grr ... chickens roosting in the nest boxes


9 Years
Aug 19, 2010
north central indiana
My Coop
My Coop
dh had to collect eggs after dark the other day and there was a chicken in one of the nest boxes. It was dark so he couldn't tell which one it was. So that explains why there's been so much poop in the nest boxes (and almost always at the very end of it which supports a roosting chicken in there). Any advice? Their roost is at least 2 feet higher than the boxes are-the nest boxes are at floor level and the roost is about 32" up. The roost is plenty long enough for all of the chickens-in fact they rarely take up more than 2/3 or so of it. They can all get up there easily enough.

I thought I read about making a curtain of some kind but we already have a couple that sometimes lay in the coop or run so I'm worried about making the boxes less accessible. Or would that even be an issue?

eta: if it matters, our hens are about 1.5 yrs old.
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Hmm. is it possible she is getting bullied off the roost. Can you go watch when getting close to roost time. If she goes to the nest, remove her and place her on the roost, see what happens.
You can use old feed bags to stuff in the nesting boxes/close off the entrance each night. Remove them in the morning. If all goes well then in a week of keeping her out of the nesting box at night she'll get used to the roost again so you don't have to use the feed bag anymore.

This has worked for others. I tried it last year but the girl was simply not hen enough to get up on the roost and returned to the nesting box even after two weeks of blocking it off at night. She was the lowest in pecking order and if possible a few notches below that.
I wonder if a ramp would help. Maybe someone is getting too fat to get up there?

I tried watching them but they wouldn't go in when I was out there (apparently I'm too tempting since I toss in treats) and it was FREEZING cold.
I just went out there (it's just getting dark) and none were in the nest boxes-all were on the roost. So apparently it's not a nightly thing. I wonder if maybe just checking every night and kicking her out if she's in there (not literally-don't worry) each time will curb her of doing it.
I'm new here and it's been about 12 years since I raised chickens.

However I had the same problem. Apparently the pecking order would drive one of the chickens off the roost. I stapled a piece of wire about 2" above the wood she would roost on so she would have to roost on the wire. That solved the problem. An old farmer told me about that trick. Another way he said, would be to cut a sharp angle on the board. Good Luck
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We had that same problem with a couple of our hens when we first got them. I had to push the hens out of the nest boxes and use a piece of plywood to block the boxes off for a couple nights, they got the hint and started roosting on the bars. Havent had a problem since
I have 14 chickens and my one silkie has slept in the nesting box for almost 2 years now. She never poops in there, so I just let her stay there.

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