hens fouling nest box

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by ejstoner, Jan 6, 2011.

  1. ejstoner

    ejstoner Out Of The Brooder

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    I have one or two hens that insist upon staying in the nest boxes at night, They poop in them and any eggs laid there get really filthy. Any ideas to stop them from staying there at night??
     
  2. ARose4Heaven

    ARose4Heaven Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have the same problem. Very good question. I think mine do it because they are cold. My henhouse is unheated. I have to clean out the nests every morning when I open the popdoor. It makes for some nasty dirty eggs.
     
  3. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    Move them to a roost each night before the lights go out. I have one who started doing the same thing lately. I move her each and every night onto the roost. I figure she'll get the hint at some point. Repetition, repetition, repetition. Birds are creatures of habit. Keeping showing them what you want them to do and they will do it... eventually.

    Good luck with yours. Wish me luck with mine.
     
  4. ejstoner

    ejstoner Out Of The Brooder

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    only 1 0r 2 spend the night in the nest box, the rest roost on the roost bars.
     
  5. mordarlar

    mordarlar Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Mine have not only been pooping in the nest box, they have been burying the eggs. It was frustrating until it occurred to me that the heat from the bedding and manure and their forethought to bury actually was keeping the eggs unfrozen.

    I figured it was a deliberate instinct type thing.
     
  6. moonlyghtegirl

    moonlyghtegirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Ditto. You can also cover the nest boxes at night (block them off), so they will get the idea the nest boxes are off limits at night.
     
  7. cobrien

    cobrien Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had this problem at one point and put empty plastic pot for plants ~6"diameter upside down in the nesting boxes for about a week and this deterred them. Also, make sure your roosts are higher than the nesting boxes.
     
  8. Jaygood787

    Jaygood787 Out Of The Brooder

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    hey i just fixed this problem... make all your roosts higher than the nest boxes.. they like to hang out as high as they can

    it worked for me
     
  9. they'reHISchickens

    they'reHISchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think there are three times in a chicken's life that she sleeps in a nest box.
    First, immature hens will feel safe there... preferably with a buddy or two... .or three and yes they poop.
    Second, a broody LIVES in the nest box -- but doesn't poop there:)
    Third,often the first sign of molt will be a hen sleeping in the nestbox and being cranky-- she just doesn't feel well. Many of ours in molt will spend several weeks sleeping in the nest box and yes they poop there too. Once they refeather and feel better, they go back out on the roosts with the crowd and only go in the boxes to lay. We consider it a sign of recovery when they no longer sleep in the nestbox.
    Patience, patience. It's cold without those feathers!

    The best way to keep a clean nestbox is to have only mature hens who are not molting and only visit the nest to lay eggs.
     

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