When should I present nest boxes?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by WA23, Sep 10, 2008.

  1. WA23

    WA23 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have three nest boxes between six hens. Four of the hens are 17 weeks old and two are 10 weeks old. I started out with all of the nest boxes available for use and some of the older birds would sleep in them and make a mess in them. So I covered them up with cardboard. That was about three weeks ago. I am wondering if it is time to uncover them and give them another shot of using them for only their intender purpose or should I leave them covered until I find an egg on the ground in the pen?
    As you can tell, this is my first flock of chickens, so all is new to me.
     
  2. Heidi

    Heidi Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 18, 2007
    Northwest Michigan
    I put my nesting boxes in when my pullets were 18 weeks. They started showing interest and checking them out when they were about 20 weeks. I didn't have any problem with them sleeping in them - hopefully you won't either. Good luck! Oh - you might want to put a golf ball or a fake egg in each box as well so they clue in what they are suppose to leave for you. [​IMG]
     
  3. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

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    You might also think about removing the cardboard during the day, after they leave the coop, and replacing it at night time. This way, they have access to the nest boxes during the day, when they will lay, but not at night so they won't be able to go in & sleep/mess in them. [​IMG]
     
  4. bigzio

    bigzio Overrun With Chickens

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    I would make some curtains for the openings. A simple slit down the center for the flock to enter works well for privacy while the hens are laying also, something the hens love.

    Everything you do for the girls they appreciate....

    bigzio
     
  5. WA23

    WA23 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Seriously, curtains???? [​IMG]
    I will see if my wife has time to sew some up. [​IMG]
     
  6. bigzio

    bigzio Overrun With Chickens

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    Yep, totally serious. The private dark place to lay also keeps some of the anxious hens in the flock from becoming egg eaters...something a curtain can keep from happening at all.

    Folks that haven't delt with the reality of what is going to happen without good management, are in for a not so fun time with raising a backyard flock.

    It's not just chickens and eggs.

    bigzio
     
  7. WA23

    WA23 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    OK, I will concede this might not be a bad idea to calm chickens, but cloth in a chicken coop seems to be just inviting diseases. It would seem one would have to take down and launder these at least once a week.
     
  8. scoobychick

    scoobychick Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:I have an idea you could get a "cheep" shower curtain and cut it to fit then it would spray off easy
     
  9. BayCityBabe

    BayCityBabe Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I really love the shower curtain idea. An excuse to replace an old one...
     
  10. WA23

    WA23 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Excellent idea. I was not thinking outside of the window curtain box. I have one that needs to be replaced also.
     

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