Fake 'Em Out - Encouraging New Layers To Use Nesting Boxes

| 8/26/2012 10:03:43 AM

Tags: eggs, chickens, backyard flocks, Lisa, Fresh Eggs Daily, nesting boxes, fake eggs, Easter Eggs, Lisa - Fresh Eggs Daily Farm Girl,

 profile pic 

by Lisa Steele from Fresh Eggs Daily 

We all make mistakes when it comes to raising chickens. Sometimes we just don't know any better, sometimes we forget, sometimes we make a bad judgment call, other times it's just bad timing.  My most recent mistakee was a case of bad timing.

A week or two ago, the chicks I hatched in March were approaching laying age (21-22 weeks old) and had started checking out their options.  Usually a few weeks before they start laying, pullets will start to investigate the nesting boxes, sometimes even sitting in them to get used to the idea.  I found several eyeing the various baskets and boxes in the coop.

 abigail nesting 

So what did I do ? I closed up the old coop and moved everyone into the new coop I had just finished building. 

jeannie box
8/28/2012 8:09:27 PM

Currently I don't have any chickens - I just don't have a place for them here - but I do enjoy reading about them here. Back in the 70's I raised "Domineckers" as my Granny called them & enjoyed every minute of it. Granny used the now antique solid glass eggs to get hens laying where she wanted them to. One night a rat snake got into the coop and gorged on eggs that hadn't yet been gathered. However, after swallowing one of the solid glass ones we found a "good" snake outside the hen house the next morning! Maybe one of these days I'll be able to get back to my Chickens....

michele harris
8/28/2012 8:05:45 PM

My old girls never had a problem finding the nest. My new little ones roll the rocks and plastic eggs out of the box and sit and lay beside it! Hopefully the new winter coop will solve the problem with large built in nesting boxes.

victoria osteen
8/28/2012 6:56:03 PM

Another great blog! My hens are only 4 eggs in but only the first one was found on the ground. The rest have been in the outdoor nest boxes that are copycats of yours! :) I often read people saying that you "get over" the whole egg collecting thing but I dont see that EVER happening to me. It is amazing!

karen driscoll
8/28/2012 6:55:09 PM

Hahaha ... I was going to say, "Those are some beautiful eggs your hens are laying!" My pullets are 20 weeks old. I'm getting excited as I anticipate them starting to lay!

felicia johnson
8/28/2012 6:24:30 PM

I am excited to try this out. My Brown Leghorn will be laying soon and I want her to start off in the right spot.

cindy mitchell
8/28/2012 6:07:34 PM

Great info!! I'm getting a new coop in about a month and I was really worrying about how to make the transition....my girls gave me their first eggs last week and of course they did not use the boxes because all 5 of them cram together and sleep in them! They have made their own little "nest" right outside the boxes. I'll start using the Easter eggs to try and get them to stop sleeping there and then continue it into the new coop.....The Chick Inn... with it's large 6 boxes.....I'll keep you updated and may ask you a few more questions.

devon pierce
8/28/2012 5:47:18 PM

One of our pullets has been laying an egg a day (out first eggs ever) for the last week. So consistent! We actually don't have nesting boxes in there yet---we were planning it for last weekend and it rained all weekend long--but she's been shallowing out a little hole and plopping them right in. We're so excited. Hopefully this weekend we can make them official with real boxes.

heather frank
8/28/2012 5:34:27 PM

I have never heard of that before i would love to try this with my young chickens. Must be hard to find the plastic eggs this time of year.

makenna vanegas
8/28/2012 5:30:36 PM

We do this! I would love to get some more eggs though! They always come in handy. Great blog post!

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