When should I uncover nest boxes?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by tommboy1973, Aug 16, 2010.

  1. tommboy1973

    tommboy1973 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 8, 2010
    Hidden Valley, AZ
    My chickens are 17 1/2 weeks and 14 1/2 weeks. I had covered up the next boxes about a month ago because they were sleeping in them. They have been sleeping on the roost for a couple weeks now, after having to put them up there every night for a few nights until they got the hang of it. I read that I should uncover the boxes soon as some are (hopefully!) getting close to laying, but I'm afraid they will start sleeping in them again. Would it hurt to wait a few more weeks? Would it be bad if I waited until they start laying? I don't want them to get into a habit of laying eggs on the floor either. My roost is higher than the boxes, but not much, maybe a foot or so. (bad coop design, mistake of a first time chicken keeper!!)
     
  2. ADozenGirlz

    ADozenGirlz The Chicken Chick[IMG]emojione/assets/png/00ae.png

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    Oct 18, 2009
    Connecticut
    Quote:If they're roosting at night I would uncover the nest boxes in the day time. Often chickens will toy around with the idea of sitting in the nest boxes before they begin to lay eggs, so you want them to have the opportunity to do so if they are so inclined.

    If you find that they revert to their old ways, you could cover the nest boxes just at night time (that's what I do b/c I have several hens who refuse to roost no matter what I do). It couldn't hurt to put some fake eggs or golf balls in the nest boxes either to suggest to them the proper place for laying.

    Good luck and don't forget to post your first egg pictures!
     
  3. stanglover2001

    stanglover2001 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 29, 2010
    Well mine layed 2 or 3 eggs on the floor before I put a nest box up, I put a stick leading to the box and they use it only to lay eggs in now. No eggs on the ground, if they're comfortable they'll lay in the box instead of the floor. I like DozenGirlz idea and cover it up at night if they start sleeping in it again.
     
  4. tommboy1973

    tommboy1973 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 8, 2010
    Hidden Valley, AZ
    I assume they were pretty comfortable in the boxes, as they were sleeping in them! LOL I wil have to come up with an easy way to cover boxes that I can remove every day, right now just have some cardboard stapled up. Maybe just a sheet that I can roll up?
    Here are some pics,
    Hubby built this and thought the chicks would like little rooms, not sure thats how I would have designed it but he meant well. There are egg doors on the back and upper space for storage.
    [​IMG]
    In this pic you can see the holes that they go into, inside are 3 divided nests on each side. When I tried just blocking the small holes, they roosted on the shelf in between. I stapeled the cardboard over the whole middle section. I have since lowered the roost as I thought it was too close to ceiling, it is now about 1 foot above boxes/shelf.
    [​IMG]
    I forgot how little and cute they were!! Makes me want to get more!! That's how it starts isn't it???? [​IMG]
     

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