Should hens sleep in nesting boxes?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by cricket1975, Aug 5, 2011.

  1. cricket1975

    cricket1975 New Egg

    8
    0
    7
    Apr 4, 2011
    I have 3 leghorn and 4 rhode island red hens. They are 16 weeks old. They've been sleeping in their nesting box for quite some time. I read somewhere I should block the nesting box off? Not sure what to do?
     
  2. dsqard

    dsqard Crazy "L" Farms

    5,312
    212
    311
    Jun 11, 2010
    York PA
    I think the main reason to discourage this is so the nest boxes stay cleaner. If they are sleeping in the boxes they are probably pooping in the boxes. If they are only laying eggs in the boxes, there is a lot less mess.
     
  3. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Chicken pass an incredible amount of poop while sleeping. Sleeping in the boxes should be highly discouraged. If the roosts are higher than the boxes, they'll choose the roost as they feel safer up high. If chicks or pullets are sleeping in the nesting boxes, block them off until such time as the chickens use them for their intended purpose.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2011
  4. newchickgal

    newchickgal Chillin' With My Peeps

    499
    1
    121
    Nov 17, 2009
    Republic of Panama
    Can you give them a low roost for them to sit on at night? Chicks love to be up higher and this may be the reason. Mine have a roost so at night they sleep there and have no interest in the boxes until the time of day that they lay.
     
  5. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

    25,559
    67
    411
    Sep 25, 2007
    Michigan
    To block off nest boxes - easy as putting wadded up old feed sacks or small buckets in at night. But you must remove them early in the morning- they should be "open for business" all day long.
     
  6. flowergirl60

    flowergirl60 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 13, 2011
    Austin Tx
    I have 3 hens and one older one always goes to the nest box to sleep. There is not alot of poop in the morning so I just let her sleep there if she wants.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by