What you might not know about nest boxes
THERE ARE lots of things you can do to make a nest box more enticing for a hen – keep it in a dark place, make sure it is mitefree, make a deep cosy bed so she can snuggle in and feel safe while she is laying.
But Wanganui Poultry Club member and long-time poultry breeder Janis Cusack has found people who are new to hens think they must have nest boxes up high and attached to the walls of their coop to get hens to lay in them, and says beginners are surprised and relieved when she tells them nest boxes at floor height work just as well.
“I think it’s important that people know they don’t need specially built ones attached to a wall. Several large or medium wooden boxes with hay or straw in them are fine sitting on the house floor for big birds, and bantams and silkies are happy to make their own nests in the hay.
“They just need to be safe and comfortable to lay in.” ■