Help! They're sleeping in nest boxes.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by rrrsmom, Jun 29, 2007.

  1. rrrsmom

    rrrsmom In the Brooder

    Jun 2, 2007
    salt lake city, Ut
    ok, I was driving down the road and someone was throwing out a tiny closet armoir that was probably 50 years old. Nothing fabulous but we turned it on it's side, cut some holes in it and mounted it on the side of the chicken yard next to the coop so the girls could use it as a nest box. I've got access from outside the yard to collect eggs. It's a very nice setup. Now, my darling hens are sleeping in the top three boxes. (it's seperated into six boxes, three on top and three on bottom) I read something that said if you hang material in front of the doors they won't sleep in the nests? Or was I dreaming this? I'm sure they're not sleeping in the bottom just because the top is higher, but now I'm worried they won't have a place when it comes time to lay eggs. Should I hang material or should I wait and see where they decide to lay eggs? I should still have six or eight weeks before we have any eggs but I'd like to make sure I'm prepared. What do you think? Help me!
  2. wendy

    wendy On the Hill

    Jun 14, 2007
    central louisiana
    i bet they will be alright. ours don't lay in all the nesting boxes. and i have caught one of our hens in the nesting box early in the morning when i let them out for the day. she probably slept there part of the night. but it did not affect them laying eggs in the nesting boxes.
    i hoped this helped you [​IMG]
  3. ella

    ella Songster

    They do like to sleep in the highest possible spot. [​IMG] If you temporarly block off the ones they're sleeping in and have a nice flat roost for them (they prefer flat to round) hopefully they'll get the picture.

    They like to sleep in the same place every night so once you get them started sleeping on the roosts you can unblock the nests.

    The problem with them roosting in the boxes is the poo. You don't want that in the nest when they start laying.
  4. verthandi

    verthandi Songster

    May 18, 2007
    Any chance the top nest boxes are higher than their roost? I have found most birds will roost in the highest place they can reach.
  5. rrrsmom

    rrrsmom In the Brooder

    Jun 2, 2007
    salt lake city, Ut
    we put the highests roosts even with the opening of the nest boxes so they would have easy access to the boxes. I imagine that, because the nest boxes are big flat easy to sleep in surfaces that's where they are going to sleep. We could put one higher roost in the coop, but we were worried it would be too close to the heat lamp. The idea is eggs, not fried chicken.
    We have one bunny in our chicken run and he has his own little house on the floor. I'm worried they will try to use his house when egg laying time comes and I don't have easy access to get them out from there. I think the bunny should keep them out, but I don't want to have to worry about that.
    So I guess for now I'll try a higher roost. We used plain ol' 2x4's. Do you think the highest roost the 2x4's should be set the wide way instead of the tall way?
    I can't thank everyone enough for all your help. I appreciate you!
  6. HobbyChickener

    HobbyChickener Songster

    Jun 29, 2007
    central KY
    I am new to this. Is sleeping and nesting in the same spot a problem? As for the flat or tall 2x4, my understanding is flat is better because you can bribe them to go there with food laying on the board.
  7. ella

    ella Songster

    Chickens don't sleep with their feet curled up like a regular bird so they prefer a flat space to rest their keel on. A 2x4 with the 4" side up works well. [​IMG]

    HobbyChickener: It's a problem when they crap all over their nest and then lay eggs in it. [​IMG] Otherwise it would be fine. [​IMG]

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