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How long does a chicken stay in nesting box?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by christmasbaby, Dec 11, 2016.

  1. christmasbaby

    christmasbaby New Egg

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    Jul 20, 2016
    Our Austra White went into nesting box this afternoon around 4:30. She was still there when the others roosted. It is 8:30 and she is still there. Will she just sleep there tonight since coop is now dark? I hope she is okay.
     
  2. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop

    When laying, usually not more than an hour. If she is still there after dark, she is most likely intending on sleeping there.

    She may be broody - this is when hens decide to sit on eggs in an attempt to hatch them. If she is broody, she will be very protective of the nest, will only come out once or twice a day to eat and drink, and will pluck all her breast feathers to line the nest.

    There is also the potential she may be ill. You should remove her from the nest and watch her behavior. If she is broody, she will growl, scream, puff up, and most likely return to nest after a short time. If she is sickly, she will probably act lethargic and will not puff up or growl. If she does appear to be ill, you should firstly do a physical exam and separate her from the flock while you determine potential causes and treatments.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2016
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    She could also be a low status hen avoiding the Roost Time Rumble.
    I have that happen once in awhile, I remove them from the nest and place on roost after dark.
    Keep an eye on her tho, for illness or broodiness.
     
  4. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Chicken Obsessed

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    Some of my birds love to lounge in the nest box when laying. Other times, they hurry to pop out that egg, and rush back out, especially if they know that the coop/run has been opened up for free ranging, or there are treats to be had. In your case, I think the bird is avoiding the roost. If it happens an other day, you should block off the nest boxes in late afternoon to keep her from becoming a habitual nest soiler.
     
  5. christmasbaby

    christmasbaby New Egg

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    Jul 20, 2016
    I believe she is broody. Is there something I need to do about that or just leave her be? She was on 3 eggs and a golf ball yesterday! We take her out during the day but she ends up back in nest box. She growls at us also when we bother her. There are a lot of feathers there also.
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    Has she been on the roost all day and all night for 3 days....only getting off to eat/drink/poop/dust bathe?

    You'll need to decide if you want her to hatch out some chicks, and how you will 'manage' it.
    Do you have, or can you get, some fertile eggs?
    Do you have the space needed? She may need to be separated by wire from the rest of the flock.
    Do you have a plan on what to do with the inevitable males? Rehome, butcher, keep in separate 'bachelor pad'?
    If you decide to let her hatch out some fertile eggs, this is a great thread for reference and to ask questions.
    It a long one but just start reading the first few pages, then browse thru some more at random.
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/496101/broody-hen-thread

    If you don't want her to hatch out chicks, best to break her broodiness promptly.
    My experience went like this: After her setting for 3 days and nights in the nest, I put her in a wire dog crate with smaller wire on the bottom but no bedding, set up on a couple of 4x4's right in the coop and I would feed her some crumble a couple times a day.

    I let her out a couple times a day(you don't have to) and she would go out into the run, drop a huge turd, race around running, take a vigorous dust bath then head back to the nest... at which point I put her back in the crate. Each time her outings would lengthen a bit, eating, drinking and scratching more and on the 3rd afternoon she stayed out of the nest and went to roost that evening...event over, back to normal tho she didn't lay for another week or two.
    Water nipple bottle added after pic was taken.
    [​IMG]
     
  7. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop

    X2 Good advice.
     

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