POOPing on nest box!!!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Stephanie-n-Hayden, Jan 9, 2010.

  1. Stephanie-n-Hayden

    Stephanie-n-Hayden Chillin' With My Peeps

    112
    0
    109
    Aug 15, 2009
    I have been noticing that there is a LOT of poop on top of the nest box when I go in. Then, I realized that RIR is actually sleeping on top of the nest boxes rather than inside of them. This is unusual because she has always slept INSIDE then, never on top. And why would she? It's freezing out and instead of sleeping in the warm, pine/straw filled box, she chooses to sleep by herself on top of it. It makes no sense to me at all. I thought maybe the other hen who shares the space with her had taken over the preferred box but she has since moved over to another one and the RIR is still sleeping on top of the boxes. Does anyone know why on earth she would do this? She seems fine other than her wierd choice of sleeping arrangements.
     
  2. sillyaboutchickens

    sillyaboutchickens Out Of The Brooder

    62
    0
    29
    Aug 16, 2009
    NH
    Interesting that she used to sleep inside the nesting box.

    It has been my understanding that chickens prefer to roost at night. Some prefer to be as high up as possible. Nesting boxes are usually for egg laying, although our younger pullets who are not laying yet like to perch in the nesting boxes during the day. In the evening all of our chickens go up to the highest roosting bar in the coop and fluff themselves up for the evening. All seem to do just fine in our unheated coop where the temp is about the same as the outdoor temp and it has been in the single digits here. I know chickens need good ventilation and as long as the coop is dry, well ventilated, and drafts are minimized, chickens should be fine in the cold and do not typically seek out "warm, cozy" spaces. I think your chicken might like a nice high roosting bar.[​IMG] That might get her to stop pooping on the nesting box.
     
  3. TexasVet

    TexasVet Chillin' With My Peeps

    905
    2
    148
    Nov 12, 2008
    Willis TX
    ALL my chickens want to sleep in the nest boxes. Makes for a messy cleanup the next morning, which I no longer have time to do. So now I go out after dark and pull them out of their warm, cozy spots and put them up on a roost.

    Kathy, Bellville TX
    www.ChickenTrackin.com
     
  4. Stephanie-n-Hayden

    Stephanie-n-Hayden Chillin' With My Peeps

    112
    0
    109
    Aug 15, 2009
    Quote:I do have a roosting bar in the coop that is just a bit higher than the top of the nest boxes. And over the summer and fall, they all slept up there together. This has only happened recently. None of the chickens are roosting. The bantams all pile up in a nest box together to sleep and the other two (icluding the one I was talking about) sleep separately now. One in the nest box, and her on top, pooping her heart out. It's so gross. I just don't know what to do.
     
  5. Stephanie-n-Hayden

    Stephanie-n-Hayden Chillin' With My Peeps

    112
    0
    109
    Aug 15, 2009
    Quote:Yeah. I guess that's just where she wants to sleep. It's fine with me, I just don't like the mess it is making.
     
  6. briteday

    briteday Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 16, 2008
    Northern NV
    Maybe the unusually cold, wet winter that most of us are experiencing is conttributing to weird roosting / sleeping behaviors.

    Mine started trying out the nest boxes for sleeping. After several mornings of replacing the mess with clean (expensive) shavings...I started putting the black rubber feed bowls upside down in the nest boxes when I go out to close up the coop for the night. Just be sure to get out there bright and early in the morning to remove the bowls. Otherwise every day can turn into an egg hunt when they decide to find alternative places to lay.

    Since it is really cold and wet here this year I jsut bought a second bale of straw for the coop floor and put the whole thing in our 8 x 10 shed all at once. I usuallyy just add a flake of straw as it looks dirty, poopy, used in the shed. But I gave them the whole bale so they have something to play with, scratch about, entertain themselves, keep warmer, ...So if the chickens are nesting in the deep straw on the floor vs the roost, I leave them be for now. When the weather gets warmer I will put them up on the roost so that we don't create any real troubles once the coop gets the Spring cleaning and there isn't much straw on the floor.
     
  7. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    The top of my nest boxes is at a decent slant, so nobody could land up there without promptly sliding off...lol. Don't know why your birds are doing that, but you might temporarily tack a board (or even a sheet of heavy cardboard) at a slant overtop for a week or so...worth a shot.
     
  8. Baymen Moe

    Baymen Moe Chillin' With My Peeps

    522
    5
    139
    Jan 17, 2009
    Pembroke, Ma.
    Quote:I don't understand why you would want any chickens sleeping in the nest boxes, they are for egg laying. The poop on top of the box is expected because she is roosting higher than the nest. I'd rather clean poop off the top than from the inside of the nest box. The best sleeping arrangements would be a roost higher than the nest boxes away from the boxes. My roosts are on the opposite wall than my nest boxes and are higher. My coop is not insulated and my chickens always sleep on roost even on the coldest of nights. Had a low temp of 5 degrees recently. All the poop is deposited on my dropping boards.
     
  9. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    28,907
    126
    408
    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Quote:I don't understand why you would want any chickens sleeping in the nest boxes, they are for egg laying. The poop on top of the box is expected because she is roosting higher than the nest. I'd rather clean poop off the top than from the inside of the nest box. The best sleeping arrangements would be a roost higher than the nest boxes away from the boxes. My roosts are on the opposite wall than my nest boxes and are higher. My coop is not insulated and my chickens always sleep on roost even on the coldest of nights. Had a low temp of 5 degrees recently. All the poop is deposited on my dropping boards.

    [​IMG] Nestboxes are for egglaying. Roosts are for sleeping. It's a bit of work to correct it when the chickens get it wrong, but it can be done with consistency. Go out each night and move them to the roost until they get the idea.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by