My 7-8 month old hen sleeping/pooping in nest box. Suggestions please :)

Amybonis

Hatching
Dec 25, 2015
2
0
7
We have 3 hens. They have been laying for the last 2 mos or so. They lay every day. All 3 of them lay. One of them ( Thelma) has begun for the last 2 weeks sleeping in the next box, not laying over night, ( but she lays during the day) . In the last 4 days, I have been going in at night and removing her from nest and placing her on roosting areas which are significantly higher than the next boxes. She does stay on them and does not go back into the next box except for last night she did go back in ( poops in nest box this am). Someone has suggested to me not to ask her to roost that she may be sick and have an issue laying but she does lay every day. She is the thinnest of the 3 hens but all hens have a big area to go out in every day. There is no issue w/ water or food, they get plenty of that. The woman that told me about not taking her out of the next box recently had a chicken die of ovarian cancer and has me now pretty concerned. The hen seems healthy otherwise w/ the exception of her comb is slightly crooked. Does anyone have any suggestions or comments for me? Thelma is very active during the day and all 3 hens are very mobile and spend time all around their pasture all day long. In other words, she does not sit on the nest all day ( only when she is laying). Thank you for your help. Amy
 

RoxysAnimals

Chirping
Oct 19, 2015
376
19
74
California, USA
We have 3 hens.  They have been laying for the last 2 mos or so.  They lay every day. All 3 of them lay.  One of them ( Thelma) has begun for the last 2 weeks sleeping in the next box, not laying over night, ( but she lays during the day) .   In the last 4 days, I have been going in at night and removing her from nest and placing her on roosting areas which are significantly higher than the next boxes. She does stay on them and does not go back into the next box except for last night she did go back in ( poops in nest box this am). Someone has suggested to me not to ask her to roost that she may be sick and have an issue laying but she does lay every day.  She is the thinnest of the 3 hens but all hens have a big area to go out in every day. There is no issue w/ water or food, they get plenty of that.  The woman that told me about not taking her out of the next box recently had a chicken die of ovarian cancer and has me now pretty concerned.  The hen seems healthy otherwise w/ the exception of her comb is slightly crooked. Does anyone have any suggestions or comments for me?  Thelma is very active during the day and all 3 hens are very mobile and spend time all around their pasture all day long. In other words, she does not sit on the nest all day ( only when she is laying).  Thank you for your help. Amy 


Do you know what breed the hen is? She might be a little broody and wanting to sit on eggs, but she is too young to understand. I have had a couple hens like this that start laying, attempt to sit on eggs, then get off the nest. I think they confuse themselves by going broody. She is young, so this may be the case.
 

Amybonis

Hatching
Dec 25, 2015
2
0
7
Good morning. Thank you for your post barred hen. I I don't understand ..If she is brood, why doesn't she sit on the next all day? Why just at night?
 
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aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
96,705
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SW Michigan
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How big is your coop and roost length(in feet)?
She may be low hen and is bullied off the roost?
All birds are same breed?

Illness is a possibility, but a bird that is laying good eggs everyday is probably not ill,
especially if she is active, eatingdrinkingpooping OK.

You are correct that a broody would be nesting all/most of day and not laying.
 
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Hokum Coco

Crowing
8 Years
Dec 6, 2012
4,274
3,643
477
New Brunswick,Canada
Thelma poops in nest box. Does anyone have any suggestions or comments for me?

You could use the same feed bag (pictured below) fill it full of straw grass or hay to form a sort of pillow and stuff it the nest box over night so the hen is blocked off.

Down side you would have to rise early to open the box to the flock.

Thelma is most likely at the bottom of the pecking order.

You may try building another roost slightly lower than the main roost that may solve the problem (I doubt it for some reason.) Once a hen is comfortable roosting in a spot they become creatures of habit.

I for one just let them roost and poop where they may I find cleaning the nest box just a snap.
Of course now my hens all seem to use the roost wouldn't you know.


Hens that are once at the lower end of the pecking order are permitted to roost with the rest over time (sometimes.)

As Forest Gump would say S*it happens and nest boxes do need cleaning eventually.

I did have the issue in the past and it is a pain until I stumble on my solution below.

A combination of a lower roost and blocking of the nest box or placing the hen on the lower roost at night might change her habit.
Nest boxes
In my nest boxes I fold a feed bag to fit (nest boxes are 1 ft³). When a bag gets soiled; fold a new one; pop out the soiled; pop in the new. Feed bags are a nylon mesh bag.
Frozen poop just peels off in below freezing temperatures and just flakes off in summer when left out in the sun to bake and dry. Or maybe just put news paper down and change it ever day or couple of days.

I have 65 trips around the sun it is the best method I have stumbled upon.

Make sure the twine is removed from the open end of the bag it can get tangled around your birds.

 
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lalaland

Crowing
11 Years
Sep 26, 2008
3,628
509
281
Pine County MN
I agree with aart.

Keep removing her from the nest box at night and put her on the roost. If she is always choosing the same nest box to sleep in, and if you have at least one other nest box, I would also block off that nest box for a week or so to discourage her from going in it to sleep.

Some hens just prefer to sleep in nest boxes, for a variety of reasons.
 

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