Either you raise chickens for food or for companionship, they will lay eggs. Their bodies are designed to produce eggs naturally. So, whether you like it or not, they will produce eggs.
Normally, hens begin to lay eggs when they are around five or six months old. And depending on their breed, they can lay as much as 300 eggs in a year. Then again, you can’t just let them lay all the eggs on the floor. Of course, you need reliable nesting boxes to get the work done.
Whether you are a new chicken owner or an expert in poultry farming, sometimes, you just need a little patience and hard work to get your birds comfortable with their nesting boxes. But we made things easier for you. Below, we listed some tips to help you train your hens to use nesting boxes.
Provide Enough Nesting Boxes
Basically, you have to start by determining the number of hens you have. If you can count them, then great. Otherwise, you might need the help of others. As soon as you know their total number, you can easily proceed.
Now, let’s move forward. Ideally, there should be at least one nesting box for every four chickens. That should be enough to provide them comfort while laying eggs. Too many chooks sharing in one box might not be a great idea. Of course, you still want your birds to live comfortably.
Use Fake Eggs to Train Them
Did you know that a simple ceramic egg or a golf ball can make a great impact in training your hens? That is true. By putting the egg in the nesting box, you are giving your hens the idea that they should lay their eggs there because obviously, there’s already an existing egg there.
So, where do you get a ceramic egg? These items are readily available in pet supply stores near you. If uncertain, you can ask around or do a quick research online.
Allow Them to Practice Scheduled Releases
By nature, chickens lay eggs in the morning. Considering that fact, it is best to help them complete their routine. How? Simply keep them confined until mid-morning. By doing that, they will most likely lay eggs in the chicken coops, particularly in the nesting boxes, before they roam around the lawn.
When they lay eggs in one place, of course, you save yourself from egg hunting, when in fact, everyday isn’t Easter Sunday.
Design Nesting Boxes to Be Safe
You can’t just throw in a shoe box in a chicken coop and let your hens use it as a nesting box. As a responsible chicken owner, you have to provide them with a safe and comfortable nesting box.
A nesting box should be positioned in a dimly lit corner of the chicken coop. Hens, like other bird breeds, have this uniform instinct to lay eggs in a quiet, safe, and comfortable place. In addition, it has to be a several inches off the ground.
Keep the Nesting Boxes Clean All the Time
Who would ever want to stay in a home that is untidy and cluttered? None, I suppose. Hence, it only makes sense why a hen would very much appreciate a clean nesting box.
Every poultry farmer knows the importance of keeping the nesting boxes clean. A dirty nesting box may negatively impact the health of your birds and your hens’ laying capability. If you truly care for your chooks, make it a habit to clean their nesting boxes and replace the bedding on a daily basis to ensure comfort and relaxation of your birds while they are in the chicken coop.
Enjoy More Benefits with a Reliable Nesting Box
It’s really frustrating to deal with broken eggs, especially if you have done all the hard work of raising the chickens yourself. Although it’s a very common issue, you can actually prevent having broken eggs. The solution is simple. Invest in a reliable nesting box. These nesting boxes allow you to harvest the eggs easier and reduce the chances of breakage.
In general, nesting boxes should be of great strength so that they can withstand all the daily activities of your chooks. If you opt for a heavier box, which are made of metal, then expect it to last for years.
No matter what chicken breed you are raising, these tips should definitely come in handy. By practicing all of them, you should be able to train your hens to lay their eggs in their respective nesting boxes. Nonetheless, if you are in doubt, do not hesitate to seek advice from chicken experts or do a quick research online. The Internet can provide you with a plethora of resources when it comes to training your chickens.
Do you have any other tips to share? Please let us know by dropping comments below. We’d be more than happy to hear from you!