Pullets sleeping in nesting box?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by CityslickerHomestead, May 21, 2019.

  1. CityslickerHomestead

    CityslickerHomestead Songster

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    I have eight, nine-week-old pullets. They used to sleep in a dog-pile on the floor of their coop (night time temps range from 26-35F). Three days ago I saw all but one dog-piled into a nesting box at bed time. I assumed they were trying to stay warm. The one loner I think has bad vision and is a scaredy cat, so she is usually left out. Also the box only fits seven of them.

    The nesting boxes are in line with the the highest roosting bar, so I now know I need to address that issue and lower the nesting boxes or raise the roosting bars. The total roosting bar space is 8 feet of 2x4s with wide side up. Currently all chicks could fit on one bar. With room to spare.

    Will they grow out of this or do I have to intervene? I don’t want them to be cold so I haven’t bothered moving them. One of my chicks is a “failure to thrive” and still has her chick down and some scraggly teenage feathers. She relies on the bigger girls to cuddle her.
     
  2. chickens really

    chickens really Crazy Call Duck Momma

    Block off the nest boxes now before laying starts...They will Roost.
     
  3. Criticalicious

    Criticalicious Songster

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    Unless you want this practice to continue you have to intervene. They will be plenty warm roosting on the roost bars and less likely someone gets squished under the heap. They are not roosting because they don't know any better but they can and will learn.
     
  4. chrissynemetz

    chrissynemetz Free Ranging

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    I learned the hard way many years ago, it's easier to train them out of it now while they're young, than it is to train them out of it when they're adults. I would block off the nest boxes until they start laying :)
     
  5. Santa Claus

    Santa Claus Chirping

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    Yep, no nests until they start laying. I use roosts in the nursery coop( sits next to the main coop so they can see each other but can’t touch) most of the top of the pecking order will roost straight away and the low pecking order will pile on the ground until they get to the main coop. But I always have a few that try to roost in the nests. So I use a blocker and remove the hens at pm egg collection.
     
  6. CityslickerHomestead

    CityslickerHomestead Songster

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    And here I thought chickens would just naturally gravitate towards the bars. :oops: I have a lot to learn.
     
  7. chrissynemetz

    chrissynemetz Free Ranging

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    @CityslickerHomestead most chicks will naturally roost as they get older. But if they start off sleeping nice and comfy in a nest box, some decide they prefer it. It's a pain to break them once they've decided to sleep there lol
     
  8. Mine did! They slept in a five chicken lump in a nesting box until they moved to their big girl coop. The very first night they all hopped up on the perches and that's where they sleep. So...I didn't even worry about it. I figured they'd figure it out and they did.
     
  9. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

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    You have that special needs chicken. Obviously she can get to the nest but can she get to the roosts when you reconfigure the coop? She needs to be able to get up and down. You've probably thought of this.

    You are on the right track to raise the roosts or lower the nests. Often that will work by itself but yours may have gotten into a habit that they need help breaking. At that age blocking the nests is easier than trying to move them after dark. I'd want the nests open by 16 weeks though so I don't take the chance of training them to lay somewhere that is not the nests. If some move back to the nests when you open them then you will need to take a different approach.

    Normal 9 week old chicks don't have problems with your temperatures on the roosts, they should not be sleeping in the nests to stay warm. But you have one that is not normal, i don't know how she will factor into this. I've never had one like you describes so I have no experience dealing with it. I wish you luck.
     
  10. Mybackyardpeepers

    Mybackyardpeepers Crowing

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    I put no because I have never witnessed them do it they have always roosted all together, but my nesting box looks like someone might of tried to.
     

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