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Opening nesting box

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Our two chickens are eleven weeks old now and have been living in their Cube full time for a month with no problem. We read that the earliest they would start laying eggs would be at about sixteen weeks. When should we start leaving the nesting box area open at night?



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They aren’t likely to lay eggs at night. Egg laying is a real daytime affair. So if you prefer, you could always close the nestbox at night. 

Keep an eye on their wattles and combs. Once they start reddening properly you can start expecting some eggs!

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I have the same question. At present my Rhode Island Red pullets  are a little over half way to egg laying age. We leave the nest box on our raised cube closed at all times. Our thinking is we don’t want them getting used to hanging out in there, sleeping and messing as a routine. 

We have 9 in there. 8 pullets and a cockerel. The cockerel and 2 pullets are going to my sons farm, so that will get us down to recommended cube population of 6. 

I think when we’re down to six and it’s close to egg laying time, we’ll put some clean straw in the next box and let them have a go.

Anyway…that’s the plan at the moment! Happy to hear other thoughts…

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Our prior chickens only laid by day per the advice above.  However our new batch of chickens were laying overnight, between 1am and 3am.  It's the middle of winter here in Australia, so our daylight hours are currently 7:15am > 6:00pm (summer 5:00am > 9:00pm).

I tried a variety of tricks, but the solution was introducing artificial sunlight - 5am every morning I have a warm (yellow) coloured LED turn on inside our Eglu Cube until daylight (approximately 7:15).  A mere two days later they began laying like clockwork between 6:45am and 7:00am - still pitch black outside being winter, but it certainly changed their laying time significantly.  I don't believe it is the specific time I am turning on the light rather extended the length of the short winter's day.

The change was significant - all four of them are laying at that time since introducing the light, it's rush hour in the nestbox 👍

Edited by Tillsy
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