chickens pooing in laying boxes arghhh!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by wildswanfarm, Nov 2, 2013.

  1. Until we had chicks come along in the Spring, oue hens all layed in their boxes, and pooed everywhere else. to being harassed by the birds,our Miss Jean Broody took her babes and taught them to stay away from the other hens . That included sleeping in the boxes while the other hens roosted on the roosts I built.
    Now the young birds sleep and more to the point, POO in their egg boxes!!!! Arghhhh!
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    How do we keep them from roosting in the egg laying boxes??? Wirke tried strips of cloth hanging in the box doorways, to no avail. Must we close off the boxes EVERY night??
    Thanks all,
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2013

  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    I don’t know how old they are now, how much room you have on the roosts, or if the hen has weaned them or not.

    There is a lot I don’t know about your set-up and conditions but I do know mine can be pretty brutal to unprotected chicks on the roosts. What I’ve seen several times is a broody takes her chicks to the roost and protects them while they sleep up there, but when she weans them another hen goes out of her way to be really brutal to them. Although they are used to sleeping on the roost, they abandon it and find a safer place to sleep. Sometimes that is the nest box. It has happened often enough that I put in a separate roost, lower than the main roost but higher than the nest boxes and off to the side to give them a safe place to go that is not the nests. Occasionally I still have to move them from the nests to that roost a time or two.

    Also when a broody is transitioning from the floor to the roosts, they might spend some time in the nest before moving on up. They may even get stuck there, especially with pretty young chicks. The only suggestions I have is to give them a safe alternative and move them there until they get used to it or block the nests off until they get in the habit of sleeping somewhere else.

    This kind of stuff can be frustrating. You can get through it, just try to give them some other alternative. Good luck!
    2 people like this.
  3. Pathfinders

    Pathfinders Crowing

    Jan 25, 2008
    Northern KY
    Yes, I fear you must.

    I have my last hatch of the year who still for some reason like to sleep in the nest boxes. Every night when I go in to close everything up, I have to pull them all out (about eight of them cram into three nest boxes) and shoo them over to the roosts. Then I fold the perches up to close off the boxes for the rest of the night. I presume sooner or later they'll stop, but until then I do it every night. Otherwise as you say, they fill the nest boxes up with poo.

    Silly chickens...
  4. OK, a pain in the derriere, but we'll do it. Thank you for your advice,
    BTW, they are 4 months old, and pretty much on their own, with no hens harassing them now.
  5. clairegareth

    clairegareth Chirping

    Oct 20, 2013
    stourport england
    All my hens try and sleep in nest boxes and every morning there is pok in them I can't figure a way of getting them to stop it :(
  6. ChirpyChicks1

    ChirpyChicks1 Songster

    Jul 22, 2013
    How old? Do they have roosting bars that are higher then the nesting boxes? Can they access the roosting bars, meaning are the bars too high? Every night you'll need to go out and, with as little light as possible, move every bird to the roosting bars and quickly shut the light off, they will not move once it's dark. I have one chicken that sleeps all by herself because the others are buttheads to her. On the nights that are really cold I sneak out there once it's completely dark and with a small flashlight move her to sleep with the rest. As long as I do it quickly there is no problem and she stays.
  7. appps

    appps Crowing

    Aug 29, 2012
    I would just close the boxes at night. It will only be for a week or two at the most. They will prefer the roosts once they get used to them then you can stop closing the nest box.

  8. MssPriss

    MssPriss Hatching

    Oct 25, 2013
    I cant explane it but i think it just happens. [​IMG] it is disgusting though
  9. BrendaJ

    BrendaJ Songster

    Sep 1, 2012
    Try a chicken ladder - thats what changed my flocks mind. My first coop wasnt big enough for one - it had roosting bars but they didnt always use them. I rebuilt over the summer & now they lay in the boxes and roost/sleep on the ladder.
  10. gilcamp4

    gilcamp4 Songster

    Jun 11, 2013
    the only thing wrong with closeing off nest boxes, I have one that lays an egg every morning around 5am, we found that it best to take a part of coop and put a screened wall between new peeps and old ones, they get use to each other by seeing but not able to bully them, we have a small roost just for the peeps then when they are bigger we take the wall down, we also use it when a hen is setting on eggs, here is picture of them

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by