When to open nest boxes and start training?


10 Years
Feb 8, 2009
Salt Lake Valley
My ladies are 18 weeks old. A "sister" of theirs that a friend bought, laid their first egg earlier this week. The seller told us 22 weeks is average.

So, they're getting close. They have 1000 square feet of run, and 4x8 coop for 11 birds. I let them out about noon, so they stay in the coop for the morning.

I've got 2 dual nest boxes, but they're still covered up. How soon is too soon to uncover them, and let them get comfortable with the boxes? There are a lot of places they can lay outside in the run, and I want to train them right. I noticed yesterday that their combs are indeed getting redder, and they are much more vocal this last week, so I know it’s about time.

Any suggestions?

They could start laying at any day. I would certainly have the nest boxes open to them by now. I would also put a couple of fake eggs inside the nest until they get the hang of laying in there. Maybe put them inside or infront of the nest. Mine have all been laying in the nest boxes for a while but I still find the occasional egg on the floor or in the run but for the most part they lay in the nest.
I've opened one of the two nest boxes and put cabinet shelving rubber type stuff down. It's a roll box, and I don't want eggs to stick...

We'll see what happens.
Don't you have pine shavings or straw in your nesting boxes? Mine like to scratch and make themselves comfortable.

I agree with Mahlzeit, open up those nest boxes. Make them ready for your girls. Otherwise those boxes might not get much use.

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