Sleepin' in the nestbox

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by cookinmom, Apr 26, 2007.

  1. cookinmom

    cookinmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 14, 2007
    Saint George GA
    My chickens are months away from laying eggs, and a bunch of them have taking to piling up in one of the nestboxes to sleep at night. I really didn't want them to do this yet, so the nestboxes will stay sort of clean when the eggs start coming. How can I discourage them from sleeping here? They have roosts right now made of 1x2s, but tomorrow we're taking those out and putting shelf type roosts instead. (I saw them in a picture of someone's coop here on the forum.) I'm hoping that when they have a comfy-er place to sleep they will move out of the nestbox. I haven't put hay in them yet, hoping that would keep them from getting in them.

    Anybody got any suggestions?
     
  2. AccidentalFarm

    AccidentalFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 29, 2007
    Block off the nestboxes so the chicks can't get into them.
    Are they warm enough? They may be piling because they are cold.
     
  3. Blondie

    Blondie Chillin' With My Peeps

    My 24 chickens are about 2 months old and they also are sleeping in three nest boxes. (How do they fit in there??) There are eight boxes, but they squish in 3 of them.

    Why shouldn't we let them sleep in there?
     
  4. Rafter 7 Paint Horses

    Rafter 7 Paint Horses Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 13, 2007
    East Texas
    When the hens sleep in the nest boxes, they poop in them. It is better to break them of the habit as soon as you can.

    Otherwise you will have very dirty eggs, or you will be out there cleaning the nests out every morning at sunrise in order to keep your eggs from being nasty from the dirty nestbox.


    Jean
     
  5. cookinmom

    cookinmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 14, 2007
    Saint George GA
    When I first noticed them doing this I thought they were cold, so I lowered the heat lamp. Even with it blasting right on them, and 80 degrees, they still piled up in the box.

    I'll find something to put in the boxes so they can't get in. It is hysterical when you peek in and see 4 chickens in there, and then, POP! two more stick up their heads from the middle of the pile!
     
  6. Critter Crazy

    Critter Crazy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 19, 2007
    Binghamton, NY
    I had this same problem, till someone pointed out to me, that my perches werent high enough, so once I raised my perches, the nest boxes no longer looked good, and I havent had any birds sleep in the nestboxes since!
     
  7. cookinmom

    cookinmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 14, 2007
    Saint George GA
    Thanks Maggie! We're putting in the new ones today, so I'll make sure they're high enough. Perfect timing on your part! [​IMG]
     
  8. ChickenMommy

    ChickenMommy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 9, 2007
    North East Texas
    My chickens did this when they first went out to the coop. It was so funny to see all 6 of them squeeze into 1 nest box!
    It took them a couple weeks to figure out there were even perchs on the 2nd level of the coop. They are 12 weeks old now and ALL sleep on the perches now!
     
  9. AccidentalFarm

    AccidentalFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 29, 2007
    Another solution is to not provide nest boxes at all until the birds are old enough to to start laying. I haven't put in nest boxes yet. My girls are currently figuring out who gets the best perch spots. By the time the nest boxes arrive, they will all have chosen their favorite perches.
     
  10. steffpeck

    steffpeck Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 25, 2007
    Erda, UT
    Dumb question probably, but what is the best height for nest boxes and perches. We are starting our coop tomorrow.
     

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