Nest box question

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by knc512, Jul 26, 2010.

  1. knc512

    knc512 In the Brooder

    Jul 26, 2010
    Sacramento, CA
    I am a newbie with my 4 chickens, If my chickens sleep in the nesting box at night will it affect egg laying during the day? will chickens not lay eggs where they sleep?
  2. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    Hello there....Generally, it's good to discourage your hens from sleeping in the nesting box, because then they will poop in it, then you will have dirty eggs. So what you can do, if you have hens that like to sleep there, is cover the nesting boxes with something at night, and that will force them to sleep elsewhere. They might fuss about it, but after a week they'll be used to sleeping hopefully on a roost in your coop. My roosts are a 2X4 board, with the broad side up so they can stand on it comfortably, and then they can sit on their feet in the winter to keep them warm.

    I do have one hen who really likes to sleep in the nest box, and I do let her, but then I have to clean that nest box out almost daily.....

    Hope this helps!
  3. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Chickens poop where they sleep. One reason why it's nicer to have them sleep on roost bars above the floor. It's harder to keep eggs clean if they're laid in a poopy nest box.

    Pullets and hens will lay in nest boxes they've slept in. Hence the poopy eggs thing.

    Young chickens take a while to learn how to roost at night. It takes balance, coordination, and confidence to perch on a bar whilst sleeping. They'll roost up there during the day, but they're not really asleep. Just practicing. They feel safer sleeping on a solid base, like on the floor or in a nest box, until they get it right.

    Some people "train" their birds by putting them up on the roost every night until they get it. I just let 'em succumb to peer pressure - they WANT to be up there on the roosts with their buddies, being Big Chickens, so they'll eventually learn how to do it at night too.

    But that's just how I handle it. I let 'em develop the skill at their own pace.
  4. knc512

    knc512 In the Brooder

    Jul 26, 2010
    Sacramento, CA
    okay i'll give a small example of my coop, they usually sleep in a 2 X 2 dog crate that is elevated off of the ground by 4 pallets so about 2 feet off of the ground this crate also contains a nesting box, this is connected to an 8 x 8 chicken run that has a perch in it for them to roost on. it is at about the same height as my dog crate, however they do not sleep on the roost at night they go into the crate. should i make some small changes.
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2010
  5. ADozenGirlz

    ADozenGirlz The Chicken Chick[IMG]emojione/assets/png/00ae.png

    Oct 18, 2009
    Quote:I have a few habitual offenders who insist on trying to sleep in the nest boxes, so I have had to resort to blocking them off at night so they can't get in them and make a mess. I have done the "roost training" thing and placed teenagers up on the roosts at night so they learn that's where they should sleep. Some take to the idea quicker than others. Others just don't wish to be agitated by the birds higher up in the pecking order on the roosts and choose to sleep in a corner near the nest boxes.
    Most of them figure it out though.

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