Advice on sleeping in the nesting box

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Naz223, May 27, 2015.

  1. Naz223

    Naz223 Out Of The Brooder

    My chicks are 2 months old now, they recently started sleeping in the coop at night, so far, night 3 and they really caught on to going into the coop at nightfall (so happy about that), but they are all sleeping in one of the nesting boxes. The roosts we have in the coop are too low and we plan to hang some higher, but what if they continue to do this? It's my understanding that they should be discouraged from hanging out in the boxes. I don't want to block them off, because I want them to be comfortable going in there when they do start to lay.

    Along those same lines, when should I start to put hay or other material in the nesting boxes? Right now I just have cardboard to protect the bare wood.
  2. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

    Mar 9, 2014
    My Coop
    Blocking them off now will not cause them to be uncomfortable with them at the time they reach point of lay and boxes are again made accessible to them. Preparation of the nests should be done around the same time one would open the boxes - the point at which you begin to see signs that they are nearing production and/or you find the first egg.....that's right, even if the boxes are still not open when they first lay they will still easily learn to use the boxes for their intended purposes.
    1 person likes this.
  3. song of joy

    song of joy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2012
    Central Pennsylvania
    X2. Very good advice. I usually block off wooden nest boxes by stapling part of a feed bag over the entrances, and only remove it when it's clear they're ready to lay.
  4. Naz223

    Naz223 Out Of The Brooder

    Sounds good I'll get right on that this weekend
  5. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    Howdy Naz223

    I agree that you have been given good advice to date.

    Just wanted to add that if you do block off the nest boxes, they might be upset and confused about where they are going to sleep. Popping them on the roost just on bed time will encourage them to roost. A couple of nights of doing that and they should pick it up; they sound like smart gals having caught on quickly with the going into the coop at nightfall.

    Good luck and let us know how you go.
  6. 3riverschick

    3riverschick Poultry Lit Chaser

    May 19, 2009
    western PA
    My Coop
    If you have heavy breeds, then your roosts should be 12-18 inches off the ground. Too high and they can sprain a leg or foot jumping off them when they are adults. I once took in some Speckled Sussex from a person who got hurt and couldn't care for them anymore. The person also had Guinea hens. For the Guineas they had put the roosts 5 ft off the ground. The Sussex had also been using these roosts. This poor hen was so crippled up in her feet that she could hardly walk. They had been injured by coming down off that high roost and she had like lumpy arthritis in her legs and feet. It was very sad to see this lovely well-bred hen hobbling around the poultry yard trying to be a normal chicken. She could have been spared all that if the owner had just put her in a place with a low roost.
    Last edited: May 29, 2015
  7. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

    Mar 9, 2014
    My Coop
    FWIW - this can be overcome by bedding the floor deeply to provide shock absorption, configuring the inside of the coop in a way that allows the bird more room to make a controlled decent and/or using ramps, etc to allow for a choice in how to get off the roost. It is entirely possible to maintain healthy birds with regards to this concern and still have roosts more than 18 inches from the floor.
  8. TheMallons

    TheMallons Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 19, 2015
    We don't even put the nest boxes in the coop until it's clear they are ready to lay. They have always figured it out quickly at that point. Had one independent GL Wyandotte, though, that laid her eggs behind the lawnmower for months, until it got too cold!
  9. Adorkable

    Adorkable Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 23, 2010
    This is what I've done. It's worked really well for me. Good luck!


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