What you might not know about nest boxes

NZ Lifestyle Block - - Your Poultry -

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.” ■

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