2 issues- Nesting box sleepers & a broody hen?

CIgal

In the Brooder
9 Years
Aug 8, 2010
63
0
39
NW Washington
I have 6 chickens. My first four were from the some hatching, my other two are 2-3 months younger. The two youngin's are definately at the bottom of the pecking order and are easily scared by the big girls. At night they ALWAYS sleep in one of the two nesting boxes, which means lots of poop in them. None of my other chickens have ever done this... any suggestions on how to get these two to stop? Board up the boxes at night?
idunno.gif

My other problem is yesterday evening I went out to check for eggs. There were two, as usual, but one of my EE's was sitting on them. It looked like she was sleeping so I gently nudged her and got what seemed like a warning "growl". I did this again and again, the "growl". I finally just reached in and grabbed the eggs and she bolted out of the nest and came charging at me. Any advice? I do check for eggs twice daily, so it's not like she's able to sit on them for a long period of time.

Thanks guys... I'm still learning!
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CMV

Flock Mistress
10 Years
Apr 15, 2009
6,770
196
281
At night when you lock the birds down for the night, move the 2 youngsters out of the nesting box and onto a roost. Then be prepared to do this each night for the next week or two. They will eventually learn not to sleep in the nesting box, but it's going to take time and consistent actions on your part to convince them.

As far as the EE goes- she sounds broody alright. Wear gloves or she may try to take a nip at you when you collect eggs. If you want to break her of being broody she will need to be put into a wire bottomed cage cage with no bedding for a few days. That should stop her. Or you could let her hatch out some eggs...

Hope this helps. Good luck.
 

azygous

Enabler
11 Years
Dec 11, 2009
24,141
35,219
1,122
Colorado Rockies
If you can retrain your young ones from sleeping in the nest boxes, you may be able to avoid having them adopt this behavior as a life-time addiction.

I have one four-year old Light Brahma hen who tries almost every night to get away with sleeping in a nest box. Every night I have to do a nest box check to make sure she hasn't planted herself there again. Every single time I find her in the nest box, I give her a gentle nudge, and she knows exactly what she's required to do, and she ponderously drags herself out of the nest and onto the perch which is only inches away. In all these years, she's still trying to get away with it. She's persistent and I'm consistent. It's become a ritual.

As for your alleged broody, I'd say you have one on your hands, all right. I'd only add that a fan blowing gently all night on her nether parts can greatly expedite the broody-breaking process.
 

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