Will pullets know to lay in nest boxes?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Huntress78, Oct 2, 2012.

  1. Huntress78

    Huntress78 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 15 Brahma pullets that are 13 weeks old. If I let them free range during the day will they know to lay in the nest boxes, or if they start to lay outside under bushes etc. will they continue to do so? There are no older hens to show them.
    Will fake eggs in the boxes help? Anyone know how old Brahmas typically start egg laying?
     
  2. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    Fake eggs definitely help. They want to lay where others have laid. It's their instinct. I've had pullets start outside, and it is hard to break. However, I knew where to find the eggs, and collected daily. They seem to know exactly where they laid the day before, and go back to the same spot.

    Brahmas won't lay for quite a while yet. Wait until 18 weeks at least before opening nesting boxes. They will most likely just roost in them or snuggle in them and poop in there. That's not something you want to start.
     
  3. Huntress78

    Huntress78 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That's what I was afraid of. I don't really want to go on daily egg hunts.[​IMG] Fake eggs are now on my list of things to get!

    So they may not start laying till after Thanksgiving. I wonder if it will even be later seeing as it'll be the start of winter?
     
  4. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    Could be. I wouldn't expect them to start laying until 25+ weeks, as they are a slow maturing breed.

    As for winter, that usually doesn't affect pullets in their first year. I had a lot of girls start laying in December & January.
     
  5. soler

    soler Chillin' With My Peeps

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    if you also have a run with the coop, you could start limiting their free ranging to half days when they start getting more red on their combs and bigger wattles (it means they are getting close). Hopefully seeing the fake eggs and spending more time near the coop will ingrain the habit and then you can go back to letting them free range all day/

    I have fake eggs too. They absolutely work.
     
  6. Huntress78

    Huntress78 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes there is a run with the coop and once the snow flies that's probably where they will spend their days.

    Fake eggs....whoda thought!? [​IMG]

    Thank you both!
     
  7. Wisher1000

    Wisher1000 Bama Biddy

    I have white painted wood eggs and golfballs. Both work for the hens but I will not buy any more wood eggs. The golfballs work fine, are easier to get, and are less often eaten by snakes. I get fighting mad when my expensive wooden eggs leave in the belly of a snake and I can't recover them if I can't find where the snake died. One other hint I will offer is to put three golfballs in the same nest, the more there are, the better the nest looks to the hen. My elderly chicken friend calls them "patterns."
     
  8. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    Golf balls are easily located in my dad's shed. I'll stick with golf balls :lol:
     

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