Sleeping in nest boxes

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by ScottM, Mar 25, 2012.

  1. ScottM

    ScottM Songster

    What can I do to discourage my hens from sleeping in the nest boxes? The roosts are higher than the nests and I've physically moved them many times. Do I just have to keep moving them?


  2. DCasper

    DCasper Songster

    Jan 13, 2012
    Benton, KY
    Are your nest boxes higher than the perches? You might try raising your perches or lowering your nest boxes. Just a guess since chickens like to perch on a high point.
  3. joan1708

    joan1708 Songster

    May 14, 2011
    DFW - mid cities, Tx
    The perch on my nest box, folds up to bar it at night. Anyway you could close it off at night and open it up in the am?
  4. jondee

    jondee In the Brooder

    Feb 5, 2012
    Please forgive me if this is a really ignorant questions (I've only had chickens for 2 years), but is there a problem with them sleeping in the nest boxes? One or two of my hens almost always sleep in a nest box in the coop, even though I have enough perch space, but it doesn't create any problems for me or them. Am I missing something? Should I be discouraging this?[​IMG]

    Joni in CA
  5. The only real problem I can see is that they poop when they sleep, so your nest boxes could get a bit nasty.

    Have they always slept in the nest boxes or is this new? If it just started, they might be going broody. . . just a thought.

  6. jomoncon

    jomoncon Songster

    Sep 24, 2010
    New Orleans, LA
    Before my girls started laying, they wanted to sleep in the nesting boxes. I hung a curtain in front of the boxes & that kept them out. When they were about to start laying, I removed the curtain. Ny that time, they were accustomed to sleeping on their roost.
  7. skunknchatter

    skunknchatter Songster

    Aug 19, 2007
    Northern Utah
    My "chicken house" is pretty small. My hens only go in to sleep and sometimes lay (if they aren't laying in the haystack or potted plants). I have more hens than will fit on my one roost. So they sleep in and on the next boxes. I just scoop out the shavings every couple of weeks and put in new ones. They don't seem to poop in them a lot. If they were in a big nice coop like some of the ones on BYC I would prob rather that they didn't sleep in the boxes. But then they would have more roosting space. I just don't worry too much because, like I said, they only go inside at night. The "house" is in a huge run and the food and water is out in the run. I guess I typed all of that to say that unless it really bothers you or your eggs are nasty from the poop, it doesn't matter if they choose to sleep in the nest boxes.
  8. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Crowing

    Mar 26, 2011
    Upper Peninsula Michigan
    As said above, make sure your roost is higher than the boxes. When my hens are young I usually stuff a few feed sacks in the boxes at night to discourage them from sleeping there until they are used to sleeping on the roost. Your roosts should be wide and smooth, a 2X4 with the wide side horizontal is ideal.
  9. morsekathan

    morsekathan Chirping

    May 12, 2011
    My new chicks (12 weeks) love to sleep in the nest box; all three are in there together. I tried stuffing bowls and cups in the nest box (I had them handy!), but they just tried to fit around them. they looked so uncomfortable but stayed there. I don't like them sleeping in box as they poop everywhere and it's a pain to clean up. Since I have sand on the floor, cleaning the coop is an easy task until this. I'm going to try moving them for a few nights.

  10. drohan

    drohan In the Brooder

    Oct 4, 2011
    I am not sure what the big deal is. I have had hens that sleep in the nest box although most don't. They tend to poop in them when they are up there to lay eggs anyway. I clean the out once a week. It won't hurt them to sleep in the nesting boxes and they will still lay thir eggs in them.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by