3 chickens sleeping in 1 nest box...help?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Aidragonfly, Nov 13, 2014.

  1. Aidragonfly

    Aidragonfly Hatching

    Jul 10, 2014
    So bare with me, as I'm a first time chicken newbie. I got 3 buff orpington chicks in late June, and when I moved them out to their coop, I followed others' advice and blocked the 2 nest boxes off. I have a rather small hen house which we are going to re-build in a few months, so because I was worried they weren't having enough room in there, I uncovered the boxes. Now, all 3 of them sleep huddled up together in one nest box. Which, I guess that's fine, but I was hoping they would spread out a little more. Now, they are just about at laying age and I read to put golf balls in their nesting boxes to encourage them to lay there, and not outside in their run. So, of course, now, all 3 of them lay in the nesting box with the golf balls. I tried switching the balls to the other nest box, they followed. Ugh! Haha, long story short, is this a problem I need to correct, or normal chicken behavior? They are such silly girls. They do look awful funny all crammed in one nest box, but I'd like to encourage them to lay in one and maybe sleep in the other? Any advice is welcome, thanks!
  2. Beer can

    Beer can Free Ranging

    Aug 12, 2014
    Upstate NY
    I would block off all boxes to break them of it, at least temporary. If they are close to laying maybe block them a hour before they go to sleep. Mine laid their first eggs on the flor next to their roost, but withen a few times all are in their boxes now, I used golf balls also. The roost needs to be higher than the boxes. I have 9 with the roo and have three roosting poles, but all sit on one cramed together, so being together is OK, but you dont want them in their nest boxes.
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Make sure your roost is higher than the nests, then 'train' them to use the roost for sleeping instead of the nests.

    If your coop is too small to move the roost up, you may just have to live with poopy eggs.

    My experience was that I had some pullets that the older birds wouldn't let roost with them so the pullets wanted to roost in the nests. I put up another roost just a couple inches lower than the main roost and began removing the pullets from the nests after dark and putting them on their roost. Did that for a couple nights, then started going in at dusk and poking them in butt if they got into the nests(I have 'outside the coop' access to my nests boxes so this was easy). Pretty soon all I had to do was walk in and they would leave the nest and go to the roost so they didn't get poked in the butt. Took about 3 weeks total before they got in the habit of always roosting on the roosts instead of in the nests.

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