Sleeping in laying box. Normal???????????

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Maine Chicken, Aug 14, 2008.

  1. Maine Chicken

    Maine Chicken New Egg

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    May 7, 2008
    Belfast, ME
    Hi there. I have 4 RIR that are about 14 weeks old. I have one laying box in their coop. They all 4 try to cram themselves into the 1 box (12"x12") when they sleep. They lay on top of each other. It is quite funny to see. Will they stop this when they start laying eggs? Are they supposed to use it as a bed? There is enough room in the coop itself to sleep (although it isn't overburdoned with size (4x4). They have plenty of room outside to move around. I wanted the coop to just be for sleeping and laying. What do you think?
     
  2. thechickenchick

    thechickenchick Born city, Living country

    Mar 8, 2008
    Eaton, Colorado
    My first batch never slept in the nest boxes. This second batch was. I would go out and place them on the roosts, but come morning they would be back in the boxes. Of course this meant poopy nesting boxes. Sometimes I didn't get a chance to clean them before the morning egg poduction! [​IMG] I added more roosts. still didn't help! So this is what I did. I stapled an old bed sheet on the top off the boxes. In the morning when I open their door I lift the sheet and hook it up. After everyone has layed , or at least before their bedtime, I drop the sheet. I do have one bantam that still manages to push the sheet aside and get in! Thats better than 10 though!
     
  3. ChickenToes

    ChickenToes Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 14, 2008
    NE Wisconsin
    How high is the box off the floor?

    Chickens like to sleep and roost as high as possible, so if the box is higher than the roosts they'll sleep in the box. It's a bad habit for them to get into because it can be hard to get them to stop.
     
  4. rooster-red

    rooster-red Here comes the Rooster

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    Jun 10, 2007
    Douglasville GA
    Do you have roosts for them?

    Your roosts need to be higher than the nest boxes so that they'll want to roost there instead of roosting and pooping in the nest boxes.
     
  5. mainely-chick

    mainely-chick Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 12, 2007
    Maine
    Temporary close in the nest boxes until they are near laying age. By that time they should have learned to use their roosts.
     
  6. Ellie

    Ellie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 10, 2007
    Redding, Ca.
    You know, my second batch does this too. I found a screen that is the same size and put it in front of the boxes when I get home from work and gather the days eggs. I then take it out in the morning. One still sneaks in the side but the others now roost on the new roost I built finally!.

    Now my 2 babies still stay clear of everyone else and roost on the top of their air conditioner!

    Ellie
     
  7. arlee453

    arlee453 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    I second the 'close off the boxes'. My boxes are at the same height as the roosts and I had the same problem.

    I ended up blocking off the boxes until they were 19 weeks old and by that time they had developed the habit of sleeping on the roosts, so they didn't go back to sleeping in the boxes.
     

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