Traditionally, individual, hand collected laying nests are used for broiler breeders. The last 20 years, mechanical nests, either community or individual, are getting more and more popular.
Individual laying nests, either mechanical or hand collected, can work very well. Especially the hand collected individual nests with litter as bedding material are cheap, easy to assemble and give good results.
Important is the size and placement of the nest.
- The birds should be able to enter the nest easily, with the opening of the nest high and big enough for the large size birds (entrance: minimum 20 cm high and 30 cm width)
- There should be enough nest boxes available (maximum 5-6 birds per nest box, less in hot conditions)
- When perches are used in front of the nest, birds must be able to pass each other. This means that the perches should consist of at least 2 poles.
- When two tiers of nests are used, it should be made easy for the birds to reach the highest level. Especially the jump from the first level perch to the second level should be observed. When these perches are located exactly above each other, birds will find difficulty to overcome the height.
- When litter is used in the nests, the nests must be deep enough to prevent the litter of coming out. The depth should be at least 10 cm.
- When the bottom of the nest is made of astroturf or another non-litter material, it is advisable to place the nests on top of slats. The length of the slats in front of the nests should be at least 1m, but preferably more.