When do the hens start using the

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Momagain1, May 12, 2011.

  1. Momagain1

    Momagain1 Songster

    Feb 13, 2011
    Central IL
    nest boxes??

    is this something we should start to encourage? they are almost 12 wks...

    I know we have at least 8 more weeks before we should even THINK about possibility of getting eggs at the
    extreme earliest...but its been said that my hens are kinda uh..umm..unique in their mental abilities lol...

    soo...honestly; with this being our first flock; should we encourage them getting in there?? or no..they'll go
    on their own???

  2. jason_mazzy

    jason_mazzy Songster

    Jan 7, 2011
    umm I wouldnt because they may start a bad habit of pooping in them. Until they have the nesting sense/instinct they will poop where they sleep.
    Last edited: May 12, 2011
  3. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers


    Many folks actually cover the openings to the nest boxes until their pullets are about 18 weeks old. More if they are of breeds known to mature more slowly.
  4. honda_DT

    honda_DT In the Brooder

    May 12, 2011
    i don't know what age mine are but they just laid the first egg of the group of 12 yesterday and we introduced the nesting boxes as soon as we got them(about a week ago) and they don't seem to be using them. So maybe it's better to start early?
  5. CCourson05

    CCourson05 Popping like kettle corn...

    Jan 5, 2011
    Hickory Flat, MS
    You need to encourage them to use them without forcing them, and show them what they are for...

    Put a golf ball in one or two nests... They will start to lay where the golf balls are at... [​IMG]
    Last edited: May 13, 2011
  6. Country Heart

    Country Heart City Girl With A

    Wooden eggs are also a good training tool. [​IMG]
  7. Jeffross1968

    Jeffross1968 Songster

    May 14, 2011
    Smoky Mountains
    We've received 3 eggs from 3 different hens and all laid them in a corner a couple feet away from the laying boxes. Actually made a little nest looking area that all 3 used over a 2 day period (1 egg yesterday, 2 today). I've had golfballs in the boxes for a few days prior. Apparently they don't get it?

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