Laying in the dark - before sunrise

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Mtn Laurel, Sep 26, 2012.

  1. Mtn Laurel

    Mtn Laurel Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 18, 2012
    Northern Virginia
    My Coop
    I have a young lady that's only been laying about a month. She has begun to lay at some point during the night. My husband opens the coop before he goes to work at 5:30 AM when it's still pitch dark outside and this morning he found that she had created a nest out of pine shavings in the corner of the pitch dark coop. BTW, the nest she created was really beautiful - swirls of pine shavings that formed a perfect bowl.

    The coop isn't lighted and doesn't have windows so I'm not sure how she's seeing to get off the roost and make a nest. We block off the nests at night because one of our girls likes to sleep in them. My husband unblocks the nests at 5:30 AM. As a nesting box wasn't available, she created her own.

    Is this because she's new at laying? I worry about her stumbling around in the dark and really don't want to unblock the nests as long as the one gal is prone to sleeping - and pooping - in them.
  2. Y N dottes

    Y N dottes Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 1, 2012
    South Central WI
    Its not the laying at night thats the problem really, but you want them all to lay in the nesting boxes. Since the boxes are blocked off she finds a different way. Im wondering if they would still sleep in the nesting boxes if they were accessable. If not, and theyre used to sleeping on roosts, it might be worth it to let her access them whenever she needs to
  3. Knitty

    Knitty Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 31, 2012
    Gales Creek, Oregon, USA
    I would open the nest boxes for a night or two, and see what happens. My girls were sleeping and pooping in their nest boxes until they started to lay. Now apparently they've decided sleeping in nest boxes is for babies... Lol. Now they all sleep on their roosts. I thought they never would, but they finally gave up sleeping in the boxes.
  4. sezjasper

    sezjasper Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 6, 2012
    Eldersburg, Maryland
    My girls are still sleeping in their nest boxes -- correction, they are sleeping in 2 of the nest boxes. The third nest box is the only one they ever lay in and that one never has any poop in it. I think my problem is that the roosts are at floor level, while the nest box openings are just above the roost. Bad, bad design on a store bought coop [​IMG] If I would relocate the roosts, the girls would be banging their heads on the ceiling of the coop all night. Does anyone have any suggestions? I'm stuck with this coop until spring, at least.

    Forgot to add...only one of the girls is actually laying in the one nest box. The other three are laying on the floor of the coop, in front of the nest box.
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2012

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