My pullets are sleeping/pooping in there nesting boxes!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by mfjohnson, Apr 7, 2012.

  1. mfjohnson

    mfjohnson New Egg

    9
    0
    7
    Jan 27, 2012
    Our 5 pullets (age 10-18 weeks) sleep every night in their nesting boxes and not on their roost. I'm a little worried that this might cause problems when they start laying eggs. Is this OK or do I need to somehow "train" them to stay on the roost? Maybe put netting over their boxes? Any thoughts on this?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

    4,826
    1,497
    366
    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    Just at dark, when I locked them up for the night, I would just place large coffee cans or buckets in the nesting box.Anything to block off access. But it takes chicks longer to roost that don't have a broody hen. Also is your roost round or flat boards? I have the round ones in mine, and have never had any trouble, but I think with the flat boards they will roost sooner.

    Might put a large box filled with hay on the bottom, and they can set their till they are ready to roost.

    MrsK
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2012
  3. triplepurpose

    triplepurpose Chillin' With My Peeps

    989
    173
    198
    Oct 13, 2008
    Also, they like to roost as high as they can get--which is one reason I'm not a big fan of elevated nest boxes (that, and because chickens are ground-nesting birds). Make sure the roosts are more appealing by making sure they're higher than the boxes. But of course make sure there's a way for them to get up there too.

    But blocking off the boxes until they break the habit is good in addition to that. I used a piece of wood propped across the openings--whatever works.

    You definitely don't want them continuing to roost in the boxes--the longer they do the more entrenched the habit will become and of course you will have poop all over your eggs when they start laying.
     
  4. mfjohnson

    mfjohnson New Egg

    9
    0
    7
    Jan 27, 2012
    Thanks for the replies! After church, I went out there and tried to incorporate all the advice into the coop. I think that will do!

    Thanks again!
     
  5. PoultryGirly

    PoultryGirly Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,571
    25
    173
    Mar 28, 2012
    It is okay that they don't sleep on their roost yet. They eventually will. My chickens didn't start until they were at leat 6 months old. Don't worry.
     
  6. karlamaria

    karlamaria Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,333
    52
    226
    Jan 30, 2011
    Western montana
    Block off those. Nest boxes, they will then roost. I use flat 2x4s and use the large flat side. They roost well and mine roosted as soon as I blocked off the nest boxes. there old enough, just love the nest boxes lol
     
  7. mrsc1951

    mrsc1951 Chillin' With My Peeps

    301
    22
    123
    May 15, 2011
    Largo, Florida
    The round ones are supposed to be better for their feet - or so I've heard all my life - more like a natural roost (tree branch).
     
  8. triplepurpose

    triplepurpose Chillin' With My Peeps

    989
    173
    198
    Oct 13, 2008
    That makes perfect sense, right?
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by