Sleeping in laying boxes.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Newtochickens9, Sep 21, 2011.

  1. Newtochickens9

    Newtochickens9 New Egg

    Sep 21, 2011
    I am new to backyard chicken raising but have 9 little girles in my coop. They are 12 weeks old. I placed them in the coop 2 weeks ago and they are doing great in there new home, except I haven't provided them with a roost so they are sleeping in the nesting boxes. I will be putting a roost in there tomorrow, when I put it in there will they automatically quit sleeping in the nesting boxes? If not is there any thing I can do to break them of the habit? On the other hand is it a problem for them to sleep in the boxes? The only problem I see is that they also use the nesting boxes as a restroom, and this may be normal. As a chicken newbie I am clueless to their habits and behavior. Any and all help will be greatly appreciated.
  2. Johnn

    Johnn Overrun With Chickens

    Sep 5, 2011
    Is your roost higher then the nesting box? my 2 orpingotns slept in the nesting box's untill i got a new shed with perches higher than the nesting box and after that they both moved out of that shed and lived with the others in the big shed and have never slept in there since. (well one of them hasnt because the other died)
  3. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

    Sep 25, 2007
    Well hello there, and welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    YOu need to make sure your roost is HIGHER than the nest boxes; they will want to roost in the highest location they can get to. If they continue sleeping in the nest boxes, that is a big "no-no" as they will soil the boxes, and thus, when begin laying eggs, your eggs will be quite dirty.

    What you can do is simply place a bucket or a wad of empty feedsacks into the nest boxes AT NIGHT. Remove early in the morning, and replace each night. It will take about a week, but they'll be permanently discouraged from sleeping there if you keep it up long enough.

    Best of luck!
  4. shelby528

    shelby528 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 5, 2009
    Mine sleep on both and its a little more inconvienent when I have to clean them every couple of days but mine dont break eggs in the nests so its not big deal. Or what you could do to make sure they dont sleep in them is cover them with wood or do what my grandma did and put basketballs in them so they have no room to sleep in them at all. [​IMG] I used to cover mine with wood but I figured it wasnt a big deal..and it wasnt [​IMG] I have over 500 birds...and have I believe now like 50 or more nest I quit covering them up lol
  5. Chick Norris

    Chick Norris Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 16, 2011
    Chester County, PA
    They very well may take to the roosts automatically as long as they are higher than the nests. If they don't, try closing off the nest boxes with a piece of plywood until they are closer to laying age. That way they will have no choice but to use the roosts.
  6. yellowirenut

    yellowirenut Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 27, 2011
    New haven, IN
    I have one that seems to prefer the nest box over the roost. She is happy and its just one.
  7. Iamjero

    Iamjero Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 10, 2011
    Gonzales, La
    Ive got three hens (Ching, Chang, and Chong) and they have been laying eggs for about 2 months now. I built the basic coop and covered run for them, put em in there, and continued to work on the coop by adding the nesting box, a door hung feeder, and finially the roosts.

    They initially slept on the floor of the coop, since that was there only option, but after I added the nesting boxes they quickly began sleeping in the nesting boxes all night.. and pooping.

    I guess they slept in the nesting boxes for four or five weeks... maybe six, so I imagine the behavior is pretty engrained. Its been a week since I put the roosts up (higher than the nesting boxes) and for the last two nights Ive been blocking the nesting boxes.

    I think it has thrown them for a loop because two of them sleep on top of each other in the doorway, right next to the blocked nesting boxes, and the other hen sleeps on the outside roost. I dont personally care where they sleep, but its gonna get cold soon and they will be crazy to sleep outside.

    I guess we will see if chickens have any sense at all.

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