We have several different nest boxes on the homestead, and some seem to work better than others. They are more preferred by the ladies!
The most favorite is this simple tote bucket with a hole cut in the long side. They love these! Stuff some hay in and you have hen frenzy! And they are cheap, $5 at the dollar store, and last pretty much forever. Takes about 5 minutes to cut the hole and poof! You’re done. You can stack them or even screw them up to the wall. We just set our ups on a cabinet and they love it.
Here in the lil’ coop, we have three different boxes. And of course, they love the tote best. I bought that nice preformed nest box on the wall, the grey one. And of course, they hate it. Not a single egg has been laid in it. We’ve moved it around, and nada. Even put a nest egg in there, nothing. Disappointing. I think we are going to move it to the feed room and see if anyone in there will give it a whirl.
Now the wooden crate and all, they like it, but it’s almost a little toooo short for some of the larger girls. Since there are a lot of pullets in there, it works for them. Someone keeps laying on the top! Just there in the roosting mess… silly birds. Guess it works for them.
This is the most favorite of the tote boxes. In the feed room, this one is always full of eggs and always has hens pacing about, waiting for their turn. Funny thing, I had set a few flakes of hay on top to wait for Gideon’s meals and one of the impatient hens jumped up and scratched out a nest! So I left it and son of a gun, that nest is about half as busy as the bottom part, from lower ranking hens that don’t want to wait for the box! haha….
I like to watch where hens will make their own nests and then let them utilize the space if it makes sense. They started to lay on a stack of old feed bags, in the feed room of the big barn, in this old cabinet that we really didn’t use. It doesn’t have any doors on it. So I took out the feed sacks and added hay for a nicer nest. And then Maggie screwed in a old piece of board to the front so that the hay and the eggs would stay in better. And then we added that little shelf thing to the other side and now we have two really nice little cozy spots that the free range hens love! You just gotta let them find their happy places sometimes! The payoff is happy hens and more eggs!!!
We built these in the very beginning and they lay in them, sometimes. We have to have it TOTALLY stuffed with hay or else they don’t really like it. I think it is a little too big. I’m thinking about just getting a few tote boxes, cutting the holes and tucking them in here. It would work better. Because if we stuff them with hay, then the sheep and pony will often mosey in there to eat out of the boxes!!! Not that it’s a huge problem, but the hens don’t like to be in there setting and have a big old pony nose taking out their hay! They get all bent out of shape and ticked off hens do not lay nicely! Still, it is available for them, so we like to keep it nice as we can.
And in the end… if Angus approves, then it should be just fine, eh?Pin It