Pullets sleeping in Nest Boxes.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by frogman, Sep 13, 2016.

  1. frogman

    frogman Chirping

    Mar 20, 2015
    I have (2) 1yr old hens and added 3 pullets when they were 1mth old. (Now 22wks) They are certainly on the bottom of the pecking order - very skidish around the hens. One of the chicks is always sleeping in the nest box. We have tried placing them on the roost after dark, closed off the boxes (then they sleep on the floor).

    There is only one roosting bar 1x4" that is 4ft long. It was higher than the boxes but they sat on the side and hung there behinds over the edge and pooped in the boxes. So we lowere the roost 5" below the box level.

    Any suggestions

  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Chicken tender Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    You need at least 2 roosts, the young ones won't be allowed next to the older ones.
  3. Reconfigure the inside of your coop so they all have a place to roost...It will take time for the new birds to be established in the flock. With that said, what is happening is normal behaviour...

    Good luck
  4. DanEP

    DanEP Songster

    May 15, 2010
    Cadiz Ky
    x2 It may take months before the new girls are allowed to sleep next to the old girls if ever. Also raise the roost back up to a higher level than the nest boxes, there will always be a few girls that are going to try and sleep in the highest spot available be it roost or nest.

  5. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road 5 Years

    Nov 7, 2012
    What are the dimensions of your coop? It sounds like your coop may be too small to allow adequate roosting for all of the girls. I'd recommend blocking off the nest box late every afternoon and then opening it up early AM, give the younger girls an alternate roost, until they've been roosting well for over a week. Best to get this done well before they reach laying age.
  6. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Crowing 7 Years

    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    It's always a problem when putting new birds in with flock that they shelter in the nesting boxes at night. To stop them from doing this put used feed bags in the nests at night. Yeah, it's a minor pain but eventually the new flock members and pullets will learn, be allowed, to roost with the other birds. It's a yearly ritual here and not hard to do. Grab the bags on way out to close up the coop, push birds of nests and replace them with the empty balled up feed bag. In a few months you don't need to do this anymore and in the meanwhile are keeping the nests clean for clean eggs.
  7. frogman

    frogman Chirping

    Mar 20, 2015
    I have also found soft shelled eggs in the poop tray about 3-4 over the last 2 wks. Not sure if a new chick doesn't know where to lay or they wont because there is poop in the nest.

  8. Sometimes soft shelled eggs are caused by stress...Sounds like it to me being the other birds have not allowed them to become part of the flock yet...Only you can figure out what to do...

    Good luck
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member 5 Years

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Soft shelled egg are pretty normal for new layers...the soft ones may come as more of a surprise, or just doesn't feel like en egg....so they don't go to nest.

    Have the new girls laid in the nest at all?
    They may be being bullied away from nests too.

    Agrees.... another roost for the juniors, cover nests so they can't sleep in them.

  10. frogman

    frogman Chirping

    Mar 20, 2015
    I do think it is a new chick laying - just about the right time. So thanks, good to know.

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