The Ins and Outs Of Nest Boxes

Queen Victoria Hatching Laying Nest Boxes

Queen Victoria Hatching Laying Nest Boxes – Rather Special Royal Hens!

What is a Nest Box?

Chickens in the wild will, like other birds, want to lay their eggs in a nest. They generally want somewhere secluded and safe to protect both them and their eggs. A nest box satisfies this need. It’s usually around a foot square attached to rather than inside the poultry house with a lid to enable you to easily retrieve your daily eggs from outside.

Queen Victoria, who was an avid poultry fancier, went to great lengths to mimic the ideal outside nest with her nest boxes but all that is really needed is for the hen to feel it is a secure place for her eggs.

What is a Trap Nest Box?

A trap nest box is simply a nest box that, as the name suggests, traps the hen upon entry. This way the poultry keeper can keep track of which hens are laying and those that are not so productive.

A trap nest box is a useful aid when breeding or improving the productivity of the flock.

There is an article taken from 200 Eggs a Year Per Hen: How to Get Them by Edgar Wallace (1899) on The Trap Nest and Its Uses and another, How to Build a Trap Nest Box, from the same book

Why won’t my hen lay in the nest box?

Annoying creatures! Some times they decide anywhere is better than the nest box you provide. Without a nest box an old cardboard box will do or the corner of the house or under the hedge. It’s what they feel comfortable with, not what you want. Check out our ‘Hen’s not Laying?‘ video

My hen won’t leave the nest box, why?

She is most likely broody (wanting to hatch eggs). The main thing during this time is to make sure she is eating and drinking, so you may have to give her waiter service. See this article on Broody Hens

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