Silkie using their nesting boxes

sophie94

In the Brooder
May 17, 2017
26
7
26
Hi,
I will have my Silkies one week tomorrow. They've already came on leaps and bounds when using their coop as they had never been in one before - but I'm just wondering will they automatically use their nesting box themselves when they come to lay or will I have to train them? At the minute the two of them just pile together on top of each other on the wee mats on the grids of their coop (beside their nesting box) so I'm just wondering will they naturally use the box or just lay wherever?
Any advice will be greatly appreciated (I'm new to all of this)
Sophie, :)
 

lightchick

Crowing
6 Years
Apr 3, 2014
4,586
318
316
Minnesota
They should naturally lay in the nesting boxes, but occasionally they decide to lay somewhere outside in long grass, etc. I usually put a few fake eggs (golf balls) in the nesting boxes and I don't have any trouble with them laying elsewhere. Hope that helps!
 

sophie94

In the Brooder
May 17, 2017
26
7
26
They should naturally lay in the nesting boxes, but occasionally they decide to lay somewhere outside in long grass, etc. I usually put a few fake eggs (golf balls) in the nesting boxes and I don't have any trouble with them laying elsewhere. Hope that helps!
Thank you :) they aren't laying at the minute - they're only around 5 months but I've had their nesting box in from they arrived. The first few nights I put them in it but now that they know their coop they just come up when I call them and lie in a wee pile at the top of the ladder so I've been leaving their nesting box empty. I would just be afraid of their eggs falling through the grids - I do have 2 mats on the main bit of their grids to help them move around because they were finding it so hard at the beginning! But I'll just keep an eye out every morning just incase :)
 

Eckielady

Songster
Feb 12, 2017
524
256
146
East Tennessee
My silkies will absolutely not use nesting boxes. Their coop has a sand floor and nothing else. No boxes, no roosts. They won't use them. They pile together at night to sleep. Some silkies will roost if they were raised with other breeds but a lot of them won't. We have two hens that are just about done raising their co-op brood (they brooded together) and it's a huge silkie pile every night.
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
27,480
20,700
907
Southeast Louisiana
Silkies can't fly which makes them a bit more challenging as far as roosting and using nests. Some Silkies are happy sleeping on the floor while some will sleep on roosts if they can get to them. Ramps can be a good thing with Silkies. Low roosts and low nests can make a difference, but there is nothing wrong with them sleeping in the floor if they want to.

As far as using the nests to lay, you don't get guarantees with any pullet regardless of breed. They might use their nests and they might not. You can help your odds by putting fake eggs in the nest. I use golf balls but some people use ceramic or wooden eggs or those plastic Easter eggs or even ping pong balls for bantams. The hens scratch a lot when preparing to lay so they can scratch those Easter eggs apart, you should glue them together and maybe put something inside for weight to keep them from being scratched out of the nests.
 

sophie94

In the Brooder
May 17, 2017
26
7
26
My silkies will absolutely not use nesting boxes. Their coop has a sand floor and nothing else. No boxes, no roosts. They won't use them. They pile together at night to sleep. Some silkies will roost if they were raised with other breeds but a lot of them won't. We have two hens that are just about done raising their co-op brood (they brooded together) and it's a huge silkie pile every night.
I've noticed my two piling together at night. They would pile outside on the grass then when I call them up the ladder they come up and pile together up there too! lol I do have a box with straw in it for them to lay but at the minute they lie on wee mats on top of their grids with wood shavings..
 

sophie94

In the Brooder
May 17, 2017
26
7
26
Silkies can't fly which makes them a bit more challenging as far as roosting and using nests. Some Silkies are happy sleeping on the floor while some will sleep on roosts if they can get to them. Ramps can be a good thing with Silkies. Low roosts and low nests can make a difference, but there is nothing wrong with them sleeping in the floor if they want to.

As far as using the nests to lay, you don't get guarantees with any pullet regardless of breed. They might use their nests and they might not. You can help your odds by putting fake eggs in the nest. I use golf balls but some people use ceramic or wooden eggs or those plastic Easter eggs or even ping pong balls for bantams. The hens scratch a lot when preparing to lay so they can scratch those Easter eggs apart, you should glue them together and maybe put something inside for weight to keep them from being scratched out of the nests.
I have a box ready for if they decide to lay with some straw in it but at the minute they're lying on top of each other beside it lol I'll just have to keep an eye out around their coop if they decide not to lay in their box. I'm definitely going to give the fake eggs a go and see what happens :)
 

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