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What happens if I never build nesting boxes?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Delmar, Feb 14, 2011.

  1. Delmar

    Delmar Songster

    So two of my birds have started laying, but I have not gotten around to building nesting boxes yet. I am just finding the eggs in the middle of the coop. What are the benifits of having nesting boxes? What problems arise if you don't?

  2. mboreham1

    mboreham1 Songster

    Dec 14, 2009
    Carmichael, CA
    the eggs will get poopy, they will trample on them and start to eat the eggs, once they get the taste, it is a nightmare to stop them eating
  3. blefky

    blefky life in the yard

    Mar 18, 2010
    stamford, ct
    The eggs are more likely to be soiled or broken if they're not in the box. Also, if there's no "right" place to lay the eggs, they'll choose their own spots and if they're creative you might not find them (depending on your set up). Another concern is that if eggs strewn about the floor are broken, even accidentally, the girls will eat them and once they know what deliciousness is inside they are likely to become problem egg eaters - a habit which can be extremely difficult to eradicate. You don't need a fancy nestbox. People use all sorts of containers. Last summer when I was remodeling my coop and the nestboxes were out of commission, I took a couple of really large plastic flower pots and bungied them to the side of the coop for stability. Threw in some shavings and shredded up paper and they were good to go.
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2011
  4. TigerLilly

    TigerLilly I failed Chicken Math

    Jul 18, 2010
    Central Florida
    I use 5 gal buckets, cut the lid in thirds and get 2 usable pieces to put back on the bucket to keep the eggs/nest material inside. Works great & if you know where to get them, it costs nothing!
  5. michickenwrangler

    michickenwrangler To Finish Is To Win

    Jun 8, 2008
    NE Michigan
    My cochins have always been pretty neat about their eggs. Their temp coop last summer didn't have nest boxes and they would carefully scratch out a nest in a corner and lay. However, my hybrids were not smart enough for this.
  6. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Nest boxes are for OUR convenience. It is nice when you set up some the hens like, because we care about our pets & livestock. It's nice for us to only have to go to one (or a few) places to gather eggs. It keeps the eggs cleaner, and as others have said, out of the way of chicken feet which might crack them or break them, and then you've got the possibility of creating egg eaters.
  7. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    I didn't have nest boxes, roosts, anything in the coop except the food and water for a few years. Never had any problem. They just built nests on the floor, in the bedding.


  8. superchemicalgirl

    superchemicalgirl HEN PECKED

    Jan 10, 2010
    Vacationland, Maine
    I echo everyone above that the eggs will be gross and may get eaten.

    Mine also started laying before I had nest boxes. They didn't like the 5 gallon buckets or kitty litter containers I made. So I made some temporary ones out of cardboard boxes with little handkerchief privacy screens and... THEY LOVED THEM.

    Here's my cat modeling one (and they actually preferred the other one with the handkerchief all the way across the front):

    It took them a few months to stop using the cardboard boxes and to start using the real nesting boxes.
  9. catdaddy66

    catdaddy66 Songster

    Nov 18, 2009
    Lugoff, SC
    Here are some natural options for nests.
    I think these are inspired!!
  10. SassyKat6181

    SassyKat6181 Songster

    Aug 30, 2010
    Western Mass
    One of my girls just started laying a few days ago. I wasn't sure when they would lay and hadn't put in the nest boxes yet. She made a spot in the corner of the coop. We hung old wooden milk crates with a piece of plywood across the front in a few spots in the coop. This morning, her egg was in the nest box along with one from another 1st timer. It was very convenient for me to go in the coop and look in the box, rather than all the corners and spots that I thought she would hide an egg.

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