Nestbox problem?

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Nestbox problem?
« on: September 25, 2011, 09:12 »
Was out early this morning mainly down to do the horses but thought I would check the chickens as well, just as the day was breaking. Had a quick look in the coop nesting boxes and have noticed that the chickens have dug the Hemcore up and exposed the wood floor, unfortuantely one has laid an egg and it has obviously hit the wood floor and cracked the tip of the egg, is this going to be a problem/defect in the nest box? The nest box is 3 inches deep and both nest boxes have had the bedding scratched up.

So do I need to do a modification?


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Re: Nestbox problem?
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2011, 10:48 »
How much daylight gets into your coop Red?  If the nestbox area is quite light, you may find the hens scratching in there.  You may need to fit a plank of wood over the top of the nest box opening to make it darker if you have room without making the opening too small.  The hens will like that for laying as well.

The other things to consider are whether they have a dust bathing area in their run (they will use bedding if that's all they have) and whether they get the opportunity to scratch outside.  Chickens are born food finders and the instinct to dig up any loose matter is almost overwhelming for them  :)



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Re: Nestbox problem?
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2011, 20:37 »
hi red,

you might also find that if you add a small plinth across the the front of the nest box it prevents it from all going over the edge. my jersey's were persistantly laying eggs with hairline cracks because they were trying to make nests in the bedding and scratching it all out.

the plinth fixed the problem and not a single cracked egg since :)
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Re: Nestbox problem?
« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2011, 20:46 »
I used to hang strips of hessian over the nest box fronts like curtains, made the boxes nice and dark.  Take them down every 6 months and burn them, replace with new.
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Re: Nestbox problem?
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2011, 23:04 »
I agree with a deeper thresh-hold on the boxes to stop them digging out the straw.  You might also consider putting something softer on the wooden floor under the bedding.  Some of those non-slip place mats might work as they are washable.  That will make an extra layer of padding that they can't dig out.



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Re: Nestbox problem?
« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2011, 12:03 »
Hemcore is very light to move around.

I normally have a layer of straw over the top of the hemcore as I've found the hens are less likely to try and dig to Australia if it is abit more difficult to move around :)

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