When Should I open the Nest?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by rechena, Jun 14, 2011.

  1. rechena

    rechena Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 6, 2011
    Portugal
    Hi,
    Probably this question has already been answered, but I can't seem to find it [​IMG]
    Our hens are about 4 months old, at least we think they are, acording to some photos we posted here, and the great help of this forum. [​IMG]
    They normally are in the run and not in the coop, also we have the nest closed so they dont go inside and make a mess out of it.

    Now the main question is:

    When should I open the nest?
    Will they go "upstairs" to lay the eggs or should I build a "downstairs" nest?

    Thank you for the help.

    Regards
     
  2. M.sue

    M.sue Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 29, 2011
    Michigan
    I just read and inquired about this. Everyone seems to say about approx. 15 wks. Mine have been open from the start and only a novelity the first week. They say that as long as they all are roosting on the perch.....it's pretty safe. I never heard or knew of this (blocking the boxes) and guess I just lucked out as far as them bedding down and messing in them. As far as buillding a nest downstairs....I don't think it matters. They will find their spot.

    Update: After reading the replies on this topic....Just to be on the safe side, I had my husband block the nest.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2011
  3. lambchicks

    lambchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 21, 2009
    North Carolina
    Different breeds start laying at different ages. What breeds are yours? Also, have they started to do the rooster squat?
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2011
  4. rechena

    rechena Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 6, 2011
    Portugal
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2011
  5. rechena

    rechena Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 6, 2011
    Portugal
    Found this photo on my mobile photo [​IMG]
    Taken couple of weeks. For scale purposes that is a 1Gallon water.

    [​IMG]

    There's also a little white one in the back, but she's smaller than the other two. We still not sure why since she eats nice and runs very happy.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2011
  6. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 23, 2009
    DFW
    A pullet coming close to laying will get a bright red comb, and often she will squat for you as you approach her (just as she would for a rooster).
     
  7. karimw

    karimw Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 7, 2010
    Eastern IA
    I have 24 chicks hatched March 20th so that would make them 13 weeks. Just last night they abandoned their brooder cage on the ground and have joined the rest of the flock in the rafters and on the roosts. They have been running with the big flock for about 5 weeks and I never noticed any of them showing interest in the nesting boxes. Of course the crabby broody hens may be a bit of a deterent [​IMG]
     
  8. JodyJo

    JodyJo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 27, 2010
    Colorado
    never heard of closing off the boxes, my 9 week olds get up there and a few have roosted there and "pottied" in the boxes, should I close them off? I just scoop the poop and add fresh shavings...maybe I am doing it wrong, this will be my first run with pullets and eggs, so if I need to, I will block their access...
     
  9. rechena

    rechena Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 6, 2011
    Portugal
    Quote:I'm not sure also if I'm doing it right [​IMG]
    But when I was searching tips for building my coop I've stumbled across a couple of DIY that mentioned that they kept the nests closed till they started to lay. Not sure if for me makes any difference since they are always in the Run and only come to the coop at night by their choice.
     
  10. JodyJo

    JodyJo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 27, 2010
    Colorado
    Quote:I'm not sure also if I'm doing it right [​IMG]
    But when I was searching tips for building my coop I've stumbled across a couple of DIY that mentioned that they kept the nests closed till they started to lay. Not sure if for me makes any difference since they are always in the Run and only come to the coop at night by their choice.

    yeah, so my question to anyone with an answer or more experience, if they poop in them, say now at 9 weeks, will they do that also when they are laying at 18-20 weeks? If yes, I will block t hem off...I don't want poopy eggs!
     

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