This time around we have taken an early approach and invested in building laying boxes, experience is the best teacher right?
Why laying boxes? What have we learnt? In the first flock, we were unable to get the laying boxes built in time which meant:
- Alot of the laying was done in corners and odd places that the chickens felt comfortable. So we had to continuously monitor and improve the quality of these adhoc laying spaces (corners) to reduce damage to eggs
- Higher operational costs as eggs have to be collected more frequently, 5 times a day to reduce damage
- Aggressive monitoring for cannibalism and egg eating
What do the laying boxes look like this time? The design has the following elements:
- Raised 1 foot (30cm) off the ground
- Each unit is 10’ (3m) long so that they can be moved around as needed
- 10 laying rooms each 1’ (30 cm)
- Tapering top so that no laying is done at the top, and also to reduce crowding in the rooms
- At the front and back, there is a 4” (10cm) board to stop the eggs from rolling out of the box to the ground. In one of the houses with a skirting, there will be no back support since the laying box is flush with the wall.
- Instead of using expensive wood pieces at the back, these have been replaced by hard brown paper.
The proceeding photos show the stages of design for the laying boxes