when to add a nesting box

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by xanaxnation, Jun 21, 2008.

  1. xanaxnation

    xanaxnation Songster

    Apr 8, 2008
    my girls are about 6 weeks old now and they moved to the outdoor digs last night. when should i add a nesting box, what should i fill it with (straw, shavings, carpet?) and will they know by instinct what its for?
  2. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

    May 24, 2007
    I bet your girls are soo happy to be outside in their new digs!

    You will want to have a nest box available by the time they are about 17 weeks old. Most breeds lay their first egg closer to 20 weeks but some (like Sex-links) may start at 17 weeks.

    You don't want your chicks to have access to the nest box until that time or they may decide to start sleeping in them (duh! I learned that the hard way.) and then you get poopy eggs. So - you can put them in at anytime but keep them covered until that age. Also, make sure your nest boxes are lower than your roosts. Chicken like to sleep at the highest point available.

    Most chickens will naturally know to use the nest box to lay their eggs. Some just don't get it and will need some 'visual' cues like a golf ball or fake egg placed in the nest box.

    I like wood shavings the best for all bedding. It's very easy to clean and doesn't get yucky like straw. Don't even think about carpet ... ugh! If any poop gets on it (and it will) that would be impossible to keep clean. I did put pieces of lino on the floor of both my coop and the nest boxes to help the clean up process also. It's working great.

    Edited to add another thought.
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2008

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