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Food in the nest box!

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I have a small flock of 4 hens (RHR, BPR, EE, and a wellsummer), only two which are laying eggs so far (RHR and BPR). I see the Easter egger in the box on occasion just kind of checking things out or just hanging out. I've never seen any of them bringing food into the box, so I don't know how many of them or which ones are doing it. EVERY DAY when I go to collect eggs, there is a BUNCH of food from the compost pile rotting away in the nest box and making the eggs dirty. I pick it out and throw it aside and next day there's more there. I've never read anywhere about this kind of phenomenon, and I know I don't have a broody hen because they are all nearly always out and about when I go out to the coop.

My coop and run are one combined unit, at first I thought maybe there were mice, rats, squirrels etc doing this because I found some small animal droppings in the coop so I finished closing off all the vents up by the roof that they may have been able to get in and out through with hardware cloth. Since then I haven't found small droppings but the food continues to be brought into the nest box! It's making the bedding in the box really nasty, dirtying up the eggs, causing insect activity inside the box, and bothering me.

Does anyone have any idea why this may be happening? The compost pile is decent sized for four chickens to eat off of, and on top of they they also have a feeder with pellets in it. I don't know how to catch or stop this behavior, or maybe if it's something that one of my non-layers is doing, if they will grow out of it once they start laying?

Thanks!
KJ
post #2 of 4

How far is the compost pile from the nest?

I can't imagine food, or compost for that matter, being carried into the nest.

What kind of food do you keep in the compost pile?

NPIP 43-813

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.

Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”                  Mark Twain

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NPIP 43-813

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.

Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”                  Mark Twain

Reply
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
The compost pile is as far as possible from the best box. The run is 10' long and 6' wide if I'm remembering correctly from when I built it. The compost pile is in a corner of that and the coop is attached to the other end of the 10' run with the nest box at the other side of the 6' wide coop. so opposite diagonal corners, but it's not fields of space.
post #4 of 4

Fence off the compost from the chickens for a week...see if it still happens.

I'm guessing still mice, I don't think chickens cache food...they can fit thru very, very small holes.

Coop door open all day but locked up at night?


Edited by aart - 11/18/15 at 6:03am

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply
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