Poop, eggs, and nesting boxes

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by ashleyg, Sep 23, 2010.

  1. ashleyg

    ashleyg New Egg

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    Sep 23, 2010
    Hi everyone!

    I'm new to backyard chickens, and my two hens started laying about three weeks ago. I was...unprepared for the poop. My hens unapologetically poop (huge poops) in their nesting boxes. I clean the boxes every morning, and every morning they are full of waste. Is this normal?

    Moreover, what do I do with the eggs? I don't wash the eggs if they are relatively clean, but I'm not sure what to do when they're covered...and I mean covered...in poop. Should I just throw them out? Or scrape off as much as I can and hope for the best?

    I'd really appreciate any and all advice.
     
  2. KellyHM

    KellyHM Overrun With Chickens

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    You can wash them as long as you're not planning on hatching them.
     
  3. KellyHM

    KellyHM Overrun With Chickens

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    Oh, and are the hens sleeping in the nest boxes? If so this would be why they're full of poop. They need to roost and the roost needs to be higher than the nest boxes.
     
  4. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    When you must wash eggs, be sure the water is warmer than the egg, to discourage bacteria from moving into the egg, through the shell.

    You may have to put them on the roost at night til they get the idea.

    If your roost is not the flat side of a 2x4, if it is narrower, or round like a closet pole, you will have a harder time getting them to accept it.

    You should get very little poop in the next boxes if they learn to roost. Good luck.
     
  5. MTFarm

    MTFarm Out Of The Brooder

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    You need to make sure your roosts are higher than your boxes as the birds like to roost on the highest available area.

    One option would be to 'correct' their placement once they're in for the night to assist them in knowing where to roost.

    Another would be to block access to your nest boxes overnight.

    Our boxes have perches that can be put up and act as barriers to the boxes. We utilized them when we had a similar problem. We also did better by raising our roost height.
     
  6. ashleyg

    ashleyg New Egg

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    Sep 23, 2010
    Thanks so much everyone. I'm sure they're sleeping in their nesting boxes. The roosts are slightly higher, but only slightly. I'll try taking them out tonight when I check for eggs. Not sure we can raise the roosts...due to the construction of our coop.

    Again, thanks!
     
  7. swimmer

    swimmer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I still have to block off my nest boxes at night. Every night. Or it's a big slumber party for the girls. Then when I go to open the coop door, I unblock the nest boxes. For some reason they don't like to roost. I have a 2x4, wide part down, but they still prefer to pile up. And it's up pretty high. I've given up going out every night trying to put them on their roosts. They are still only 15 weeks, so maybe they just don't get it yet.
     

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