The chickens are getting so big! When the vet was visiting she commented on how big and healthy they are looking. Only one thing missing! Eggs!
Someone online recommended keeping the nesting boxes closed until the chickens got old enough to use them. It took the chicks long enough to figure out the roosting bars and I guess having the nesting boxes open would just give them an option to sleep in them.We don’t want that! We want those boxes super clean for super clean eggs! They are going to be 5 months old next week and they say chickens start lay eggs between 5 and 6 months. Now that the ladies have roosting down to a science, I decided it was time to open the nesting boxes!
I started by tearing down the cardboard we covered them with and cleaned the dust out of them. I haven’t complained to about this to you yet but chickens create a LOT of NASTY dust. You can clean every surface and within 2 days it has another thick layer of heavy dust.
Next I put shelf liner in the bottom. Since the boxes are wood, I wanted to make the base easy to clean. Like the linoleum I put on the floor. Then I put some straw on top as soft bedding for the egg.
Since my herb garden hasn’t produced enough herbs for drying yet, I bought a batch specifically for nesting boxes. Not only does it smell good, it also repels insects and the chickens can eat them as snacks too!
Finally, I bought a very expensive teaching tool……Fake Eggs! Sound funny? I thought so. These fake eggs look exactly like regular eggs, including weighing the same. How does this work? Apparently you leave them in the nesting boxes and the chickens figure out “Oh! This is where these things go!” I couldn’t help myself. I had to hold one out so the chickens could take a look at it. Unfortunately they tried to peck it open! Now I’m getting worried. Does this mean I’m going to have the dreaded chickens who eat their own eggs? I’ve read about it and I heard when one chicken starts, the others decide it’s a great idea too! Ugh…another thing to worry about! I decided to leave a few sitting out for them to inspect for awhile. Hopefully they will get bored of them and not care so much when they drop one and I carry it away. Here’s crossing my fingers!
When I let the chickens back into the coop after unveiling the nesting boxes I got nothing. They glanced in and walked away. There is no interest to investigate at all. I even picked up a couple chickens and put them in a box, but they immediately jumped back out. Oh well…..just like the roosting bars, I guess it will take a little time for the instincts to kick in. Now it’s just a waiting game. As my chicken daddy likes to say….”stop being a bunch of freeloaders and get to laying!”
If you want to see the video of the unveiling of nesting boxes, check out What the Flock’s YouTube Channel: