Maybe not high enough...?

Discussion in 'Broody Hens & Egg Laying' started by SF_CDR, Nov 6, 2012.

  1. SF_CDR

    SF_CDR ...and guineas too.

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    Small flock of bantams, contained in a large pen and roost house. Three nesting slots built by laying and large wooden ammo box on it's long side and subdividing therein. I have it about a foot off the ground with a small ramp built out of the door. I often see one of the two roosters IN A NEST, WITH a hen....but no eggs. Thoughts?
     
  2. piglett

    piglett Senior Member

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    if they are not yet laying he might be showing her the nest box
    once laying starts i say remove him every time you see him in there
    you don't want poopy eggs
     

  3. Bird_slave

    Bird_slave Junior Member

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    You don't mention age, but it sounds like they are just enjoying the comfortable nestboxes for sleeping; which is not a good habit for them to get in to. When they are young roosting in the nestbox is no biggy. Once they start laying it becomes a problem because chickens poop where they sleep and if they are sleping in the nestboxes the result is a bunch of poop covered eggs. Chickens develop strong habits and once started, are hard to break; best to break them of the habit while young.

    You don't mention roosts for them? A few tips to remember about roosts. Chickens instinctively want to go as high as possible to roost. Therefore it's important to place your roosts higher than your nestboxes. The other thing about chickens and roosting. Chickens don't grasp with their feet all night like you would see a wild bird on a perch do. What they prefer to do - and what's better for them so as not to have foot issues later in life - is to jump up on a roost, use their feet to steady themselves, then release their grip and rest on their keel (breast) bone. Two X fours mounted with the "4" side up make perfect roosts. Using these, the chicken can jump up, get all settled and rest on their keel, covering their feet and keeping them warm in the process.
     
  4. SF_CDR

    SF_CDR ...and guineas too.

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    Thank you for the replies. They are mature birds, at least 9 months old. They have four 2x4 roosts inside a metal fortress. I don't see the rooster and hen sleeping in there; they all roost. I have just caught them there. They quickly leave....so, maybe they're just not laying yet. While they are mature birds, they are only in they're 3rd week on my farm.
     
  5. Bird_slave

    Bird_slave Junior Member

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    Ah okay. Yeah, moves can interrupt the whole laying process. It can cause an upset that keeps the hens from laying. How quickly each hen resumes laying is an individual thing, based on how well they adjust to change. Another thing is the weather. This time of year egg production really starts to slow down as the daylight hours decrease.
    The rooster with the hen in the nest thing? Yep, he's encouraging her. The whole "Hey Baby, this would be a good place for you to lay my future offspring". ;)