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why do my girls keep pooping in the nesting box's

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

How do i keep this from happening?  My nesting boxes are 7 across with another 7 on top of those.  They never use the bottom ones and the top are always dirty with poop.  My coop is 3 foot off the ground and is 3 foot front to back, 8 foot wide and 4 foot tall.  it has two 8 foot long perches inside that are at different elevations.  My run is 8 foot wide and 12 foot long.  I have 8 hens and only one is laying so far, (green eggs).  I'm hopeing the rest will start within  the next month. Can't wait but, would sure like to put the crappy nest problem to an end before they do.  I've only been into chickens about 2-3 months now.

Please help.  Any ideas?

Bill

post #2 of 15

Our younger chickens like to sleep in the nest boxes just prior to laying. It seems to  feel more secure to them. That behavior seems to change when they begin laying, although it reappears here during early molt.
Who knows what goes on in their little minds?

If I had known a few chickens would make the man THAT happy....
mom & dad,teaching our rescue BRT Bess all about chickens, EE, Orps and now marans!  The man says we are switching to orps and marans, and they'reHISchickens!
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If I had known a few chickens would make the man THAT happy....
mom & dad,teaching our rescue BRT Bess all about chickens, EE, Orps and now marans!  The man says we are switching to orps and marans, and they'reHISchickens!
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post #3 of 15

First, if your nesting boxes are up high, it leads me to suspect that they are sleeping in them, thus the poop.  I'd rather not have my nesting boxes up too high, just for this reason.  Second, don't have open nesting boxes available to yet-to-lay pullets.  They'll just play and especially sleep in them.   Could be a hard habit to break, once formed.

The roosts must be higher than the nesting boxes. This works best in conjunction with the chicken's instinct of sleeping "up high" for self protection.

 

 

Practicing Sustainable Agriculture At The 45th Parallel

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Practicing Sustainable Agriculture At The 45th Parallel

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post #4 of 15

Fred's Hens :

First, if your nesting boxes are up high, it leads me to suspect that they are sleeping in them, thus the poop.  I'd rather not have my nesting boxes up too high, just for this reason.  Second, don't have open nesting boxes available to yet-to-lay pullets.  They'll just play and especially sleep in them.   Could be a hard habit to break, once formed.

The roosts must be higher than the nesting boxes. This works best in conjunction with the chicken's instinct of sleeping "up high" for self protection.


+1 well said

Black Australorps, Easter Eggers, Buff Minorcas, and Nankins. 

“How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a weary world.” - William Shakespeare
 

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Black Australorps, Easter Eggers, Buff Minorcas, and Nankins. 

“How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a weary world.” - William Shakespeare
 

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post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 

should I staple a long sheet of cloth or somthing all the way across the entrances to the top boxes to close them off so the lower ones are thier only choice for now?

post #6 of 15

Yes, you'll have to start "over" in their training.

First, unless you have 50 birds, you don't need that many boxes. smile  Truth be told, the ratio is honestly 8-10 hens per box.  We keepers love to provide more, but they never use them.  It's the nature of the chicken to make "clutches" with each other.  Part of the social framework that is the chicken's social order.

Remove more boxes than a 6-8 to one ratio.  You won't need them. Or, cover them.

Absolutely, never have an open nesting box any earlier than virtually days before first lay.  I know that take experience, but better to err on the side of caution. 
Again, boxes must be low, at least until the pullets are trained on where to lay and where to sleep.  It is somewhat learned behavior.

 

 

Practicing Sustainable Agriculture At The 45th Parallel

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Practicing Sustainable Agriculture At The 45th Parallel

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post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 

thanks for all the advice.  I'm not really sure when the rest will start laying, they all look to be around the same size except for two are just a little smaller.  when i bought them i was told by the sellers (two different ones) that they should start laying any time now.  that was two months ago.  So far only one is giving me a small egg about every 24 to 48 hrs.

post #8 of 15

Do fake eggs (training eggs) help? I put a plastic toy easter egg in each box and they stopped sleeping/pooping in them. Actually, it was my last rooster who was the main culprit. He's gone now.

Chickens, I need more chickens.... and ducks too, yeah some ducks too!

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Chickens, I need more chickens.... and ducks too, yeah some ducks too!

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post #9 of 15

Neighbor has open top boxes... old wooden milk crates... eggs are always poopy. I have side open nesting boxes... always clean eggs...

At the very least, wipe the poop off your feet before getting in the car.

"Member of the Derperella Club-- We're just all goin' round' the rooster, here!"
Good night sweet Trousers, The Derp Club will miss you.
Treasure the love you recieve above all. It will survive long after your gold and good health have vanished. Og Mandino
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At the very least, wipe the poop off your feet before getting in the car.

"Member of the Derperella Club-- We're just all goin' round' the rooster, here!"
Good night sweet Trousers, The Derp Club will miss you.
Treasure the love you recieve above all. It will survive long after your gold and good health have vanished. Og Mandino
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post #10 of 15

You can get cheapo walmart plastic balls that fill the nest boxes instead of covering them completely. This will allow them to see the nest boxes, but not get in them to sleep. When they are ready to start laying, take one or two out, then progress as they need them. As stated earlier, roosts above nest boxes. Also is you go in your coop after dark and if they are in there, take them out and put them on a roost. If need be, don't be real nice about it after the first couple corrections. You are the lead chicken so they will take the lesson. We didn't need to use the ball technique, but we did have to remove a few girls from the nest boxes. One of them needed a little extra convincing, but no more sleeping in the nest boxes anymore.

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