When Can I Start Putting Training Eggs in the Nest Boxes?

Marieaa70

Chirping
Apr 6, 2017
39
43
75
B C Canada
Hello wonderful chicken people!

Here is my fun question for today: When can I start leaving ceramic training eggs in the nest boxes for my girls? I have 9 pullets, most of whom are going to be 14 weeks old around mid-week (2 of them will be 13 weeks) and they've already been checking out the nest boxes (it's one unit composed of 4 boxes suspended off the ground about 3 feet up with curtains on each box).

I know they should start laying around 5-6 months old, but is it too early to show them why these interesting compartments are in their coop?

Also, I have a 6 year old Barred Rock in with them and she lays every other to every 2 days, so that might be enough to entice them (though I'm looking forward to using my 2 ceramic eggs ;)).

Any advice on this matter?
Put them in now will not do any harm, and they may go in and check them out and sit awhile,
 

RavalliSurfer

Chirping
Sep 3, 2019
21
49
54
Hamilton, Montana 59840
I put 4 of them in the "maternity ward" when they were first moved into the coop from the inside boxes in the house.

I think that if they see them and peck them often enough and find they aren't food or breakable, it implants an image in their tiny brains that it is counterproductive to even mess with them.

I find that when there are eggs with no shell - which can happen early-on in egg laying by young birds - that I don't think this is a problem if these get eaten.

We only had three no-shell eggs and our birds are doing just fine now. I think it's the hardshell impermeability of the fake eggs being a non-food package that trains them to just don't bother.

I don't think you can start too soon.
 

cmom

Hilltop Farm
13 Years
Nov 18, 2007
24,349
15,582
751
Florida
My Coop
I have golf balls in my nest boxes and for the most part they will lay in the nest boxes. I have on occasion found an egg on the coop floor or out in the pen but most will lay in the nest boxes.
IMG_2832.JPG
 

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