New Hens Stay in Nesting Boxes All Day

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by porchet, Mar 12, 2013.

  1. porchet

    porchet New Egg

    Mar 12, 2013
    I'm brand new to chickens. 1-1/2 weeks ago I got my first two hens - 20 wk old white leghorns. We built a 2-story coop. Top floor has three nesting boxes and the perch. Bottom floor has the food, water and grass. The hens stay in the top floor all day. If I go jostle them out, they'll eat for five minutes and then go back up. I leave the door open so they can free range but they won't even leave the coop. No eggs yet. Should I just leave them alone?
  2. cinch920

    cinch920 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 4, 2013
    Central Nebraska
    Weird. That breed isn't known for setting.. and I don't think they're even old enough to even want to set yet..
  3. tadpole98

    tadpole98 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 20, 2012
    I would put something over the nest boxes so they cant get in, then maybe they will go out. But they will go in their own time, some chickens are out and about quickly, some are cautious and stay where they feel safe for a bit.
  4. porchet

    porchet New Egg

    Mar 12, 2013
    I can actually shoo them out and then close the sliding door to the upper level. Maybe I'll give that a try. Thanks!
  5. panyo85

    panyo85 New Egg

    Mar 13, 2013
    Houston, Tx
    Hi there,

    I just bought 2 production pullets from my feed store yesterday. They are about 12 weeks old and are doing the same thing....staying in their nesting box all day, had to shoo them out and now they are staying in the shade..sleeping...

    I don't get it? Is this normal? are they just adjusting to their new home?
  6. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 15, 2011
    SE Pa.
    Some takes a while for them to feel comfortable enough to venture out. If the feed is down stairs and since they now know if, I'd leave it to them to come out when they get hungry and thirsty.

    With chickens that have been partially raised it is common for them to sleep in the nest boxes, at least at first. Chances are that they never have seen a perch and only have slept on the floor. If you have time before they will start to lay block the nest boxes off so they don't get into the habit of sleeping in them. It might help to put the on the perch at night for a while.

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