Dysfunctional Chicken Yard


Jun 14, 2015
New to chickens. After a few mishaps, down to one rooster and two hens. Latest problem is rooster taking over the nesting boxes. I have read the threads that he is encouraging the hens to lay, but he is pooping in the boxes which I don't think is good.
Hens were born in the spring and are not laying.


Flock Master
8 Years
Jan 10, 2013
Welcome, glad you have joined us.

No personal experience with roos but those who have them will advise 1 : 2 ratio is not a good thing and recommend 1:10 as an optimum ratio.

IMO he just likes the nest boxes.

Ol Grey Mare

One egg shy of a full carton. .....
8 Years
Mar 9, 2014
My Coop
My Coop
Welcome to BYC!
By "taking over" the nest boxes and mention of him leaving waste in them I wonder if what you are experiencing is him sleeping in the nest boxes vs. making the sort of exploratory visits that can encourage hens to do the same. Can you tell us a bit about your coop setup or, better yet, post some photos? Often there are factors involved in the coop interior that make the nest boxes attractive that have nothing to do with their intended use as a place to lay eggs.
What breed(s) are your birds? If you are not sure, you can post photos of them too and we will help you ID them. The breed(s) are a point to consider as different breeds have different maturation rates and that factors into the expected point of lay for females. Seeing the birds will also allow us to help you see possible indicators of how mature the females are and whether they are showing phyiscal signs of being close to production or not. When in thh spring did the females hatch? "Spring" is a pretty broad term with the potential to have a +/- of 13 weeks or more in the actual age of the birds.
While gender balance can be an issues (as mentioned above) it is not always a problem as there are many factors that play into whether your numbers may or may not work - and, actually, many breeders use "trios" (2 female/1 male) for breeding groups. This would go back to assessing the overall housing situation, the breeds in question, the temperament of the individual birds, etc. Are you seeing signs of distress or overbreeding such as feather loss in the females, a stressed atmosphere, etc?


9 Years
Aug 4, 2013
Midwest America
Welcome to the BYC flock! We are glad you joined us!


The immediate thing that comes to my mind about the pooping in the nest boxes is to make sure that your roosts are higher than your nesting boxes, that you have enough roost space, and that they can easily get on and off the roosts. Once your pullets start laying you are not going to want their freshly laid eggs in with freshly laid poop.

Pictures are always helpful though. Perhaps if you uploaded some, we could spot some other things you could try to break your rooster of this habit.

Good luck!

drumstick diva

Still crazy after all these years.
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
Aug 26, 2009
Out to pasture
If your pullets are not laying, close off the nest boxes so the rooster learns to sleep somewhere else. Your pullets may not be laying because of shorter daylight hours. As the daylight increases they should start laying for you.

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