week or so before they're ready to lay?

    Pros and Cons?

    Marty
     
  2. Indiana hens

    Indiana hens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 25, 2008
    Pendleton, Indiana
    Do you want them to learn to poop in the nest or not? The nest is for laying eggs, not immitate a mothers womb.
    I am sorry; not enough coffee! No!
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2009
  3. Poohbear

    Poohbear On a Time Out

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    Nov 12, 2008
    Texas
    When young fowl start roosting in nest boxes as young birds, they will STILL nest in the boxes as grown fowl and will poop in the nest box EVERY NIGHT!. I learned the hard way.
     
  4. agirly4chicks

    agirly4chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 16, 2009
    Hamilton, Georgia USA
    So yes to open nest or not? Sorry I am not understanding!
     
  5. toyzbox

    toyzbox Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 27, 2009
    Crestview, Fl
    I'm lost too. It sounds like you should cover them until they are ready to lay. Right?????
     
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Make sure the roosts are higher than the nest boxes, before or after they start to lay.

    Make sure you have enough roost area for your birds. I'd use 12" minimum per bird. They can huddle if it is cold or spread if it is hot.

    Do not allow access to the nest boxes until they are ready to lay.
     
  7. toyzbox

    toyzbox Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 27, 2009
    Crestview, Fl
    Got it.
    But I'm not sure I follow about keeping the roosts higher than the nest box. What will that do? I have some above and some below.
     
  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    Northwest Arkansas
    Quote:Chickens will roost as high as they can go. They will move to your nest boxes when you open them up if they are higher than your roosts.
     
  9. agirly4chicks

    agirly4chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 16, 2009
    Hamilton, Georgia USA
    I see that makes pefect since.

    The roost are used as steps kinda? How far apart shoudl they be?
     
  10. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    12" horizontal separation and 12" vertical. They can hop up that far easily. Don't put one directly over another or they'll poop on each other.
     

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