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Sleeping in nest boxes. Help, me.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by lydiagirl99, Oct 2, 2016.

  1. lydiagirl99

    lydiagirl99 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So. I have now had this problem for a couple months and it's driving me crazy and I would really appreciate some advice. So I have an original flock of 4 hens. They dominate my current flock of 15 ( Except one of them who is on the bottom after she went broody ). They always get the perches in the coop where the other chickens wont go. They instead sleep INSIDE of the nesting boxes. It used to only have dividers and no top and they roosted on the dividers so I added a top to it and they now sleep inside of the nesting boxes. I have no Idea why. I even added another big perch by the nesting boxes and they still sleep inside of them. That's 11 chickens in 6 nesting boxes. They are now full of poop no matter how much I try and clean them up. I have tried redirecting them with no avail. Please. Any advice on this ? I want them to be able to use the nesting boxes in the spring for my broodies.
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

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    Quite often molting hens will start sleeping in the nestboxes, so that's a possibility. Otherwise not enough comfortable roosts can cause it too. If no one is laying I would block them with something like buckets, or feed sacks to break them of the habit. Are your roosts higher than the nestboxes? Chickens will always want to roost at the highest possible point.
     
  3. SuperK

    SuperK Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hi Lydiagirl99,
    I know this is an older thread but I am having the same trouble. I have two sets of Mama's that are teaching their little one that it's okay to sleep in the nest boxes. We put up with it far too long,as they are now 7 weeks old (on Sept 30 2016), Oh, both mom's are adoptive, taking 6 chicks each for a total of 12, though we did lose one to hen pecking.
    Well, water under the bridge time wise so now we are going to actually put up a false wall or facade, with cutout access to each of the 5 nest boxes we have. That way they won't have any way in except for the new cutouts and the false wall allows us to add a inner sliding panel to close all 5 openings completely. We'll do this after the egg laying is done but before they come in to roost. I have natural branches for them to roost on but until now they have preferred the nest boxes. We have now gotten past the breaking point with the constant cleaning of the nest boxes.
    I know you have solved the issue in your coop, but I thought I'd offer a possible solution to those that may be having the same problem as we are.
     
  4. lydiagirl99

    lydiagirl99 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The perches are not higher than the nest boxes, besides the ones that only a few can fly to. Hopefully I can find things to block them and they'll learn otherwise.Thank you !!
     
  5. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    That's your problem. Raise the roosts and ensure that they are appropriately sized. Or lower the nests.
     
  6. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

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    Yes your roosts need to be higher than the boxes, sounds like you need to change things around a bit, otherwise they will always want to go in the boxes.
     
  7. TeeMom

    TeeMom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We have a large coop and our roosting bars are at multiple levels to accommodate the younger birds as well as those at the top of the totem pole. The lowest roost is a bit lower than the higher level of our two tier nest boxes. We had the same problem when we first opened up this coop, so I just bought a tarp to pull down over the front of the boxes to block access overnight. Solved that problem and now even when I don't cover the nest boxes they are out of the habit of using them and roost elsewhere. Now...if someone could just tell me how to get my 16 week old pullets to move from the ground (under my roosting hens) to a roosting bar, that would be great! :)
     
  8. iLikeMineFried

    iLikeMineFried Out Of The Brooder

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    I went out to the coop every night at sunset for about a week and put my birds on the roost. They got the idea and are now roosting themselves.
     
  9. lydiagirl99

    lydiagirl99 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you everyone !!
     
  10. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    A bit time consuming, block your nests off at night and reopen every morning.....Best way to break the habit....

    Cheers!
     

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