Keeping them from sleeping in the nesting boxes


In the Brooder
8 Years
Feb 28, 2011
Smithville, MO
How do I do this? I've tried setting them on the roost, and they won't take to it. So every day I have to clean out the nesting boxes and hope they figure it out. Anyone have any luck in fixing this? If so, what did you do? Thanks.
Are your chickens still younger pullets? I've found that they will start roosting on their own as they get a little bit older. Now, if they're an older hen or roo, maybe you can block those nesting boxes off at night....but you'd have to open them in the morning, which could be a hassle.
I have read that if you make a curtain with a slit in it and then cover the boxes somehow, apparently they do not like to be in there at night.
I wonder if you could staple or tape a bandanna or something up? Do you have open top boxes, or front entry boxes? I may use some strapping and a staple gun and tack up some material.
I have the same problem. and one hen that waits to lay to poo.
I didn't put the nest boxes in the coop until I got the 1st egg. The hens know that when the light goes out they have about 30 mins until the sun goes down to get on the roost. I haven't had a problem with anyone sleeping in the nest boxes. If your girls aren't laying yet, maybe you could block off the boxes.
Thanks for the response. My hens are laying and I went in there last night and placed all the hens and roo on the roost. When I left, they were all still sitting on the roost, so maybe that did the trick. I'll check this afternoon to see how much poo has accumulated in the nexting boxes.
You have to remove them to the roost every night for awhile, sometimes every night for a week or more. Eventually they catch on.

Question that I didn't see asked...are your roosts higher than your nestboxes? Chickens instinctively want to go as high as possible to sleep at night, so if your nestboxes are higher than your roosts, that can lead to the problem.

I am having the same problem. I got 4 new RIR's last year and there is at least one of them that sleeps in the nesting box. I took an egg carton and would kinda block off the one whe always slept in but then it just got to where I would forget and then eventually I though well whatever lol. I'll just clean it out. Now I have one of those eating eggs. GRR I need to set up my web cam. If its the same one sleeping in the box and eating my eggs I will be eating HER for dinner!

BTW I just picked up 6 golden comets today. They are all cute and sleeping..well except the one that insist on peeping for attention. There is always one!
We've had some unfortunate luck with dogs in our neighborhood. My chickens can no longer free range. Its horrible.
I had the problem when our girls were pullets. I cordoned off the nest boxes with chicken wire until they used the roost everynight. May I suggest that you block the nest boxes off in the late afternoons so thier only choice is the roost when they go in at night and then when you go to let them out remove whatever you have blocking the nest boxes so they can lay. They will eventually get that the best option is the roost.
Yes, the roost is higher, by about a foot, than the nesting boxes. I went in there just after the sunset and placed them on the roost again. They're making it all the way through the night, so hopefully this habit will stick.

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