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Thinking of changing the locationof nesting boxes

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Feathers n Fur, Mar 8, 2013.

  1. Feathers n Fur

    Feathers n Fur Chirping

    Apr 27, 2012
    Hunterdon County NJ
    Planning to expand the size of the run since we just got 5 new chicks. Hubby wants to move the location of the nest box to the opposite side of the coop to make the run wider and longer by going to the end of the coop where the boxes currently reside. Will this cause stress for the existing laying hens if the boxes are moved?

  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    Can you get Dr. Phil to come by for counseling? He can help with managing the stress and make everything better. Too bad Oprah doesn’t make house calls anymore. She was much better than Dr. Phil at this. The counseling would be for you to help you manage your stress levels, not for the chickens.

    I know that was mean to do that but my point is for you to not stress yourself worrying about stressing your chickens. Your chickens don’t like change but if you allow them the opportunity, they will cope really well. It just may take a couple of days. The egg production may drop a bit while they learn to cope, but if you need a larger run and this is the way to do it, then it needs to happen. Civilization as we know it will continue.

    I don’t know how big your coop is, how it is laid out, what the nests are like, anything like that. The hens are in the habit of laying eggs in those nests where they are. If you move the nests, they might follow the nests and continue to lay in them. Having fake eggs in there could help with this. I use golf balls as fake eggs.

    They may look for a new place to lay. This could be near where the old nests were or someplace totally different. There are different strategies to cope with that. If your nests are mobile, gradually move them to the new location, a foot or two a day. Maybe put a nest, say a cat litter box or a cardboard box with nesting material in it and see if they will use that, then gradually move that toward the new nests. Once they are used to laying in the new area, take that temporary nest away or just keep using it.

    I made a couple of my nests so I could lock a hen in there. That’s come in handy for different reasons. When I catch a hen settling in to lay where I don’t want her to, I lock her in a nest until she lays there, then let her out. Usually it only takes once for them to catch on, but I’ve had to do this twice for a very few hens.

    Congratulations on the new chicks and the bigger run. The older hens will do fine and with a little help so will you. Maybe instead of Dr. Phil or Oprah, a bowl of vanilla ice cream with fresh strawberries?
  3. Feathers n Fur

    Feathers n Fur Chirping

    Apr 27, 2012
    Hunterdon County NJ
    Ridgerunner - not mean at all. I carry the stress for all anyway so why not add that of my chicks [​IMG] I tried to tell him that chickens are creatures of habbit and it would disrupt their little lives to have to search for their nest boxes. I know they'll bounce back if I move them but I was just trying to give them more room without disturbing their living quarters. They will have adjustment enough with new coopmates. Since he is the one to do the building I'll just have to go with it. I'll happily hand him nails, chicken wire and hold the posts while he reconfigures the run/coop. When all is said and done I will treat the girls to some homemade chicken cookies and myself to a few mudslides. [​IMG]
  4. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    I also don't think it is a big deal, mine sometimes will just start using a different place, if I replace all the bedding, and generally shake things up. We are talking a slight hiccup in egg laying.

    if you are getting more space, celebrate, space is always the bane of chicken people.


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