Poop in the nesting boxes?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by JustMandy, Dec 14, 2010.

  1. JustMandy

    JustMandy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 2, 2010
    It's been really cold here and due to light, I haven't had eggs in over a week. I've still been checking and a few days ago, I notices poop in the nesting boxed. they have always kept them quite clean so I thought it odd.

    I cleaned out the nesting boxes the other day, and they are loaded with poo again. Are they sleeping in there b/c of the cold? Will they use them as nesting boxes again once they start laying again?

    They are a bump out from the coop if that helps.
  2. Ang

    Ang Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 2, 2008
    West Central Illinois
    Mine crowd into the nest boxes when it is this cold out. I even had a rooster sitting in one this morning...on an egg even!
  3. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Mine slept on the roosts last night and it was below 20 with 15 mph winds -- and I have a very open air coop.

    We need a lot more info. Where are you, size of coop, number of chickens, how the ventilation works, how high the roosts and nests are. Are you talking about external nest boxes?

    Just from what you have said, my guess is they were trying to escape draft, not cold.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 14, 2010
  4. Mattemma

    Mattemma Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 12, 2009
    I noticed poo in some of my egg crates. I would say they are sleeping in them. I just toss and refill with straw. I hate it when they drop an egg in before it is cleaned!

    I added straw and more shavings in other areas hoping they will stop roosting in the boxes.Atleast they don't poop in all the nest boxes!
  5. chuckzoo

    chuckzoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 20, 2009
    Tuscaloosa, Alabama
    Quote:I bet they are looking for a warmer place to sleep. Mine did that to last winter because I has straw in the nesting box and wood shaving in the coop. Straw is much warmer so they went in there. When I realized it I put straw in the coop too, a thick layer, and every night I would put an overtuned bowl in the nesting box to discourge them from going in there. It didn't take long to break them of the habit because they had not been doing it long, so the quicker you nip it in the bud the better.

    Good luck.
  6. elieugene6

    elieugene6 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 17, 2010
    Western ny
    Yeah they are probably sleeping in there. I have two that started when the weather got cold. Mostly the rooster can't fit. He's a jersey giant and looks funny trying but the jersey giant pullet will sleep inside on the colder nights. They go back to their original roost spots when it warms up a bit. We are having weird weather. Single digits one day and back up to 35 the next. When its warmer they are on their original roost. They are outcasts at the moment as well so they don't get to roost with the others. So that might be why one or more of yours are in there.
  7. BeccaB00

    BeccaB00 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 16, 2010
    My chickens get in their nesting boxes and scratch around, whether theres bedding or not. So it's not uncommon for them to leave presents behind [​IMG] They should still use their nesting boxes come spring.
  8. RIBill

    RIBill Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 7, 2010
    Mine sleep on the roosts, but I still end up with poop in the nest boxes. The boxes are only a couple inches off the floor. Their light comes on at 4 so they do their digging/scratching thing for 2-3 hours before they are let out. I find it's less mess if I have a little extra litter, but even then, they track it in. Even still, the eggs come out pretty clean.
  9. plantmgr

    plantmgr Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 13, 2010
    I always have poop in the nesting boxes too. I know they sleep in them. My coop is small and the only perch I have is outside. There is a little lip on the edge of each box, and they kind of perch on them. Even one of the roosters. I have 21 one nesting boxes, but they only lay in about 4 or 5. Yesterday I found 8 in one box. I just clean the poop out regularly and put shavings in the boxes. I hope to get my husband to build a couple of perches in the coop.

    Anyway, I find that poop happens, and I just deal with it. [​IMG]
  10. JustMandy

    JustMandy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 2, 2010
    Okay, good to know it's normal! I'll see if I can figure out/do something to make it warmer.

    They have plenty of roost space, 18-24 inches from floor of coop, 2x4s layed flat. The nesting boxes are part of the coop, but not the foot print. I used a small kitchen cabnet and it hangs out the side. I dont' have a pic or I'd post it. The coop it 8x6 for 9 chickens.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by