When/how to start providing nests?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by kathleengp, Oct 30, 2009.

  1. kathleengp

    kathleengp Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 6, 2009
    I have a bunch that are due to start laying - 2 red stars, a silkie, a cochin (and a sebright if you can count her as a layer - lol) - all 21-22 weeks. Also a 1 1/2 year old cochin that was laying at her other home but nothing since she has been with me (a month - she mothers the little sebright and they are the same color so I also think she thinks she's a momma now in addition to the stress form the move- I may never get anything from her now!)....I blocked off the nest because everyone was sleeping in it and pooping in it - BAD!!! Lots of poop!

    It's been blocked off a week now so they are all being good girls and sleeping (and pooping) on the roost bars. So when should I open the nest back up? Will they lay out in the run if they have no nest and they are ready to lay? Should I wait until I find an egg in the run? Or are they waiting for me to give them the nest? They also free range but it is not until later in the day and fairly closely supervised so I expect the first egg will occur in the run or coop.

    If I open the nest back up too early I expect they will just poop in it again. [​IMG]

    The silkie and cochins may just wait until spring but I expect the red stars should go thru the winter laying fine and I do NOT want to discourage them - lol. But I don't want poopy eggs from that bad habit either.
  2. jenjscott

    jenjscott Mosquito Beach Poultry

    May 24, 2008
    Southeast Arkansas
    A lot of chickens start in the run or coop floor anyway, before they get the idea, most change to the nest voluntarily if it is attractive. The roosts should be higher than the nest box to discourage that nest box roosting. The nest box should be darker and private if possible to encourage them to use it. I have one bantam that insists on getting down inside the feeder to lay. I guess its real private till I look in over the top. They will lay when they get ready, with or without the nest box.

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