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the importance of nest box height

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by HeatherFeather, Dec 15, 2009.

  1. HeatherFeather

    HeatherFeather Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How important is it? And does it vary with breed?

    Our old flock were production hybrids. They were quite happy with their ground level nest boxes.

    Our new 6 month old flock, who I'm trying so hard to coax into laying are all heritage breeds (BO, BR, SS, barnvelder, dom).
    We still have 2 of the old birds but they are moulting right now, and not exactly excited about their new friends, though nobody's getting hurt.

    Would the floor level nest boxes do anything to keep these girls from laying?
     
  2. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

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    Shouldn't make any difference...

    I have one that lays on the floor in the corner no matter what, all of the others use the nest boxes.
     
  3. dwegg

    dwegg Chillin' With My Peeps

    I really don't know but all mine use the same nest box closest to the ground about foot off the ground except one uses the top nest box that is ontop of that...? io have 4 boxes for 7 birds.
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    There are a few rules of thumb about what most chickens like for their nests. They usually like it kind of dark, the sort of place that they feel protected from predators. [​IMG] I'm hiding!!! I'm hiding!!! They like to lay where others are laying. If it is good enough for them, it is good enough for me I think that pretty well sums it up.

    This is not to say that chickens will not lay out in the open where no other chicken is laying. Many of us can assure you they do this and more. I think the most important thing to do with nesting boxes is to make then convenient for you. A fake egg or two is also good to show them where to lay.

    It helps to have the nesting box a little off the ground so they don't get so much dirt in it. If they have to jump up a little to get into it, they kind of wipe their feet at the entrance. But I still occasionally get dirty eggs from them having dirty bums when it is wet outside, even though they jump up a bit. Here's what mine look like.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. gsim

    gsim Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Main thing is to have them lower than the roosts so that there is no confusion as to what is a roost and what is not. If they are laying outside you may have to confine them for say 3 days to imprint on them where to lay the eggs. I have them at 24" ht and roost ad 48" ht. I did put two on floor in case someone wanted to lay at floor level. I have only seen one egg there ever. Run is really big at 2000 sq ft and no eggs there ever. Mine cannot get under very much of the coop either because I fenced it off from them. They can get under the place where it is over 2 ft above ground only. I did that to keep them from starting their egg-laying there and possibly eating them before I saw what was happening. They use only their nests. [​IMG]

    Twice I have been too slow doing morning chores and have had them jump on the flower boxes on outside of their windows and squawk at me to hurry up ! (I always shut them out for morning chores) As soon as I opened the pop doors, they muscled and pecked the others out of their way to get in and thenlaid their eggs right in front of me! [​IMG] At no other time do they behave that way, only for eggs to be laid. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2009

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