When to add nest boxes

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by imaleomom, Dec 10, 2008.

  1. imaleomom

    imaleomom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 4, 2008
    SC
    When is a good time to add the nest boxes to our coop? Our girls are just 12 weeks old now, but I'd like to be prepared.
     
  2. NRacine

    NRacine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 2, 2008
    Good question, I was wondering the same thing!
     
  3. bluey

    bluey thootp veteran

    Apr 10, 2008
    Washington, PA
    I don't think it's ever really too early. Get them used to them and add a few golfballs/plastic eggs to help them put 2 and 2 together...
     
  4. Poppycock

    Poppycock Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 10, 2008
    Alpine, UT
    I added mine when mine were about 5 months old. Nobody seemed ready to lay but I wanted them to have time to get used to them and "test" them out. I put golf balls in from the very beginning. I have mine on a shelf, so there is about a foot of space in front of the actual boxes for them to jump up on and walk around. They were curious and would jump on the shelf and then step in the boxes (I use square plastic storage containers that look like dish pans with holes in the sides. I fill them with straw) and pick at the straw a little. Mine just started laying at the beginning of November (23 weeks old), and all have managed to lay in the boxes. I have found two on the ground, but they were obviously from new layers (they were very small), and I just think they didn't make it into the nest boxes in time and they plopped out onto the floor. I just collected 6 this afternoon from my 9 pullets - yesterday it was 5 so someone new is laying (29 weeks old)! Good luck!
     
  5. @migocontodos~

    @migocontodos~ Chillin' With My Peeps

    Bluey is right. It's never to early.
    If you add tthem now, they'll use them for a playground and will be familiar with them come time to start using them.

    I'd added them when young and when older, but never past 18 weeks old. I've always tried to make sure they were in place BEFORE the girls started to lay!

    Enjoy them!
     
  6. kerrywoo

    kerrywoo Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 19, 2008
    Broken Bow, oklahoma
    i dont think you need to be in a huge hurry, but probably by 20 weeks. So they be used to them, dont forget the golf balls.
     
  7. SewingDiva

    SewingDiva Chillin' With My Peeps

    I think I waited till ours were 18-20 weeks. I didn't add add it earlier because i didn't want to encourage roosting and pooping in the nest box. I had a fake egg in there until i was really certain one of them would start to lay (red comb, she was doing The Squat) and then I took it out. It was made of marble and since it's winter and marble does get very cold.

    Phyllis
     
  8. Omran

    Omran Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2008
    Bagdad KY
    I added mine for the new pullets just last week and they still not even 12 weeks old.

    When I got the first 10 hens they were about 15 or 16 weeks old when they had nesting boxes, and when time came to lay they were very comfi going to the boxes as if they knew what the nest boxes are for.

    omran
     
  9. BawkinOnTheBench

    BawkinOnTheBench Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 13, 2008
    UT
    I agree - earlier is better. You wouldn't want one of your pullets to lay early and have to figure out her own place to lay. And you never know what your chickens will decide is scary, either. We had ours in place by the time the girls were 10 weeks old; they didn't start to lay until about 25 weeks, but every egg has been in the boxes (except the few under the roosts they just couldn't hold until morning!)
     
  10. too much fun

    too much fun Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 4, 2008
    Happy Valley, Utah
    I put mine in when I had time to build them, no rush, but it was a while before they started laying. That way the newness of the boxes has worn off long before they figure out what they are for. Then it just seems second nature to them.
     

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