HENS pooping in nest box . . .

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by frankenchick, Mar 5, 2008.

  1. frankenchick

    frankenchick Songster

    Apr 20, 2007
    Benton Twp., Michigan
    I think it's my two Plymouth Rocks. How do I discourage this? I can't block them out, can I?

    Also, we've gone from 7 eggs/7 hens to 2 eggs/7 hens since early Feb. Is there a diet problem or something? It hasn't been any colder/darker/whatever lately.
  2. Wildsky

    Wildsky Wild Egg!

    Oct 13, 2007
    You can block them out of the nest - but then you'll have eggs laid all over the place.
    Are they sleeping in the nest boxes?
    What do you have in there for nesting material?

    My boxes do get a little poop or dirt, but not alot, I have 8 hens in and out of mostly two boxes, I change the shavings ever couple of weeks.
  3. gretchen

    gretchen In the Brooder

    Jul 18, 2007
    I had the same problem before my hens were laying and it was because they were sleeping in the boxes, so I stapled a kitchen towel at the top of the boxes and then tacked it down at night. It took them about a week to stay on the roost and not go into the boxes, I also kept a fake egg in each box during the day so they would get the hint... I still keep them there just in case. I would go into the coop at night and just see if they are in the boxes, then kick em out. As for the eggs, are they molting? I keep a light on a timer so my production has stayed pretty steady, but I really need to give them something because in Vermont it's dark and cold and we all need a little light to not go insane!
  4. chickflick

    chickflick Crowing

    Mar 10, 2007
    Chickens need 14 hr of light to lay. So, if you are not providing artificial light, they will slow down or stop laying. I go in when it's dark and who ever is in the nesting boxes are put on the roost. They won't jump down in the dark, and get use to sitting on the roost. Are they stressed for any reason? Some times they just need a break.
  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Couple other things to ponder -- are the roosts higher than the nestboxes? (if not, they may prefer to sleep in the nestboxes).

    Has it been unusually cold lately, encouraging them to sleep in the boxes for warmth?

    When was the last time you completely changed the nestbox litter? Mine seem to decide at some point 'hm, smells like a toilet, guess that's what I'm supposed to use it for' [​IMG]

    Good luck,


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