Nest box.

So, those of you who have read the blog for a while know that I’m anxiously awaiting the arrival of the first egg.  Yes, I know at 17 weeks going on 18 weeks it may be a bit early, but I want to be prepared so that I can order the “WELCOME EGG!” cake right away.  Every day when I go out to the coop, I ask the chickens, “So…what about those eggs?”.  Of course, they look at me blankly and go about their chicken business.  Apparently, egg arrival time is being kept a secret.

I’ve gone back and forth about what to use as nest boxes.  I have wood ones that Greg built for me, I looked at fruit crates, I looked at laundry baskets, and I had one milk crate floating around the garage.  I think the darn thing has been sitting there since we moved and I walk by it every time I go through the garage to get to the backyard.  One day, I pointed to it and yelled “NEST BOX!!!!”.  Tom thought I’d lost my mind.  I hauled it out to the coop and let it sit outside the pen for a while and finally, last night, I decided to see what the Beaked Freaks thought of it.

The chickens were still outside whooping it up in the run, so I snuck the nest box into a back corner and laid it on its side.  I filled the bottom with fresh shavings.  I called the chickens (much to the neighbors dismay, I’ve started yelling CHICK CHICK CHICK, C’MON GUYS!!!” again) and they came stampeding into the coop thinking I’d whipped up something delicious for them.

Look at Vinnie.  So nosey.

Look at Vinnie. So nosey.

I had already left the pen when they came storming through the run doorway.  They didn’t notice the nest box at first and then suddenly one of them gave the “CAUTION” sound and they all stopped to look at the nest box.  The golden laced Wyandotte pullets were the most interested and after a few minutes of regarding the box from a distance, they all gradually got closer.  One of the Wyandottes, stuck her head into the nest box and pushed around a few shavings with her beak and then picked up a couple of feathers from outside the box and set them inside the box.   Vinnie, Cluck and the others were watching from a distance, but when Vinnie saw her put a feather in the box, he decided he had to investigate more closely.  Oprah and Jessie, the two black Sex-Link pullets were next to look at the box more closely while Vinnie walked back and forth making a low sound because he couldn’t seem to figure out what he should do about this new “thing” in the coop.  Eventually, they lost interest except for one of the Wyandottes, who kept walking over to look inside.

I know ALL of that means totally NOTHING.  However, when you’re freaked out about when to order your “WELCOME EGG!” cake you can read anything into what those chicken behaviors meant.

I’ve got the bakery on speed dial and the cake plates are out.

6 thoughts on “Nest box.

  1. Sometimes the nestbox farthest from the commotion, and most secluded is the favorite. People put curtains up, but always seem to pull them aside. If left over the opening, the hens would be happier. They don’t like seeing out, or anyone seeing in.

    If you can set it up so muddy feet have to walk thro bedding to get into the nestbox, you will have cleaner eggs. Also for cleaner eggs, keeping the floor of the nestbox lower than the lowest roost will prevent them sleeping in them.

      • Yes, they will. We have a small portable set of nestboxes and they have a solid curtain across each one. This is for the new layers who are still out in the pasture pen. They figure it out pretty quickly. The fringe would probably not do much for the “not see out-not see in” thing.

  2. My girls are the same age as yours. Got them at TSC on March 3, and three of the five are now laying. I have four nesting box’s and they all lay in the same one. No curtains or anything fancy. It is a real hoot to go out and collect them. First egg was laid on Father’s Day.

    • How exciting!!! I got mine on March 11th! I got them at Rural King and they were older than just one day old, for sure. I have been guessing that they were hatched during the first week of March some time. I just can’t wait!

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