When to open the nesting boxes?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Fox and the Hen, Aug 27, 2016.

  1. Fox and the Hen

    Fox and the Hen Out Of The Brooder

    10
    0
    22
    Mar 24, 2016
    Hey folks,

    So, we got our first two eggs this morning, which was very exciting! However, at this point, I have not yet opened the nesting boxes as I don't want the hens to start sleeping in them. We have 10 hens and they are about 18 weeks old now and the odd one will roost for the night on the odd night. Mostly they still crowd into a corner of the coop and sleep there. So, my question is, do I open the nesting boxes up and risk them sleeping in them, or do I keep them closed until everyone is roosting consistently at night and just let them lay in the corner of the coop for now.

    Basically, I guess I'm wondering which habit is worse and harder to break.

    As always, any advice is appreciated.

    Fox and the Hen
     
  2. chickcrack

    chickcrack Chillin' With My Peeps

    614
    111
    116
    May 27, 2016
    Ontario, Canada
    I would open your boxes asap and put some golf balls or fake eggs in them. If they start laying on the floor you are going to have filthy and broken eggs.
    I would also start lifting your girls up onto their roosts so they understand that's where they need to sleep. If need be you may need to wait until they are settled and then lift them up there one by one-if it's dark enough they won't move. Be sure they can easily get up to their roosts and it's not a big jump/fly up or down...ramps help. You may need to do this process several nights until they do it on their own.
    You can always block off access to the nest boxes at dusk and reopen early morning if you find its an issue.
    Good luck!
     
  3. Fox and the Hen

    Fox and the Hen Out Of The Brooder

    10
    0
    22
    Mar 24, 2016
    Thanks for the advice. I know they can get up to the roosts no problem because they are up there all the time during the day. Just not at night when I want/need them to be. Thanks for the tips though.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by