Do your hens lay their eggs everywhere but the nest boxes? Here are a few tips to encourage them to lay eggs in the nest boxes.
• Do you have enough nest boxes: 1 box for every 4 to 5 hens is the minimum for hens to feel comfortable laying in them.
• Are your nests appealing: Make sure the nests are in a dark, quiet place in the coop. Boxes should be a few inches off the floor.
• Train them with a “nest egg”: You can purchase a fake ceramic or wood egg from a farm supply store or online. You can even use a golf ball if needed. When your chicks get ready to lay, by placing the “nest egg” in the nests, this gives them the idea that this is the place to lay.
• Keep them confined until mid-morning: Most hens lay early in the morning, so by keeping them in the coop, this will maximize the chances that they’ll lay in the nest boxes instead of finding a place outside of the coop.
• Make nests soft and comfy: If the wood shavings get depleted in the boxes, the hens tend to avoid them. Keep shavings or straw nice and fluffy to encourage laying in the boxes.
The Ameraucana is an American breed developed in the 1970’s. It was derived from the Araucana breed from Chile and was bred to produce blue egg color. This breed was added to the American Standard of Perfection in 1984, and is recognized in 8 colors. The Ameraucana typically starts laying at around 5 months of age and produces approximately 250 eggs per year of various shades.
As the leaves start to change from green to the yellow, orange and red colors of fall, there is a definite feeling of transition in the air. Although it seems the “busy” season of hatchery life seems to extend each year (and that is a good thing!), fall is a time where we can catch our breath, and maybe enjoy the beauty of the poultry we hatch and/or raise.
For a lot of people who ordered egg layer chicks in the spring, the birds have grown up now into chickens and are probably giving you plenty of fresh eggs. They probably have all of their permanent feathers grown in, and are pecking around the yard to get the last bugs of the season. Or maybe the last vegetables of the garden are being picked, and there is enough to share some with your birds.
We’d love to see some pictures of you and your birds enjoying the fall season. We are asking you to email us some pictures of you and your birds. Please email to bkollasch@welphatcherycom . We’ll try and share some of the these on our blog page, and we are always looking for photos to include in our print catalog. If you send in a photo, we prefer a digital image, and also include the name of the people (and the poultry, if they are named) in the photo.