Combination Nest and Toilet?!?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by AllChookUp, Sep 17, 2008.

  1. AllChookUp

    AllChookUp Will Shut Up for Chocolate

    May 7, 2008
    Frozen Lake, MN
    I have just successfully (or so I thought) combined our 3 mature chickens with our teenagers in the adult coop and run.

    I checked on them just before dark Monday night and most of them were on the roost - getting along just fine, thank you very much.

    Then I saw a few of them hanging out in front of the nest boxes, and some actually sitting in the nest boxes.

    "How cute" I thought. Didn't think anything more about it.

    Then I came down to let them out on Monday afternoon,and checked inside the coop - The teengers aparently think the nestboxes are toilets, because they had pooped in a few of them. What the heck?!? [​IMG]

    How do I address this behavior? Is it because the teenagers aren't of egg-laying age yet?

    I don't want the adult chickens to be put off laying in the boxes because of this.


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  2. KellyHM

    KellyHM Overrun With Chickens

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    Sep 10, 2008
    Lakeland, FL
    I'm curious about this too. I have a pretty large nest box and my EE hens lay on one side and use it as a toilet on the other!
     
  3. dixie chicken

    dixie chicken Out Of The Brooder

    Sounds like the teens are sleeping in the nest boxes. They may not know to get on the roost all the time. My hens will lay an egg in a nest with poop in it. Makes for a dirty egg.
     
  4. AllChookUp

    AllChookUp Will Shut Up for Chocolate

    May 7, 2008
    Frozen Lake, MN
    I'm not sure that's it, Dixie. I've seen them all on the roost.

    But I added an extra row of nest boxes on top of the existing ones in prep for them getting ready to lay sometime in November. I did that on Saturday, so I suppose they saw that as an opportunity. The poop was in the new nestboxes. Not sure how I would break them of this.

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  5. Buff Hooligans

    Buff Hooligans Scrambled

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    I thought this issue had come up before, but when I tried to do a search on it, I came up with nothing.

    There is one problem where the solution is to put a partial or full drape over the opening of the nestbox. But is that a solution to egg-eating?

    Hmm..... if I find anything, I'll post it here.
     
  6. vickig

    vickig Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My experience has been with all animals except the horse that they will poop where ever and when ever.

    Might be something you have to get used to.
     
  7. GaDawg

    GaDawg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 16, 2008
    North GA
    I tried to stop mine from doing this by blocking off their nests box for 3 weeks. When I took off the cover they were back in them in 2 nights. [​IMG]
    Now they poop in one box and lay in the other. So, I don't know if they can be broke form this dirty habit...lol
     
  8. Buff Hooligans

    Buff Hooligans Scrambled

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  9. GaDawg

    GaDawg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG] that was my post and blocking off the nests didn't work for very long and I also went out there at night to make sure they weren't in the box, but I gave that up after 4 or 5 nights.
    Just have to live with it I guess.[​IMG]
     
  10. tvtaber

    tvtaber Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They will poop all night in the nest box, as they do on the roost, so it is very likely you have one or more sleeping in there. You can go out in the late evening and move the culprit to the roost, but it seems to make no difference. I have a RIR that is on the roost in the evening but by 10:00 is in the nest and no amount of moving her back seems to work. Luckily, we get very few eggs in that box; most of the hens lay in the other bottom box and nobody lays in the upper boxes.
     

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