Brooding but not Broody / Sleeping in Nest Box

JustLook

Chirping
May 30, 2020
20
63
59
So this is Lemon:

It's just after sunset and I am trying to count all of my nine pullets and only getting to 8 and then I find Lemon downstairs sitting on these eggs. I took away the ones there and she retreated back to the other nest box where I left her for the night, I think she wants to sleep in there. I was told to avoid this, because she might poop in there etc. Any ideas? She was not protective of the eggs, she was kind of cute about it. She was not "broody" just brooding if you will? Thoughts?

(normally I retrieve eggs earlier in the day. I think she's been down there at night when there were no eggs. My inclination is just to block that area off from late afternoon until a couple hours after sunset?)
 

cavemanrich

Addict
6 Years
Apr 6, 2014
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Chicken may be contemplating going broody. She is young and a novice also.
Another thing I also noticed , chicken looks to be a White Leghorn. That breed seldom goes broody.
Now for second possibility, and one to look into further. Is she being bullied by the other chickens?? Is there enough room on the roost?? Is the spot where she would roost, somewhat uncomfortable, or drafty??
Often times chickens will sleep in nest boxes if they are on a raised level. Your nest looks like at floor level, so not likely. How much higher is the roost above floor level. If not very much, than that is not an enticement to roost higher.
I suggest you pick all your eggs by late afternoon, and block access to nesting area. Seems like the easiest solution. Yes,,, chicken sleeping in nest will poop in it overnight. That is a fact, and a reason chickens like to eat before roost-time. It is also a natural way chickens digest, and generate body heat calories overnight. Always aim to have chickens go to sleep with a full crop, and not hungry.
WISHING YOU BEST,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, :highfive:
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
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Nov 27, 2012
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My inclination is just to block that area off from late afternoon until a couple hours after sunset?
Yep, that can help get them back to roosting.

These are my go-to signs of a broody:
Is she on nest most the day and all night?
When you pull her out of nest and put her on the ground, does she flatten right back out into a fluffy screeching pancake?
Does she walk around making a low cluckcluckcluckcluckcluck(ticking bomb) sound on her way back to the nest?

If so, then she is probably broody and you'll have to decide how to manage it.
 

JustLook

Chirping
May 30, 2020
20
63
59
chicken looks to be a White Leghorn. That breed seldom goes broody.
Now for second possibility, and one to look into further. Is she being bullied by the other chickens?? Is there enough room on the roost?? Is the spot where she would roost, somewhat uncomfortable, or drafty??

Thank you so much for all of this. the level pictured is about three feet off the ground and just below where they roost. My first thought was that she was cold and so I moved the roost a bit and plugged one of the air vents so there are now cross draft free spaces on the highest roost (I have two both perfectly level with one about 8 inches higher than the other, both 8 feet across for a total of nine hens. They typically sleep in three groups two on opposite sides of the high one, sometimes one or two will sit on the low one for whatever reason. Yes they are white leghorns and I wish I could find a better way to tell them apart aside from the color coded zip ties I put on them when they were chicks.

This is not a HUGE problem just yet but truly they are pets and it's fun to keep them happy and learn about them and you are a huge help as are others here. I'll report back any lessons learned! :)
 

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