Sleeping in nest boxes

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Karen_stl, Nov 12, 2013.

  1. Karen_stl

    Karen_stl Hatching

    Nov 28, 2010
    This summer some of my girls started sleeping in the nest boxes. Of course there is always a bunch of poop in there when they go back in the day to lay eggs.

    Any suggestions to keep them out of the next boxes at night? I don't know why they don't want to roost any more. It is not all of them, about half.

    I really hate reaching in for the eggs and hitting poop. Not to mention having to clean them more often. I have started washing the eggs too because sometimes they are poopy.

  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    Put them on the roost at night and block off the nests. After 4 or 5 days of this they should be using the roosts again.
  3. Karen_stl

    Karen_stl Hatching

    Nov 28, 2010
    I'll try that. I think the ones that go in the nest boxes are low on the pecking order.
  4. JackE

    JackE Crowing

    Apr 26, 2010
    North Eastern Md.
    Are the roosts higher than the nest boxes? If not, either raise the roosts, or lower the nestboxes.
  5. GuppyTJ

    GuppyTJ Songster

    Mar 13, 2013
    My Coop
    Is it possible that those lower in the pecking order are being bullied by the others as they try to get up on the roos?. Do you have any lower roosts where those lower in the pecking order can roost? If yes, these lower roosts still have to be higher than the nest boxes, of course.

    Maybe try what one of the others suggested, blocking the nest boxes late in the evening just before they go to bed. Then, stand there and observe them getting settled for the night on the roost. If you notice the ones that were using the nest boxes getting knocked off the roost and picked on by the others, than maybe try things to solve this problem. Make a lower roost or make your existing roost longer if you can. Both of these solutions provide the flock with more space so the bossy birds can roost and the more passive birds can roost.

    This latter is my situation. My roost is about 8 feet long and 4.5 feet high. My higher in the pecking order birds usually roost on one end of it. The lower in the pecking order birds roost on the far side of the roost, as far away from the bossier birds as possible! They all co-exist with little to no drama because they each have their space and can distance themselves from each other. At times, they'll intermingle on the roost and as they have all reached egg laying/mating maturity, I see this more and more. But none the less, regardless of the flock dynamics, they have the space to comfortably make adjustments and minimize conflict, drama and stress. I have never had problems with any of chickens trying to sleep in my nest boxes, either.

    Hope this helps,
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2013

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