sleeping in nest boxes

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by tuffy, Nov 5, 2010.

  1. tuffy

    tuffy In the Brooder

    Apr 2, 2009
    Lake Luzerne, NY
    Hi all, I had 24 hens and in August hatched 6 chicks. When the new chicks were small they and their Mom were housed away from the main group. I moved all of the chicks and Mom into the main coop around the end of Sept. Ever since all of the babies want to sleep at night in the nest boxes. There is plenty of room for everyone to roost away from the nests. Every night I go down to the coop after dark and pick up the 6 babies that are quite large now and relocate them to the roosts. After some noisey settleing down everyone seems fine. I'm not sure but I don't think the babies go back to the nest boxes that night since it is then dark in the coop. How can I break this bad habit of sleeping in the nest boxes?? Any ideas would be appreciated since its so messy! I think 3 of the babies are Roos, would this have any bearing on the problem?

  2. CCFarms9559

    CCFarms9559 Songster

    Jul 16, 2010
    Jeffersontown, Ky
    I wish I could give you some good advice. I have a hen I have been moving for months. Good Luck!
  3. lotzahenz

    lotzahenz Songster

    Aug 28, 2008
    Lexington, Kentucky
    I am waiting on the answer too. Moving the nest boxes lower to the floor will help sometimes, but my young birds still hop in those lower boxes too. I got discouraged and put plastic flower pots in them so they are not used at all. There is always one or two that are relentless in sleeping in a nest box. [​IMG]
  4. A lot of times I have seen it has to do with establishment in the pecking order. I say if you get there before they are done and roost and put them up gust it may establish a better form of habits. Consistency is the key but that is just me.
  5. mprivett

    mprivett Chirping

    Jun 29, 2010
    Chatham County, NC
    Yes all four of mine (3 hens and 1 roo) like to snuggle together in the nesting box at night. I have a small coop with roosting poles that aren't very high off the ground, so I think they prefer to roost on the nesting box or get into it since it's about at the same height. Occasionally I will open their egg door in order to get them to move out of the nesting box onto their roosts, but right after I close it back I hear shuffling around and they are back in their box. [​IMG] I really should do something more about it because my girls just starting laying (last week) and I'm worried about having dirty eggs! But they are just so darn cute all nestled in their together [​IMG] You might think about putting a top on it at night so that they can't get in it and then removing the top in the morning.

  6. pawprint2104

    pawprint2104 Chirping

    Oct 21, 2010
    SF Bay Area
    I agree. Denying them access may be needed. If you can, try covering the boxes at night, so they can't get into them. Or, another consideration is to make the boxes smaller, so that nesting is all they can really do in them. My girls seem to like laying in the smaller of my two boxes. And, except for a dirty foot or two, the boxes are pristine. As soon as they lay, they're outta there and foraging around the yard.

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