Pooping in the nesting box

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by xfireman805, Nov 1, 2015.

  1. xfireman805

    xfireman805 Hatching

    May 26, 2015
    I have 34 pullets, now about 20 weeks old, I check the nexting boxes daily eargerly awaiting my first egg, but all I find is poop....of which I scoop out. Any thoughts or ideas?
  2. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    Maybe you need to leave the nest boxes open during the morning. At noon, close them so the hens can't have access to them. Typically, hens lay in the morning times.

  3. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

    Feb 25, 2014
    Northwestern Wyoming
    My Coop
    I would be willing to bet they are sleeping the nest boxes and not roosting at night. Are the roosts higher than the nests? Are the roosts comfortable for sleeping?

    If they are indeed sleeping in the boxes (and I have three that still do despite my best efforts) then you can try to do a couple of things. You can totally block access to the nests come roosting time and open them back up first thing in the morning. That's what I have to do, doggone it! I have some lattice that I simply bungee cord in front of them so they have to sleep on the roosts. Some say you can go out after dark and take them out of the nests and put them on the roosts and that after doing that a few times they will get the idea. Um, mine didn't read that advice. I did that over and over again, but at the first opportunity they are right back in there! I never had this issue with my first batch of chickens - but boy this year's chicks are stubborn! I should have covered them right off, but I had older girls actually laying eggs like they were supposed to and hated to confuse them. I ended up having to do it anyway. Fortunately they forgive me, and they are all but standing in front of the nests with their legs crossed when I go out there before dawn to open the nests up for them. Now all of the young pullets are laying as well, but come nighttime if those nests are still open I will find at least 3 of them snuggled down for bed, each in the nest box of her choosing. <sigh>

    @aart has also come up with a way to cover the boxes, but does it a little differently, covering the boxes in the early evening and then going out after dark to uncover them for early layers. I can't so it that way because there is still a little light in their coop from the yard light, and they can see well enough to scoot right in there if I uncover it before morning. Since yours aren't laying yet, you can close off access to the nests and wait until you find that first egg. But if I was a betting person, I'd bet that after this long you'll still have to cover them at night.

    Edited to add: @CTKen How'd you get that lucky? I still have girls going strong until after 3 in the afternoon!!
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2015
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Ditto the sleeping in nests instead of on roosts.
    Do you have enough roost space for 34 birds?

    Go into coop after dark and see where they are sleeping, if they are in nests move them to the roosts.

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