Chickens sleeping in the nesting boxes

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by GoProChickens, Jan 16, 2019.

  1. GoProChickens

    GoProChickens Chirping

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    HI!:) Does anyone have any ideas to get hens to sleep on the roosting bars, and not sleep in the nesting boxes (without having to block up the nesting boxes every night)?
     
    NFB likes this.
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

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    More information needed about your setup.
    Are the roosts significantly higher than the nests?
    Are the roosts situated so the hens can jump/fly up to them or climb a ladder to them easily?
    If so, then you'll just have to retrain their habits by blocking the nests each afternoon. It should only take 3 or 3 days to retrain them.
     
    rosemarythyme and GoProChickens like this.
  3. Notaneggspurt

    Notaneggspurt Songster

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    Would you mind posting some pictures of your best box and roost set up? Is it just one sleeping in the nest box or multiple chickens? Do they ignore the roost all together?

    One common issue is when the nest box is at a higher level than the roost. If that's not the case sometimes illness or injury will cause one to seek shelter away from the flock. One might get knocked off the roost at night. You might be able to retrain them by blocking the nest boxes at night for a couple of weeks.
     
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  4. Brahmachicken240

    Brahmachicken240 Free Ranging

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    How high up are your nest boxes ?
    Are they at roost level ? It’s better to have the roosts up higher than the nest box.
    Have you checked your coop for mites ?
    hungry mites come out and feed on your chickens. Mites can make chickens so uncomfortable that they'll avoid the roosts.
    How old are your chickens ? It can take awhile for younger chickens to get used to the idea of roosts. With some time, they should come around.
    And another reason why the May be avoiding the roosts is because they aren't the right size or shape for comfort.
    Roosting bars should be at least 2 inches wide and preferably 4 inches wide. Chickens don't wrap their feet around a roost like wild birds do. They actually prefer to sleep flat-footed.
     
    GoProChickens likes this.
  5. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging

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    Some folks insist that positioning the nest boxes lower than the roosting perches will solve the nest sleeping issue, but I've found that, at least in my own flock, it makes no difference.

    Some hens just seem to insist on sleeping in the nest box. However, while some nest sleeping is taken up because a hen just likes sleeping there, some others do it for reasons you can mitigate.

    One reason a hen will choose a night in the nest instead of the perch is to escape bullying at roosting time. Others will do it because they feel sick or weak. This latter requires intervention beyond simple discipline, it goes without saying.

    This is a very common discipline problem, and if you rule out bullying and illness, the only sure-fire way to cure it is to block off the nests at night. I fashioned a gate out of steel field fencing, bent the top wires to resemble the top of a wire coat hanger, and it's very simple to hang it on a length of closet dowel installed above the nests.
     
    GoProChickens likes this.
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

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    There is a reason they are sleeping in the nests. To fix it you need to know why they are doing that. The more we can learn about what is going on the more likely we can help. Photos can be invaluable, showing nests, roosts, and general layout of the coop. How many chickens you have, how much roost space you have, and how it is arranged can make a difference. It is not just height but how they are arranged. Are the ones sleeping in the nests (assuming it is only some) younger than the others? If so, what ages. Heck, what ages in general. If they are still chicks you may not have an issue. Do you have Silkies that can't fly up to the roosts but can get to the nests? Have you recently tied integrating chickens? How long have they been sleeping in the nests?

    I could speculate on several things but I'd prefer to know what you are working with.
     
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  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

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    If you look closely you'll see why I disagree with you.


    Grip 1.JPG Grip 2.JPG
     
  8. GoProChickens

    GoProChickens Chirping

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    So I have 5 hen and 1 rooster. There are three, 8 foot roosts with curved edges, they are about 4" taller than the top of the nesting boxes. They did use to sleep were I put the nesting boxes, before they were there.
     
  9. Brahmachicken240

    Brahmachicken240 Free Ranging

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    . Flat or larger rounded roosts help the chicken comfortably sit with its feet flat allowing them to cover their feet with their bodies preventing them from getting frostbite. :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2019
  10. Notaneggspurt

    Notaneggspurt Songster

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    Hmm. Pictures of the roost would help. It sounds like they are just going back to where they were used to sleeping. Is there plenty of room for them to get up on to the roost? Maybe just removing one of the unused roost bars would help.
     
    ChickenCanoe likes this.

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