1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Sleeping in nest boxes

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by heksa, Nov 8, 2010.

  1. heksa

    heksa Chillin' With My Peeps

    253
    4
    111
    Jun 21, 2010
    Indiana
    My younger generation chickens (4 months olds) love the nest boxes. Needless to say, they poop in there and the eggs from my laying girls are dirty.[​IMG]

    How can I teach the young ones not to use it?
    I have closed up the entry to the nest boxes ... but now my laying hens don't have a place to lay and I don't want them to get in habit of laying all over the place either.

    Also how to I clean the poop of the eggs without disturbing the protective layer on the shell?


    Can you guy give me some ideas how to handle it?

    Thanks
     
  2. shortstaque

    shortstaque Chillin' With My Peeps

    307
    2
    111
    Sep 29, 2010
    Bucks County, PA
    What height are your nest boxes? The general rule is to keep your roosts higher than your nest boxes. Do you have enough roost space for all of your girls? Is it possible that your older girls are bossing your younger girls and not letting them on the roost? If so more roost space might help. Can you make a hinged cover for the nest boxes that you put down at night and up in the morning just for a few weeks until they are programed to roost on the perches?
     
  3. phaethona

    phaethona Chillin' With My Peeps

    417
    0
    119
    Apr 13, 2010
    Missouri
    mine do that sometimes, and all I can really do about it is to scoop out the bigger poo piles in the morning before they start laying.

    as far as the eggs go, may sound kinda gross but I just leave them dirty in a carton on the counter and wash them right before I use them(usually within a day or two). when I'm putting together a dozen to sell or give away I just pick the non-poopy ones. I'm kinda wondering if my ambivalence towards chicken poo is yet another sign of my transformation into the Crazy Chicken Lady. [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  4. redonthehead

    redonthehead Out Of The Brooder

    69
    0
    39
    Nov 5, 2010
    Unfortunately I have no suggestions how to keep them from sleeping in the nests. Ours don't generally sleep in the nests, but our nests are also in a different "room" than their "living space" where the feeders etc are...

    For the eggs I actually wash them in the kitchen sink. I just run a couple of inches of cool dishsoapy water and gently wash them with a soft rag (a cut up pair of kid sleepers or a receiving blanket works well!). It's part of my night time routine to wash up all the eggs once they're done laying (I have some hens that are lazy-layers and we get eggs as late as 4pm sometimes!)

    Hope that helps!

    Jane
     
  5. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    28,907
    113
    408
    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Quote:That. Plus, it may be necessary for you to go into the coop each night, after the chickens have gone to roost, and move the new ones to the roost. You'll have to be consistent about it, do it for a few nights in a row, and they should get the hang of it. Use as little light as possible to work, I suggest a penlight, so that they can't see well enough to go back to the nesboxes.
     
  6. heksa

    heksa Chillin' With My Peeps

    253
    4
    111
    Jun 21, 2010
    Indiana
    Thanks guys for you replies.

    The chicks definitely try to hide there from the big girls.
    Funny thing is, sometimes they end up cuddling with one of them in there. [​IMG]

    I will try closing it for the night only and see of they learn.
    I definitely have some space issues, but it will have to wait until spring.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by