Chicken Sleeping In Nesting Box (all typical solutions attempted)

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by barnaclebob, Oct 1, 2013.

  1. barnaclebob

    barnaclebob Chillin' With My Peeps

    142
    9
    71
    Sep 24, 2012
    I've got a chicken who will sleep in the nesting box if we let her. The nesting box that she uses is at floor level and both roosts are higher than the nesting box. She started doing this about a month ago after using the roosts like normal. If we push her out of the nesting box before it gets too dark she will usually jump onto the roost. If its too dark we have to put her up there and she'll stay most of the time. Occasionally another chicken will peck at her and she will jump down even though the pecking isn't that bad. She doesn't get bullied during the day. We've been putting her on the roost manually for about two weeks.

    The last thing I can think of to try is to block off the nesting box before they go to roost to get her back in the habit of going to the roost by herself.

    Any other suggestions?
     
  2. cackleberrycam

    cackleberrycam Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,463
    91
    168
    Sep 28, 2013
    Is she broody? When my chicken, Vanilla, goes broody she seems to sleep on her eggs in the nesting box.

    But, when chickens do not sleep on the roost, they may develop a injury called breast blister, which is where a blister develops on the chicken's breast and it is from not the right amount of bedding on the ground. In this case, I would personally just make sure that there is enough bedding in the nesting box.
    Good luck with this![​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2013
  3. barnaclebob

    barnaclebob Chillin' With My Peeps

    142
    9
    71
    Sep 24, 2012
    I dont think shes broody, she only does this at night and only goes into the nesting box to lay her egg during the day. We took the golf ball out because she did seem pretty interested in it at night and thought it might be part of the problem.
     
  4. McKinneyMike

    McKinneyMike Chillin' With My Peeps

    124
    20
    98
    Sep 20, 2013
    McKinney, TX
    Here is an option to make sure that she does not have the choice at bed time :)

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    A member here did this in their coop and I loved the idea!
     
  5. barnaclebob

    barnaclebob Chillin' With My Peeps

    142
    9
    71
    Sep 24, 2012
    If you're wondering how I know what she does so well its because we have a webcam...
     
  6. Fancychooklady

    Fancychooklady Chicken Obsessed

    10,060
    2,073
    401
    Jun 14, 2012
    Tasmania. Australia
    Unless she is in any danger of predator attack, I wouldn't worry about it. I have a roo that will sleep in the boxes with the hens when it's cold . I have a 3 m long wooden ladder on a 45 degree angle in my main pen. It works well, because even the ones at the lower end of the pecking order can find a wrung.
     
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    20,506
    3,897
    506
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    My suggestion is to try building a roost just for her. Make it lower than the main roosts, separated from them horizontally, and higher than the nests. Try putting her on that for a while.

    I’ve had something similar happen, though with younger chicks, not full grown hens. When the broody weans them and leaves them on their own on the roosts, another hen gets pretty brutal. They leave the roost looking for a safer place to sleep. It’s happened often enough I put a separate roost up so they have a place to get away from the bully.
     
  8. barnaclebob

    barnaclebob Chillin' With My Peeps

    142
    9
    71
    Sep 24, 2012
    I don't have any more room to build another roost, its a small coop 3'x4' footprint holding 5 birds, there is plenty of roost space. I did block off the nesting box before it got dark and the offender did roost like normal. There was more commotion before everyone got settled and a few of them jumped down a couple times. She ended up on the high roost and one of the 2 older hens that were previously on top ended up on the lower roost. I think I'll keep trying this for the time being to see if i can hit the reset button in her chicken brain.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2013
  9. barnaclebob

    barnaclebob Chillin' With My Peeps

    142
    9
    71
    Sep 24, 2012
    Ok so I think this hen just has "night time broodiness" After blocking her from the nest box at night and taking away their golf ball for a week she started going on the roost like a good chicken. We had to leave them alone over the weekend which meant eggs in the nesting box at night and she went back to sitting on them at night. She then goes about her day as normal as any chicken can so i guess her programming must be off a little bit.
     
  10. barnaclebob

    barnaclebob Chillin' With My Peeps

    142
    9
    71
    Sep 24, 2012
    Another update, after a few times where we couldn't collect eggs before dark she went back to sleeping in the nesting box but since she doesn't poop in it we're just going to let her be.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by