To reduce the risk on floor eggs, it is important that birds are not blocked in their access to the nests. One of the biggest barriers for a bird to get to the nest is actually other birds blocking the way. When we use slats in front of the nests, we usually place the drinker lines in front of the nests. This is a good practice as in that way any spillage or leakage will not influence the litter too much, and the drinkers will attrack the birds towards the nests. When larger slats are used (2 m or more) we can also place a feeder line on the slats.

When birds are eating and drinking, they will block the access to the nests for the birds that want to produce their egg. Especially when the flock takes a long time to eat and/or drink, for instance because low flow broiler nipples are used, this can be an issue if many birds want to go to the nest in that period.

There are two typical moments when we can feed the birds, either when the light goes on, or after the majority of the eggs is produced, approximately 6-7 hours after the light goes on. Both systems have their pro's and con's about work organization, being present at feeding, collecting floor eggs, calcium availability during shell formation etc. We usually do not want to feed the birds 3-4 hours after the light goes on, as a lot of birds will be in the process of going to the nests and then have to decide if the priority is to go to the nest or go to the feeder.

But when the birds take very long to eat and drink, it might be beneficial to choose for feeding after eggs, so approximatley 6-7 hours after the light goes on. In that way there is less change that the birds will block the nests. This is something to consider for instance when the farm is installed with broiler nipples (low flow) instead of breeder nipples (high flow). With broiler nipples the birds will take much longer to drink and therefore will block the nests more, and then feeding after eggs can be a benefit.

Also when birds are very slow to eat (which can have various reasons but can be related with feed form and genetic background) and a feeder line is placed on the slats, it can be beneficial to ensure that the birds eat when there are not too many birds wanting to go to the nests.