Roll out training

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Farmington, Oct 2, 2016.

  1. Farmington

    Farmington Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 2, 2009
    Northeast Ohio
    So, I'm starting over again, bought a small farm, and rehabbed a large chicken coop on the property. We decided on roll out boxes to keep the eggs cleaner than what I used to have. We just brought home 4, 11 month old silver laced wyandottes yesterday, 3 hens, and a very laid back rooster. The hens are not used to the roll outs, and are laying eggs in the corner of the coop, in the shavings. What is a good way to get them using the new boxes? I have been putting each of them in the boxes to let them check things out, and today, I put an egg shaped rock in there to hopefully encourage them. It's only the 2nd day. Any other suggestions? Thanks!
     
  2. Intheswamp

    Intheswamp Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 25, 2009
    South Alabama
    Get rid of the corner. Take a piece of plywood and stand it up in the corner covering the corner...this will make to lessor angled "corners". You want the plywood big enough so that they don't feel that the small "corners" are good spots to lay their eggs. If there is anyway that you can direct some light into the corner that might help, too, chickens like secluded, dim areas to lay in.

    How high are the roll-out nest boxes? Do the chickens have easy (low) access to them? You might hang some small, short curtains in front of the nest boxes to give them the dim, hidden "look".

    Best wishes,
    Ed
     
  3. Farmington

    Farmington Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 2, 2009
    Northeast Ohio
    The boxes are pretty low, lower than the first rung on the roost, so I know they can easily jump onto the front platform. I even laid a cutoff piece of a 6x6 in front to give them a little boost. The boxes also have curtains on them. This is the model I have:
    [​IMG] The board in the corner sounds like a good idea, thanks!
     
  4. Intheswamp

    Intheswamp Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 25, 2009
    South Alabama
    Hmm, a metal box versus a cozy corner with shavings...What is on the bottom of the nest box...some of the artificial grass stuff? Do you know what the hens had been laying inside of prior to you buying them? They may have to re-learn where to lay.

    Ed
     
  5. Farmington

    Farmington Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 2, 2009
    Northeast Ohio
    Yes, plastic turf mat on the bottom. They had shavings where I got them. Maybe I could line it with shavings until they get used to it, then clean them out, and use the mats. The lead hen is pretty good at showing the other 2, and the rooster what to do. I got her using the nipple waterer first, and the others learned by example on the first day. If I can show her the shavings lined box in the morning, the others may follow. She, and another have been laying about mid morning, while the other has been mid afternoon so far.
     
  6. Intheswamp

    Intheswamp Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,373
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    Mar 25, 2009
    South Alabama
    I'd say lining the boxes with shavings would be a very good idea. I'd put a good layer in there and not worry about the roll-out feature for now. Once they start laying gradually remove the shavings a little at time and eventually the hens will think they've laid on astro-turf their whole lives!!! [​IMG]

    Ed
     
  7. Farmington

    Farmington Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 2, 2009
    Northeast Ohio
    Sounds like a plan, I'll run with that, and see how she goes. Thanks!
     

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