Pooping in nest boxes


In the Brooder
8 Years
May 8, 2011
I just introduced my 4 week old chicks to the coop today and have noticed that they are pooping in the nest boxes. Obviously they won't be laying anytime soon, so do i need to be concerned about this or should I try to prevent it somehow?
Can you remove or block the nest boxes for the time being?

We have a rabbit who is pregnant for the first time and she keeps pooping in her nest box. I expect she'll birth on the wire, but hopefully she'll figure it out for next time. It often takes critters a time or two to get it. Perhaps the chickies will stop pooping in the nests once they start laying.
I wouldn't worry about it. Chickens poop in nesting boxes. That's just the way it is. Right now I am using grass as nesting material (I tend to use what's free and handy) so if the box gets real bad I just put some more grass on top to keep my eggs clean. Once in a while I clean out the boxes and just compost the poop/material mix. Some folks may like to keep their nesting boxes cleaner than I do, but this works for me (and the hens don't seem to mind).
Block off the boxes or they will continue to poop in the boxes once they start laying. Makes for dirty eggs. I used a small bucket and a cardboard box to block mine off. Took about 2-3 weeks but they stopped sleeping in the box and started roosting.
At 4 weeks I probably wouldn't worry about it -- but when they got closer to laying age, maybe 12 or 14 weeks, if they hadn't switched to the roosts by then, I'd definitely block off the nest boxes and start putting them on the roosts at dusk if they weren't going on their own. So far mine have switched on their own -- knock on wood.

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