When should I re-open the nesting boxes?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by farmgirl7, Aug 10, 2014.

  1. farmgirl7

    farmgirl7 Chillin' With My Peeps

    109
    7
    79
    Feb 28, 2014
    Hanging into Texas
    When my babies were 5 weeks old, we moved them from the brooder to the coop. The coop is small and we are now putting together a much larger coop. The babies all (6 of them!) decided to sleep in the nesting boxes. I had to block the boxes off and put in a higher roost. Now they are starting their 16th week and I just read a post about someone's chooks that are beginning to lay at 17 weeks. I'm hoping mine will wait a few more weeks until we get them in the new coop, but do you think I should take the barrier down to the_nesting boxes just in case? I have brown leghorns and their combs are getting large and bright red and several have dime-size wattles. No singing yet and no squatting. I'd hate to find an egg on the floor because a box wasn't available to them!
     
  2. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    At this age they should be pretty well used to roosting at night so it should be fine to open the nest boxes now.
     
  3. farmgirl7

    farmgirl7 Chillin' With My Peeps

    109
    7
    79
    Feb 28, 2014
    Hanging into Texas
    Thanks, I'll do that in the morning. I just hope they wait until we get them moved to start laying. Keeping my fingers crossed!
     
  4. ShockValue

    ShockValue Chillin' With My Peeps

    730
    106
    178
    Jan 10, 2010
    West Sound, Washington
    I opened mine up as soon as they were in the routine of using their roost. They totally ignored the boxes until about a week before their first egg (TODAY!) and then they would occasionally go in and scratch around. Never to sleep, just to check it out to see if it was a nice place.
     
  5. farmgirl7

    farmgirl7 Chillin' With My Peeps

    109
    7
    79
    Feb 28, 2014
    Hanging into Texas
    When I picked up my chicks, I got 12 of them and sold 6 of them to my friend. One of her chickens has laid her first egg at 17 weeks! It was very small and the shell a bit soft, but she strutted around singing loudly about her accomplishment! None of mine have laid yet, but I opened the boxes and have started them on oyster shell, so tomorrow they start their 18th week. They are investigating the boxes and sitting in them for short periods. I hope they figure out what they are for! I have a couple of white wooden balls I may put in the nests to encourage them.
     
  6. farmgirl7

    farmgirl7 Chillin' With My Peeps

    109
    7
    79
    Feb 28, 2014
    Hanging into Texas
    One question: Her chickens free-range and mine are penned. Does free-ranging encourage earlier maturity and laying? Hers get more grass and bugs, although mine do get plenty of "treats". Just wondered.
     
  7. dsbailey70

    dsbailey70 Chillin' With My Peeps

    214
    12
    78
    Jul 7, 2014
    Nederland, Texas
    I finally had to block off my nesting boxes tonight. I'll reopen them when/if I hear their Egg Song. In a couple of weeks or so, I'll put my two new chicks (1mo EE and BR) out in the separated part of the coop, so they can adjust to the 1yo & 2yo Partridge Silkies already out there. When they're finally put together, I'm going to have to mix the chicks' Start & Grow with the Silkies' Layena, as well as provide the Silkies with some oyster shell.

    My concern is whether the oyster she'll will, in any way, harm the chicks. I've read that too much calcium too early will cause problems.

    Are there any other issues I may be missing?
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by