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MY ladies are sleeping and pooping in their laying nest! WhY???

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by VerginateChicks, Nov 6, 2014.

  1. VerginateChicks

    VerginateChicks Out Of The Brooder

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    May 26, 2014
    Bellano, Italy
    So, out of the blue, my hens (I only have 3) have started sleeping and pooping in their laying box, and I can't for the life of me figure out why. The only explanation I have is because it's getting colder here and at night it's around 9 Celsius right now,[​IMG] I wonder if they are cold and the box is warm. It's odd though because their coop is fairly warm in my opinion, however I don't have a temp gauge in there and I can't feel the temp in the middle of the night at 3-4am.

    Any ideas on why they would do this and how I can fix the problem would be great. I'm not too keen on eating eggs that have been covered in chicken poop... sorry. [​IMG] AND I doubt it's healthy for them to sleep somewhere they are also pooping...
    [​IMG]

    Thanks bunches!!!
    Dana [​IMG]
     
  2. spydertoys

    spydertoys Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Make sure you have an adequate roost pole for them first of all. It should be flat...2x4's work great. They need to be comfortable or they won't use it. Then to re-train them you will have to go out in the dark with a flashlight for several nights and place them on their roost pole. They don't normally move in the dark, so they will most likely stay there. You might also remove the nest box for the few nights and put it back in the morning so they can use it for egg laying.
     
  3. VerginateChicks

    VerginateChicks Out Of The Brooder

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    May 26, 2014
    Bellano, Italy
    It's just odd, because I've had them for almost a year now and they always use their roosting pole. My pole is round though, maybe I need to change that. I'll try taking the box out at night and see how that works. I still don't understand why they would poop where they lay. I thought usually hens tried to avoid that.

    Thanks for the advice! [​IMG]
     
  4. theoldchick

    theoldchick The Chicken Whisperer

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    A heavy infestation of mites will make a flock change the roosting location.
     
  5. VerginateChicks

    VerginateChicks Out Of The Brooder

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    May 26, 2014
    Bellano, Italy
    hmmm, I just got rid of all the mites...[​IMG] I guess I'll have to look extra good again.
     
  6. theoldchick

    theoldchick The Chicken Whisperer

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    What did you use to get rid of the mites? It could be the chickens don't like what you used. Check their feet for lesions.
     
  7. VerginateChicks

    VerginateChicks Out Of The Brooder

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    May 26, 2014
    Bellano, Italy
    I used Johnsons Poultry lice and mite powder, but this was a few months ago and they didn't seem to have any reactions. I made sure to check them everyday for skin irritation or breathing problems and there was nothing. Just dying mites! Yay! The mites went away in about 2 weeks. I haven't seen any bugs lately, but I will check again as soon as I get the chance. I would think that cold weather would reduce the chance of bugs, am I wrong?
     
  8. spydertoys

    spydertoys Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You might want to invest in a bag of Diatomaceous Earth. You can sprinkle that all over the pen and in the nest box to control external parasites rather than using something toxic. You can even feed it to them to control any possible internal parasites. Since it's a natural product, you aren't applying any poisons to their environment.
    Be sure to ask for "Food Grade" since there is also a variety used in pool filters.
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2014
  9. mymilliefleur

    mymilliefleur Keeper of the Flock

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    I second the Diatomaceous Earth. I had mites in my nest boxes, and the chinks in the roosts. I dusted all the flat surfaces, and rubbed it into the cracks, but there were still mites on the bottom of the roosts and other places I could'nt dust, intill I thought of mixing the powder with water and making a thick paint. I then brushed it onto the roosts and nest boxes. it sticks very well, but will need to be repainted every once and a while since it will flake off after a while.

    hope this helps. [​IMG]
     
  10. VerginateChicks

    VerginateChicks Out Of The Brooder

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    May 26, 2014
    Bellano, Italy
    The johnson's stuff says it's strictly just Diatomaceous Earth and there's nothing added. However, I checked the coop over as well as the chickens really well and saw no bugs! I checked the roost pole and noticed that in the spot where they sit, the wood is very soft, (They have their spot and they huddle together at night), almost like it's dry rotting. Maybe they know, and are fearful it may break. Unfortunately my husband will have to fix the post so I'll have to wait till Saturday to fix it.

    Could this be the reason?
     

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