sleeping in nest box?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Aub, May 19, 2011.

  1. Aub

    Aub Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 8, 2011
    I have 5 hens about 10 weeks old. They all want to squish into one nest box to sleep, we have 2. They are not small girls (well, Nugget is) so I'm afraid someone is going to get hurt or over heat.
    Is it ok for them to be sleeping in there? Will it change once the egg laying starts?

    Thanks!
     
  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    If they are only ten weeks old I would block off the nestboxes. It is definitely not okay for them to sleep in there. Once your eggs start coming they will continue to sleep in there. Sleep+poo+eggs = poop covered eggs.

    Are your nestboxes higher than your roosts? Chickens want to go as high as possible to roost. If your nestboxes are higher, that's where they'll want to go. If your roosts are higher and they've just developed the bad habit anyhow, just close your nestboxes off until they get the right idea about sleeping on the roosts. They won't need the boxes for several weeks yet.
     
  3. Aub

    Aub Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks! I will get it blocked off tomorrow morning. They don't seem to give a hoot about their roost. It's an old 1x2 I think, I just found it laying in my hubby's workshop and I snagged it. It sets up on bricks right now but maybe I'll anchor it to the sides of the coop a little higher.
     
  4. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    They might like it a little better if it's a little wider, especially when they are older. Maybe they are bothered by its not being anchored; that has happened to me with small chicks.
     
  5. ragerkid2

    ragerkid2 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It should be atleast 1 ft higher than the neat box's
     
  6. Aub

    Aub Out Of The Brooder

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    A foot higher! I think I'll be making a new coop. It was supposed to be one of the ones you move around the yard, but it takes 2 adults just to scoot it!
     
  7. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Quote:Even a small height adjustment can make a big difference. I have to keep my roosts and my nestboxes fairly low to the ground in my one coop, because I have very large fowl chickens; don't want them injuring a leg jumping down from too high. My roosts are only about 4" higher than the nestboxes, but it is enough of a difference. They use the roosts.
     
  8. char259

    char259 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Learned something new. My nest boxes need to be closer to the ground!
    Will fix that asap!

    Thanks.
     
  9. naturemama

    naturemama New Egg

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    May 14, 2011
    I've had two ladies (20 weeks old) sleeping on top of the nesting boxes, even though it's a sloped roof, no poop getting into boxes but i still want them to use those roosting bars, sounds like maybe we should raise them up, how much head space do they need (coop is about 4 feet high) and maybe block off space above nesting boxes?
     
  10. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    I have had some of my older, larger ladies choose the top of the nest box for sleeping. It happens to be vinyl so no hassle to clean. I never ran them off because I thought they might have a problem that made sleeping on a larger surface more comfortable -- maybe an arthritic hip or something, who knows. I often have one or more sleeping somewhere besides the roost. I don't worry about it if it's not in the nest box.
     

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