Semi-unique problem with a nestbox

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by gritsar, Nov 26, 2010.

  1. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Because I have meat pullets in my juvenile coop I have an extra large nestbox in there. It's a large (cocker spaniel) sized dog crate, wire, covered in opaque plastic to give the hens some privacy. All the rest of the nesboxes are large, covered kitty litter pans.
    I have to use this crate because the meat birds are not capable of stepping up and into the opening on the other boxes. Their crate has a lip at the entrance that's only about 2" high, so it's not a problem for them to get in it.

    I have never had a problem with the chickens kicking the hay out of the kitty litter boxes. I've used them in my adult coop for more than two years without a problem. The juveniles don't disturb the hay in their boxes either.

    I can't keep hay in the dog crate! The whole flock delights in kicking it all out onto the coop floor. [​IMG]

    Today I have to refill the crate with yet more hay because there's none left in it.

    Should I just give up on using hay in that nestbox and just load it down with pine shavings, or what?
  2. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Well, that's a unique problem. I'd think they'd kick pine shavings out, too, but maybe not. My LF will kick pine shavings out but they leave hay alone.

    Did you ever resolve this?
  3. sonew123

    sonew123 Poultry Snuggie

    Mar 16, 2009
    onchiota NY
    I use a tucker tote filled with shavings. I have a walking plank up to it. All my LF girls were emptying the nesting boxes driving me nuts and breaking eggs-I filled those boxes daily. Then I took a tucker tote a large one 2 x 1 1/2 ft? about 1 1/2ft high-fill it with shavings-leave about 2 inches of space to the top-so if they kick and scratch around most stays in the tote. I used a cut board about 1 ft across to use as a ramp..Has worked perfect for over a month now:) I know the meatie pullets will have leg/joint issues but if the walking plank is at a good walking distance and incline they should be ok???
  4. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    What is a tucker tote, sonew? Is that like a rubbermaid storage tote?

    I hadn't planned on using this crate as a nestbox. It was intended to be an isolation crate, but one of the meaties took to it when she was isolated for an injury. When she started laying she chose the crate. Then almost everyone else chose the crate, including the layer pullets.
    A few pullets have started using the other nestboxes.

    Dawn, I haven't resolved the problem as of yet. I'm out of pine shavings and haven't felt up to making the trip to town. We'll be going to town on Tuesday when DH is off and I'm going to pick more shavings up then. In the meantime, I just piled more hay in it yesterday. When I get the shavings, I'm going to remove the remaining hay and just pile it high with shavings.
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Is there some way you could tilt the crate back to make it deeper? You don't want it on too steep an angle or they may not be able to get back out of it, but if you could raise the front a couple of inches or whatever looked right to you to make the back deeper, then use a board or something for those meaties to walk up and in. If the bottom is wire, they may even be able to get a grip and get out of it even if it had a bit of a slope to it. Or maybe you can put something in there for them to grip as they climb out of it.
  6. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Quote:I'm working on that idea right now; or was until I decided to come in for another cup of coffee. [​IMG]

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by