Raise your hand (wing?) if you let 'em sleep in the nest box!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by bristolsouth, Sep 16, 2011.

  1. bristolsouth

    bristolsouth Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 7, 2011
    South Carolina
    I see all these posts about moving pullets who like to sleep in their nest boxes/nest shelf every night until they get the hang of sleeping on roosts. My girls are 23 weeks old, and ever since I moved them outside at 10 weeks, all 7 plus the roo have slept in the nest shelf. They learned to lay eggs there, and with my kids mucking out the shelf a couple times a week, the eggs stay mostly clean. I didn't know about teaching them to sleep on the roosts until it was too late. I guess I just need a few encouraging shout-outs from others who let their chickies sleep wherever they want and deal with a few tiny poo spots on the eggs. Anyone? Please?
     
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Nope, I even kick out my mama hen with her two chicks now that they are fully feathered.

    No poo on my eggs! [​IMG]

    Be firm- you are the head hen, lol. [​IMG]

    JMO by the way and I'm teasing about trying to tell YOU what to do. To each his/her own, I say!
     
  3. nest box needs to be the cleanest part of the coop. Remember eggs are porous. By the time you see a poop spot on the outside the pathogens are already in the egg. Also if one of your hens goes broody there will be a fight and probably broken eggs at night when they want to go to bed. There are many other very good reasons we dont let chickens sleep in the box
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2011
  4. Drop your boxes to 18 inches off ground and make your lowest perch 24 inches then another one above that at at least 36 inches or more. Put a slant roof on nesting boxes. they will naturally go higher to feel safe at night.
     
  5. bristolsouth

    bristolsouth Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 7, 2011
    South Carolina
    So, how do I teach them at this point? The nest shelf is high in the coop (trying to create that dark, private atmosphere...) Would moving the nest shelf down to below the highest perch do it? Or am I really going to have to sneak in there after dark and haul their fluffy little butts down to the roosts every night?!
     
  6. FuzzyButtsFarm

    FuzzyButtsFarm Rest in Peace 1950-2013

    I just got through doing that cause I moved the roosts around when I cleaned today. 3 were sleeping on the edge of the nest, milk crate, boxes. I moved the die hards to an empty, and I emphasize empty roost higher that the crates. I'll see what happens tomorrow. lol
     
  7. bristolsouth

    bristolsouth Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 7, 2011
    South Carolina
    Thank you to bairo for the info! Will do.
     
  8. nanawendy

    nanawendy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 28, 2009
    Bellingham Wa
    When my littles are first introduced they get to sleep in the nest. Then I gradually kick them out onto the roost.
     
  9. ADozenGirlz

    ADozenGirlz The Chicken Chick[IMG]emojione/assets/png/00ae.png

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    Oct 18, 2009
    Connecticut
    You can try blocking off the nest boxes at night so they can't sleep in there, just be sure you wake up early enough to open them back up for early birds to lay their eggs.
    Then you can try putting them up on the roosts at dusk when it's still light enough for them to see but not so light that they'll want to hop down and sleep on the floor. It's going to be a pain, but it's better than dirty eggs.
     
  10. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Quote:Oh! That's the cause of your problem then - the nest boxes need to be LOWER than the perches as they like the highest place in the coop to roost at night.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2011

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