Nesting box question

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by SteveandJayneO, Jun 2, 2010.

  1. SteveandJayneO

    SteveandJayneO Out Of The Brooder

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    May 10, 2009
    Harpers Ferry Wv
    I have 3 cat litter boxes for 7 chickens. One they have all decided to poop in. (I put it in the wrong place) But they all seem to use just one of them. If I put a few boxes with straw on the floor of the coop would they use them? I have chickens sitting on top of each other and one that hardly ever leaves the box at all.
     
  2. suzannaski

    suzannaski Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 31, 2009
    Berlin
    Hi
    For what it's worth, I have two hens and two boxes. They take turns in the box furthest from the little window. This winter, I added hay on top of the boxes for insulation, and they made two nests up there, too. They poop in the one on the window side and occasionally lay an egg on the other side now that its warmer and they are back to using the "bottom bunk". All winter, they laid their eggs in the "top bunk". Is there anything near the other boxes that they don't use that would make those locations less desirable? Maybe there is less headroom above the nest that your hens fight over. I think they like to feel enclosed. Or at least mine do. I let my chicks out the other day, and they stayed under the wheelbarrow, convinced that the world was just way too big.
    Based on where I saw the poop in the other "top bunk" nest, and based on watching the new chicks roost on the edge of their dishpan/nest, I'd guess that you hens are poopin' while their roostin'? Sounds like you're okay with it.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2010
  3. SteveandJayneO

    SteveandJayneO Out Of The Brooder

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    May 10, 2009
    Harpers Ferry Wv
    Maybe. The box is in the back corner. A wall on one side, maybe more enclosed feeling?
     
  4. write2caroline

    write2caroline Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 21, 2009
    Jacksonville
    Mine like to nest in a milk crate and the coop which is an A frame has nest boxes on each end but they all like to lay in the westerly box - when I move the coops - it is always that side! GO figure!!!
    Caroline
     
  5. SteveandJayneO

    SteveandJayneO Out Of The Brooder

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    May 10, 2009
    Harpers Ferry Wv
    I have a milk crate in the garage. I'm going to put it on the floor with straw in it. Do i sit it right side up or with the opening on the side. Maybe Hazel will sit her fat butt in there, ha ha
     
  6. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Do you have a broody hen (you mentioned one hardly leaves the nest box)??? A broody hen will puff up and make kind of a growling sound when you reach in???
     
  7. SteveandJayneO

    SteveandJayneO Out Of The Brooder

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    May 10, 2009
    Harpers Ferry Wv
    yes. I definitely have a broody hen. I'm not sure what to do. I keep taking her out. Will it hurt her to sit there most of the time? I don't have any roosters so nothing is ever going to hatch.
     
  8. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Quote:Well, some take horrible care of themselves, so she'll lose quite a bit of weight. But if you've been bumping her off the nest everyday, then she's probably eating then before returning to the nest. You can search "breaking a broody" and find different ways to do so, the most common way being to keep her in an elevated wire cage/dog kennel to keep air circulating around her for a few days with nothing but food/water (no bedding). I went through this (no rooster/no eggs) and just let mine sit, although I would toss her off the nest 2x a day to force her to eat, drink, and poop. After her 21 day "grace period" I kept blocking her from the coop (except at night time when I'd place her on the roost) for two days and she finally snapped out of it. Of course you won't get eggs from her in all of those days if you let her sit, and for a period afterward (probably due to the weight loss). Good luck!
     

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