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When to open the nest boxes?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by meathook, Nov 30, 2009.

  1. meathook

    meathook Out Of The Brooder

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    May 21, 2009
    My 6 hens (5 Red Stars and 1 EE) turn 16 weeks today. I have two nest boxes in the coop and I stapled cardboard over the opening before I put the chickens in to keep them from getting all boogered up. When would be a good time to open them?

    Here is an older picture from when I moved them into the coop you can see the nest boxes on the right.

    [​IMG]

    Only wish the coop was still this clean. [​IMG]
     
  2. shaggy

    shaggy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 11, 2009
    Orange, Texas
    i had my nest boxes open from day 1

    but i have a weird set up ... lets see how my ascii art is


    the top is my chicken coop -- completely enclosed
    /------------------------------------------\\
    |.....................................................|
    |......................................................\\
    |.......................................................----|
    |.<chickens sleep here..........................| this is my nest box
    |______________________________|
    |...\\..................................................|
    |....\\.this is my chicken ladder..........|
    |.....\\................................................|
    |......\\...............................................| this is my chicken run -- fenced in with chicken wire
    |____\\______________________.|


    they never go into the nest boxes unless they are laying .... the rest of the time they sleep right above the chicken ladder
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2009
  3. Nostalchic

    Nostalchic Chillin' With My Peeps

    I didn't uncover mine until the first of my hens started showing some point-of-lay behaviors and characteristics, and then it was a little while before they actually laid any eggs. But they did start investigating the nests at that point and sitting in there, making nice round comfy places in the hay, and they didn't poop in them at all. Their roost is much higher than the nests and they were all confirmed "roost-ers" by then, so there really was no problem. This was at about 24 weeks.
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    My first one started laying at 18 weeks, but some were much later starting. It is hard to tell when they will start. I'd suggest opening the nest boxes within the next week and put the fake eggs in there to show them where to lay. If they start laying outside the nesting box, you may need to retrain them. I also think it is a good idea to see if you have problems with them trying to roost in the nests before they start laying so you can react and retrain if you need to before you get dirty eggs.
     

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