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Should I block off nesting boxes?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Dirty Farmer, Jun 22, 2011.

  1. Dirty Farmer

    Dirty Farmer Chirping

    Jun 2, 2011
    I have four Pullets and a one little Roo (all 10 to 11 weeks old) I keep them in the hen house during the night, and while we are at work during the day. They free range on the property from 5:00pm, untill they decide to go back in the coop to roost on there own at dusk. Anyways, my question is...I find on occasion, that the two small Buff Orpingtons hang out and play in the nesting boxes that are part of the coop. None of them will be producing eggs for a few more months yet, so should I block off the nesting boxes now, and then re-open them when they become of age to start laying? That way they don't use the nesting boxes as just a place to hang out, and cause bad habits when they do start laying.

  2. bryan99705

    bryan99705 Songster

    They are kids and kids will play. What you need to watch is that they don't sleep in the boxes. If they are roosting on their pole then let them explore their world and hop around. If they start sleeping in the nests then close them off. It doesn't hurt them to sllp in the boxes, it just causes messy butts and boxes
  3. BellevueOmlet

    BellevueOmlet Songster

    Jul 10, 2010
    I would recommend blocking off the nesting boxes. Chickens are creatures of hobit and if they get used to hanging out and sleeping in the nesting boxes, it will be more difficult to control when they are older. Then you will have a chicken poo in the nesting boxes which is not good unless you like poopy eggs.
  4. meowteri2

    meowteri2 Songster

    Feb 4, 2010
    chicago sw suburbs
    I kept my nest box blocked off until I found the first egg on the ground. Then I openned it an put two golf balls in it. They started laying in there ever since.
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    I see you are getting different advice. That's pretty normal on this forum. A lot of different things usually work for about anything.

    For me, if they are sleeping on the roost, don't worry about it. Things are going as they should. If they are still sleeping on the floor or in the nesting boxes, you can block them off until they get in the habit of sleeping on the roosts. In any case, I recommend having the nest boxes open with a fake egg in there at around 16 weeks. It is possible, though highly unlikely, that one could start laying at that age and you do want the boxes open when they start to lay. Chickens are creatures of habit. When they lay their first egg, it is often just dropped on the floor or even from the roost, but once they figure out what is going on, they can get in the habit of laying somewhere other than the nest and that can be a hard habit to break. Been there, Done that. Only took one egg to get in a bad habit.

    Also, if they do start to sleep in the nesting boxes, you usually have time to correct the problem before they start to lay.

    Good luck!
  6. Gen9

    Gen9 Songster

    Jun 1, 2011
    good thing I checked this thread because right now mine are kicking all the straw out of the nesting boxes and making nests near the roost
  7. rancher hicks

    rancher hicks Crowing

    Feb 28, 2009
    Syracuse, NY
    I've read that it's best to have the nest boxes Lower than the roosts since chickens like to roost up high. I do have a little frizzle who sleeps in the nest box on the bottom and since Frenchy is a favorite I let her.

    But if it's a problem then sure you can hook up a system to block the boxes at night.

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