Hens sleeping in nesting box

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by henpeckedmama, Sep 15, 2010.

  1. henpeckedmama

    henpeckedmama New Egg

    Jul 9, 2010
    Ashland, MA
    I have a small flock - 4 silkies and 2 cochins. They are all sleeping in the nesting box at night and pooping in it. Could this be the reason my 8-month old cochins aren't laying yet? I'm a newbie and could use some advice. I do know I need another nesting box - the one in the coop now is for two chickens.
  2. sharol

    sharol Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 13, 2010
    Admire, KS
    My 9 week olds (ee, glw, 2 dels, golden campine, pr, wellie) are sleeping in their nest boxes too. some nights I find 5 of them in a single box and have to extract some of them to keep them from overheating. They have a secure coop, and don't seem scared. They just like to be cuddled up together.

    None of them seem to want to roost yet, and the poop in the nest boxes is fairly easy to remove each morning (I have shavings in them), so I haven't been insistent or blocked off the nest boxes. It won't be too long and they will be too big to bunk together, I mean 2 or 3 of them are supposed to be fairly large chickens at maturity and the boxes are pretty small (purchased coop, one of the things I questioned at the time -- I'll see if they are large enough when the time comes.

    I'll be really interested in seeing the feedback you get on this. You aren't alone, though.

  3. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    I seriously doubt that would be the reason your cochins haven't laid yet. They may just be late bloomers...and now it's moulting season and less light. If they were ready to lay, they'd just lay elsewhere if they didn't like the nestbox for some reason. By the way, they are contained in a run, and can't be laying elsewhere, right??? BUT, I would not allow birds to sleep in my nest box, especially if it's resulting in poopy nest boxes. Simply block your nest boxes off each evening...with chicken wire or cardboard or something, and then remove it in the morning....
  4. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    Hello there Henpecked-

    One thing you can do is cover the nest boxes at night, so the pullets can't get in there. Now, they may go sit in a corner, but that's OK. If you have a roost in your coop, eventually, they will roost at night, but it takes time for them to figure that out.

    Usually, I don't put in the nesting boxes until I see the ladies start to do their little "rooster squat", and I know eggs will be coming soon.

    Poopy eggs are such a bummer. [​IMG]
  5. briteday

    briteday Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 16, 2008
    Northern NV
    Sleeping in nest boxes is a bad habit to let them continue. I had some RIR's that I acquired as POL pullets and I could never break them of the habit, dirty eggs all the time, ended up re-homing them. When I put new chicks/pullets in the hen house I check every night at dusk to be sure that none of the birds are in the nest boxes. If anyone is trying to take up the habit I relocate them to a roost. Then I block off the nest boxes with pie tins or bucket lids so that they cannot go back there to sleep. Just be sure to get out there early in the AM to remove the barriers so that your regular egglayers will have a place to lay morning eggs.

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