When to open up the nesting box?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by swimmom, Sep 10, 2009.

  1. swimmom

    swimmom Songster

    Apr 7, 2009
    I've had the nesting box blocked off since I put my chicks out at 8 weeks as I didn't want them sleeping in there. Now that they're almost 18 weeks old, when should I open it up for them? Now, or when I find an egg somewhere? I know I have to open it during the day and close it at night to keep it clean. Anything else I need to know? The two that will let me pet them do dip down to the ground when I stroke their backs and their combs and wattles are bright red. Thanks for your input.

  2. rschunk

    rschunk In the Brooder

    My first egg came at 16 weeks or thereabouts. I don't know why you are closing the box off to them. I leave my 3 boxes (for 8 hens) open all the time. The box entrance is lower than the lowest roost so they won't roost in the boxes. The only problem I have is them kicking the wood chips or hay out of the box. I try to keep it in to soften the bottom as I've had a couple eggs get cracked by dropping from the hen.
  3. fordmommy

    fordmommy Dancing With My Chickens

    Jul 16, 2009
    Open the box.....[​IMG].
  4. Mrs.ChickChick

    Mrs.ChickChick Songster

    May 23, 2009
    North central Illinois
    Are the nesting boxes lower than their roost where they sleep at night? If so, they should continue to sleep on the roost and leave the boxes alone. They like to get to the highest roost they can.
    Open up those boxes and let them investigate! You may be getting eggs sooner than you think. [​IMG]
  5. Olive Hill

    Olive Hill Crowing

    Apr 19, 2009
    Another vote here for opening up those boxes. [​IMG]

    I leave mine open 24/7. What if one of them wants to lay at night? It's not difficult to give the bedding a once over when you collect eggs. I rarely find anything in there that doesn't belong. Maybe once every two weeks I'll find something, even then it's usually something that they tracked in, not "put" there.

  6. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop

    They're old enough now to "practice" in the nesting boxes.

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