Training to a portable nest box?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Kikiriki, Feb 24, 2013.

  1. Kikiriki

    Kikiriki Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hey all! I think my main question is if you can acclimate year old chickens to a new site when they have been on only one site for a year?

    My girls have decimated the greenery in my yard and my mom offered to let them range on her property (in a controlled manner--hah ha!) i did a mini experiment by putting them into last year's garden which is now enclosed to protect my garden from them. They were very happy until it came to time to lay...bad owner here forgot all about a nest box! (Doh!) I ran to get an actual box, put the same bedding in it, and got it to them. The chicken who was running around with her legs squeezed together started to go in, then changed her mind and went back to frantic pacing at the fence. Yes, I took her to her nest, and poor baby went right to work...

    So is possible, at a year old, to get them quickly acclimated to a portable nest box? Do you ever take your chickens to another site? Do they stress too badly, or are they just delighted with the new food?

    They girls are nearly always out in the yard, but have never been away from this yard and their coop...
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2013
  2. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Chickens change their nest sites all the time. Training them to it is just the same as you would for any new nest box is the coop. With fake eggs, or like you did grabbing them when they are about to lay and putting them in it. Although hanging around and waiting for them to start to lay could be time consuming.
     
  3. Kikiriki

    Kikiriki Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you, Den! When the go for their picnic at Mom's I will have to stay with them anyway... The hawks like her area of the neighborhood because the properties have more open space: people there (around the corner from me) typically have some acreage and they cleared for specimen trees or for grazing, etc...

    I gave the situation thought, and perhaps the quicky nest I made did not feel "safe" to the hen. I think I will make a lightweight portable, but proper nest box and give that a try here in the garden area again. If I try to make it resemble their existing box, they might feel better. Plus, I don't want them to get into the habit of laying wherever they happen to be... They always use their nest box now and I like that! Because you mentioned them laying anyplace, I recalled years ago when my sister had chickens that left eggs anywhere in the yard. Egg hunts every day? No thanks!

    I was thinking of a way to get stuff growing for them again in the half of the yard I have them confined to now. Clear tubs or totes turned upside Down would act like mini greenhouses while providing protection, but these girls like digging so much, which really surprised me. Ankle breaking depth holes all over the yard is not cool! So I realized they would probably just dig right under the totes around the edges...

    Anyone have any ideas for regrowing?
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2013
  4. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Grow frames. Frames made of wood usually 2x4s with wire stretched across the top. The chickens can walk on the wire with out being able to scratch the ground. If the wire is tight enough and the supports are spaced right the plants have a couple of inches to grow before the chickens can get to them.
     
  5. Kikiriki

    Kikiriki Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That is a great idea and I have old picket fence sections I could recycle and some chicken wire. Thanks!
     

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