any ideas to help?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by chickenlover237, Jan 28, 2013.

  1. Ok, so here is the issue. We are first time chicken owners and didn't exactly know what we were doing when we built my coop, so the nest boxes are higher than the roost bars, my hens and rooster sleep IN the nest boxes and so the hens won't lay in some of the boxes because of how dirty they get, is there some way I can keep them from sleeping in the nest boxes? a few of them lay their eggs before i get up, any ideas?

  2. ChickensRDinos

    ChickensRDinos Songster

    Aug 19, 2012
    Los Angeles
    I would do whatever you can to adjust the coop so that the roost bar is higher or the boxes are lower otherwise this will be an uphill battle. You can try just putting them on the roost each night. If that isn't enough I would block off the boxes right before bedtime and open them up again first thing in the morning so that sleeping in them is not an option. Once they have a new routine of sleeping on the roosts you can stop blocking.
  3. debid

    debid Crowing

    Jan 20, 2011
    middle TN
    You can't train away instinct so you'll need to make the roost more appealing than the nests somehow. Take some photos of your setup so we can suggest changes with the least hassle and expense.
  4. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    I have this problem with a few of my youngest layers. They are so low in the pecking order, they try to tuck themselves into the nest boxes to avoid the competition on the roosting perch.

    I solved it with some galvanized fencing propped up against the nest box openings at night. I remove it at first light in the morning. A few of the girls are ready to hop right in and get down to business. They are capable of holding the egg in for a while if they need to.

    If you find too many eggs on the floor in the morning, it could mean you're sleeping in way too long.
  5. Ok, thanks guys, i'll try and get some pictures soon :) i'm usually up between 8:00 and 10:00, depending on what day of the week :p
  6. debid

    debid Crowing

    Jan 20, 2011
    middle TN

    Wow. Some people work nights and sleeping until 8 or 10 is how it has to be. Let's concentrate on fixing where the chickens sleep rather than when their keeper does.
  7. Yeah, i can't do hardly anything without my dad's ok, currently we are making an area where they can roam outside the run and coop, otherwise they have to range in the yard and that is getting irritating, they won't lay any eggs unless we let them out of the run during the day.
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2013

  8. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    Yeah, you might want to rethink that sleeping in too long comment. That's just uncalled for.

    To the OP, for a temp fix can you block off the nest boxes all together and set up nesting areas on the ground? My nest areas are rubbermaid totes on the ground with some hay in them. My girls love them. They're low, you can set them upright or lay them over on their side for a little more secluded feel, but keep in mind if you lay them over someone's going to perch on them and poop will build up.

    Any changes you make will freak your girls out for a while, just do what you need to and then leave them alone for a while, let them get used to the new things.
  9. thanks donrae, the coop is built with a truck topper and the nest boxes are directly infront of the door of what would be the back, easy collection without having to go in the run. they already won't lay anywhere else, the first time they laid an egg it was in the nest box, i've tried making them lay somewhere else but they refuse and i just end up with broken eggs :( my chickens are really weird.

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