Nesting or exploring?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by kareninthesun, Aug 4, 2011.

  1. kareninthesun

    kareninthesun Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm guessing exploring. My oldest hens, rhode islands, were hatched during the 3d week of June. There's no sign of one being a rooster yet. Once a week I deep clean and sanitize their coop. Their nesting boxes and sleeping roosts (more down the ramp) are on the second floor. They are happy spoiled girls. They free range during the day and put themselves to bed. Last night I let them stay out until they chose to go upstairs. I listened, a great deal of trilling back and forth. "Goodnight John boy. Goodnight Grandma..." this morning when I went to clean the top of the coop, every one of the 8 nesting boxes with alfalfa hay was well patted down. Only the one closest to the ramp had poop in it, sO think that one us a pecking order distance sleeping w/ the flock thing. But I think they are way to young to start laying. Do they sometimes do this just to pick a fav spot?
     
  2. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    Chickens like to sleep in the highest place they can, so if the nest boxes are higher than the roosts, that is probably why they are choosing to sleep there. This may become a problem if they continue to sleep there, as they will end up pooping in the nest boxes. It might be time to look at your set up and look at relocating the nest boxes lower than the roosts. Also, I would block them off for a few weeks until closer to the time they will need them for laying, to discourage their continuing to sleep there.
     
  3. savingpurple

    savingpurple Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have added a 2nd roost, lower than the origainal, and they all still go the highest, original roost there is! I have so very little experience, but that is what I have seen the last 2 weeks....
     
  4. kareninthesun

    kareninthesun Chillin' With My Peeps

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    There are roosting areas both down the ramp and up the ramp on the same floor as their nesting boxes, and the roosting area is above the nesting boxes. I thought perhaps they liked the boxes better because they get a little more air, but actually they get more air the higher they go up. Who knows? But I should discourage them from using the nesting boxes by either removing or blocking them off? I'm not asking to argue, but I am curious as to why. Is it to train the hens to go to the nesting boxes just to lay eggs, then sleep or do whatever else elsewhere? Soirt of like training them to accept that this specific area is for nursery related going ons?
     
  5. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    Aug 12, 2009
    BuCo, KS
    My Coop
    You just don't want them pooping in the nest boxes (and they do tend to poop from the roosts all night long). It will make for some messy eggs once they start laying.
     

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