Hen sleeping in egg box

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by QChickieMama, Dec 26, 2013.

  1. QChickieMama

    QChickieMama Songster

    Oct 1, 2011
    I have 5 hens living in a chicken tractor, and they've been just fine. In the last few weeks, one of the hens started sleeping in the egg box and they're not laying because of molt. So, I keep cleaning out the poo, but this one hen isn't looking great. She's losing feathers and looking puny.

    What do you think is going on?
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    She may be sleeping in the nest box in an attempt to stay warm.
  3. chfite

    chfite Songster

    Jun 7, 2011
    Taylors, SC
    If she is molting, she would look rather ratty and disheveled. I blocked the nesting boxes at night to stop sleeping in the nesting boxes. Chickens usually keep themselves warm with their down comforters.

    Is there room on the roost for all the birds? Is the roost higher than the nesting boxes? Chickens like to roost as high as they can.

  4. PineShavings

    PineShavings In the Brooder

    Oct 2, 2013
    Speaking from experience, it could be from this hen is often bullied so it won't get enough food leading it to be "puny" in your words. Also, when I was making a new coop for about 10 of my chickens, I placed them in a temporary coop where they were constantly fighting for the best spot to roost and sleep at night.. so the next best place was the nesting boxes. In fact, one of my young roosters had to make do at night for about a week in a nesting box while I was finishing their permanent coop.
  5. NickW1

    NickW1 In the Brooder

    Mar 30, 2013
    +1 My alpha hen started roosting in a nesting box when she went into molt, she's just trying to stay warm because we had a very cold fall; however, it makes for a nasty nesting box. At night when I lock them up I gently boot her out of the nesting box and block all the boxes off. Good Luck.
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2013
  6. QChickieMama

    QChickieMama Songster

    Oct 1, 2011
    I think there's room on the roost for all the 5 hens. They're in a 3' wide chicken tractor, so that's 5 hens on a bar 3' long. It's higher than the nest box and feed station.

    I can't quite tell if the others are bullying her or not.
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    1 foot of bar for each bird, put another roost in there at the same height and see what happens.
    Chance she's broody?
  8. aoxa

    aoxa Crowing

    I agree. Not enough roosting space.

    I need to add more, as I have a bunch roosting in the nesting boxes. I clean them every morning. I need to stop procrastinating and add more roost space...

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