dirty nestbox troubles

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by kamra, Jan 8, 2013.

  1. kamra

    kamra New Egg

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    Jan 4, 2013
    Louisiana
    I have a dozen hens and about five of them love to sleep in the nest boxes, there are plenty of roost in there for them to roost on but they constanly insist on being in the boxes at night. I have tried moving them onto the roost at night and its getting old fast they wont get on them by themselves but once i put them up there they stay there for the night. I have now blocked off all the nest boxes except one, and im hoping it will help. I dont think I can stand to clean poop out of the nest anymore, anyone have any ideas?
     
  2. Mikee1948

    Mikee1948 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 19, 2011
    Mine do the same thing and won't even lay their eggs in them. They pick a spot inside the coop to lay and sleep (and poop) in the nest boxes. I tried leaving some eggs in the nest boxes but it's not working.
     
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    There are different things that can cause that. Are your roosts higher than the nest boxes or about the same height? Chickens like to sleep at the highest place they can get to. So that is the first thing to look at. Make sure the roosts are noticeably higher than the nest boxes.

    I kind of suspect a different problem though. Some hens can be real brutes on the roosts as they are getting settled in for the night. This often happens to me when I am integrating younger chicks but it could be happening with yours even if they are the same age.

    I’ve had hens leave their normal roosting spot to go pick on chickens lower in the pecking order. Life is so brutal the lower ranked chickens leave the roost and look for a safer place to spend the night. Sometimes that is the nesting boxes. Where it is most noticeable is when a broody hen weans her chicks and leaves them on their own.

    I put a separate roost over the nesting boxes, lower than the main roosts and a bit away from them so the chicks had a safe place to go that was not the nesting boxes.

    Something else that can happen (though I doubt it is your problem) when chicks are transitioning from sleeping on the floor to sleeping on the roosts, they may spend a few nights in the nest boxes. I’ve had some do that for a couple of nights and some that do it for weeks before they move on.
     
  4. kamra

    kamra New Egg

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    Jan 4, 2013
    Louisiana
    They have three different roost all at different heights one is about a foot or foot and a half above the nest boxes, as far as pecking order goes these are some of my most dominant hens, they have been doing it since i got them.
     

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