Hen suddenly sleeping in nesting box - should I move her?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Dragonfly Ranch, Oct 21, 2009.

  1. Dragonfly Ranch

    Dragonfly Ranch Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 13, 2009
    Happy Valley, CA
    Went out last night to put hens away and notice one of the 8 month old EE hens in the nesting box. Thought she might be laying an egg before bed since she has never done that before. Tonight same thing she is in the same nesting box.

    Should I move her on to the perch? I have read they should not be allowed to sleep in the nesting boxes. Any advise would be appreciated.

    Sandee
     
  2. rhoda_bruce

    rhoda_bruce Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 19, 2009
    Cut Off, LA
    Certainly move her. You will have a very dirty nesting box if you don't. The only excuse I can give for not moving her is if she is broody and then she will hardly not move at all and will fuss you if you move her. She needs to go to the roost with the rest of the birds.
     
  3. Dragonfly Ranch

    Dragonfly Ranch Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 13, 2009
    Happy Valley, CA
    Quote:Thank you I just moved her to the highest bar of the roost on the end. I'll go and check in an hour and see if she stayed there.

    Sandee
     
  4. WalkingWolf

    WalkingWolf Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 1, 2009
    North Carolina
    If the hen is going broody she will not mess in the nest box. None of my broody hens ever poop in the box. If she is broody it is very hard to break, and she may try to find someplace she can't be removed from if your birds free range.
     
  5. Dragonfly Ranch

    Dragonfly Ranch Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 13, 2009
    Happy Valley, CA
    Quote:OK now my newness to chickens is showing. I thought broody meant they were sitting on eggs. There are no eggs in the nesting box and they do not free range. There was no egg this morning in the box that she was in last night. I did get a green egg in another box today but not sure if it was her or the other EE.

    Sandee
     
  6. WalkingWolf

    WalkingWolf Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 1, 2009
    North Carolina
    Quote:OK now my newness to chickens is showing. I thought broody meant they were sitting on eggs. There are no eggs in the nesting box and they do not free range. There was no egg this morning in the box that she was in last night. I did get a green egg in another box today but not sure if it was her or the other EE.

    Sandee

    There does not have to be eggs for a hen to go broody. I have game hens that go broody all the time and sit in empty nests. In some hens it is a overwhelming drive, that can't be or is very hard to break. I had a silkie that went broody after laying 2 eggs. There won't be any eggs from the hen once they go broody, they will stop laying to sit.
     
  7. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

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    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    If she's feeling broody she'll want to stay in the nest all day & night. She'll fuss & growl at you when you try to move her. She'll have bare patches of skin along her breastbone.

    You can break her broody mood by putting her in a wire-bottomed cage for a few days set up so she'll feel a breeze under her. Give her food & water but no bedding.

    If she's not broody she just may be starting a new bad habit of sleeping in the nest box. You can keep moving her to a roost, and/or cover the opening of the nest box at night.
     
  8. Dragonfly Ranch

    Dragonfly Ranch Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 13, 2009
    Happy Valley, CA
    Thank you for the advise. She only seems to be going on to the nest at night. Unfortunately, I work full time so can't check on her during the day. She squawked when I picked her up but she seemed asleep so may be just scared her a bit. She was not in there this morning.

    Sandee
     
  9. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    4,726
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    281
    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    It seems that each hen has her own individual component of broody skills. Some of them are real professionals, others just don't do as well. Some of my hens will sometimes act just a bit broody, doing things like your hen is doing, but not willing/able to do the job completely. I can usually discourage them by just taking them out of the nest box & setting them up on the roost.

    Otherwise, chickens will sometimes get a brilliant idea to go sleep in a particular place. Maybe they got pecked while on the roost & figured the nest box was a better place to catch some ZZZs. Again, the best way to remedy that is to keep putting them back on the perch night after night after night after night....
     
  10. fatguyaz

    fatguyaz Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 2, 2008
    Phoenix, AZ
    hey all. I am using milk crates with hay in them for my laying boxes and i recently got some babies that are getting close to start laying. I also have 6 hens that have been laying for a couple years. The older girls use the boxes for laying just fine, but some of the new badies are roosting on the edge of the boxes and pooping into the nests. Sometimes they'll face the inside and poop just outside the boxes. I've moved them everytime i've seen them sleeping there, but they end up there by morning. Anyone know how i can break them of doin this? Something i can do to make it uncomfortable for them to sleep there, but not too uncomfortable for the others to get IN the boxes? Thanks in advance for your help!!
     

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