Are you having trouble with hens sleeping in your nest boxes??

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Ericasl, Jan 16, 2009.

  1. Ericasl

    Ericasl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 21, 2008
    The Dalles OR
    I have been reading about some of you have trouble with hens sleeping in your boxes. Well I had trouble in the fall with my new layers, it was a real mess and a pain going out with a flash light to toss them out and put them on the perch. So I brainstormed and came up with am idea that works for me. My nest boxes are about 4 feet long and a foot tall, 3 nest per 4 foot section. I have 4 of them about a foot or two off the floor. So I went down to good old Wal-mart and bought some dark fabric, came home and stapled it to cover the boxes. So at night I just dropped it down to cover the boxes so no one could get in. In the Morning I would pin it up so the could lay. After a few weeks I took it down and no one even tryed to sleep in my boxes. They got the hang of the perches. Hope this helps anyone who is have this problem, also cheap fix the fabric was on the mark down a buck a yard.[​IMG]
  2. #1California Chick

    #1California Chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 5, 2008
    SF Bay Area
    Thanks for the great suggestion!!! [​IMG]
  3. bulldog-girl

    bulldog-girl Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 16, 2008
    Estacada, OR
    Thanks!! I will give that a try. When I first got my girls(they were a year old) they used the perches like champs. Now for some reason they are roosting all over the hen house including the nest boxes. I have 12 boxes and go figure, they all want to lay only in one spot behind one of the boxes-between the wall and the box. They have a huge coop for 13 birds and 4 perches of varying heights that are about 12 feet long. They are the craziest hens for sure. I will try that and see if I can get them back on the perches. I also need to get some fake eggs for the bozes and see if that gets them interested in using them. Silly birdies.[​IMG]
  4. blueseal

    blueseal Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 3, 2008
    yes i have that problem.i put my roost to low so half my birds are on the roost and the others sleep in the nestboxes.couple more weeks and they will be in there new coop and hopefully it will take care of the problem.iv learned from my mistakes and im going to put the roost as far away from the nests.
  5. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    I had the same problem with some of my girls sleeping in the nest boxes and the poopy eggs. I put milk crates in my boxes at night and then took them out in the morning, and after a while I just left them out and they didn't sleep in them anymore. There are pictures on my BYC Page.
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2009
  6. Beverrlly

    Beverrlly Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 6, 2008
    North Dakota
    Now do you have any ideas how to keep barn cats out of the heated nest boxes? The past few mornings I've gone to get eggs and there is 3 eggs, 1 chicken and 2 cats all crammed in the nest box!!!
  7. A.J.'s

    A.J.'s Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 11, 2008
    I cant see a cat passing up a warm place to sleep. I dont think that will happen in my life time.
    The only way to keep them out of the warmed nest is to make it impossible for them to get to the warm nest.

    How do you warm the nest? I thought of that for a broody hen that has sta rted sittiing in 0 weather but thought against it.
    mainly because I was letting my large dog inside on cold nights and the very cold days..and whamo! she blew her coat. whew! you have never seen such a mess.
    there are things that shouldnt be fooled with in the animal world. and i think this is one of them.
    a heated nest throws things out of sync.. a heated house will definately throw a dog and its coat out of sync.
    Unless the animals has heated house all the time, it should not be in a heated house for very long.

    I had chicks out of the brooder in cold weather this time for the first time. while i was out of town in october my grandson put some eggs in an incubator and when I returned I continued with the hatch. thus... when they were 5 weeks old and I was sick of them being in the house it was cold outside.. I went ahead and rehoused them anyway.. and i was totally amazed how fast they grew. Ive never seen 5 week old chicks grow so fast. they feathered up almost immediately and the cold did not seem to bother them at all.
    I did have a good house for them..a converted dog house and a light bulb.. 60 watt but they prefered the sun and the run.
    nature is the best teacher.
  8. Beverrlly

    Beverrlly Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 6, 2008
    North Dakota
    The nests have a heat lamp above them that goes on and off again in the morning. If we didn't have this heat lamp, our eggs would freeze LONG before we could get to them. Our hens get up at 1:30am and go to bed at sunset; 4:45pm. The hens were laying at "dawn" and even if we got up at 5am to retrieve eggs, all of the eggs were frozen and cracked already. So, we added the heat lamp that goes on at 1:30am and goes off at 10am and we have a chance to collect eggs in the morning.
  9. chickflick'92

    chickflick'92 Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 13, 2008
    New York least your chickens go into the nest boxes. My chickens don't want anything to do with them. I don't know why they don't like the boxes but pretty soon they're probably going to be laying eggs. My white chicken is rolling around on my floor and trying to make a nest out of that [​IMG] I'm wondering if that's where she's going to lay them.
  10. tinkarooni

    tinkarooni Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 29, 2008
    I was just going to post this problem. All of a sudden my nest boxes are full of poop. I'm cleaning them out every day. Yuck.

    I wonder if it's because it is so cold (-7 the other day) and they are spending so much time in the coop. It doesn't seem to just be happening at night so I don't think blocking the nests at night will help me. Any ideas?

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