nesting boxes off limits for chicks?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by hensandchickscolorado, Jul 6, 2011.

  1. hensandchickscolorado

    hensandchickscolorado Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 14, 2011
    Englewood Colorado
    My chicks went out into their coop a few weeks ago (8 weeks old now) and just this week have taken to sleeping IN their nesting boxes. All 5 of them piled up on top of one another in 2 boxes! The first time they did this, I thought something happened--I checked on the coop and didn't see them--they normally had been sleeping on a roost! I laughed when I saw them all piled up in there.

    However...after 3 nights of this, the boxes are full of poo AND I don't really want them used for sleeping, do I?

    Today I put hardware cloth in to block off the boxes. At bedtime, they chirped LOUDLY and ANGRILY for a long time, poking at the wire and piling up all over one another to try to get up there. They were more stressed than I had ever seen them!

    Is it okay for chicks to sleep in the nesting boxes?? Maybe it's a good thing? I put straw in the boxes as opposed to the pine shavings in the rest of the coop--maybe they just like straw and I should make a pile in the coop?

    Please, any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

    Last edited: Jul 6, 2011
  2. SoORchick73

    SoORchick73 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 9, 2011
    From what I have read, and been told when I posted the same question to wait to offer the nest boxes when they are closer to laying age for this very reason. Because you DONT want them sleeping and pooping in them. Id leave the hardware cloth up closer to 18-20 weeks. That is what im doing. HTH [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2011
  3. Tam'ra of Rainbow Vortex

    Tam'ra of Rainbow Vortex Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 30, 2009
    Rogue Valley, S. Oregon
    They'll grow out of it... eventually. I just sigh and scoop out the poo. But I also have 8 nest boxes (4 ground floor, 4 second story) so the hens avoid laying in the chicks' bedroom mostly.
  4. Fritatta

    Fritatta Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 16, 2011
    Woodstock, GA
    Maybe try some different roosting options?

    many folks say a 2x4 is the best. you'd think the would like a natural branch, as i see in the pic, but not necessarily. A crate is attractive to chicks, they can hop all over and it is like a semi-roost, but has more stability than a branch.

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