Sleeping in nest boxes

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by starchicky, Jan 17, 2014.

  1. starchicky

    starchicky Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 14, 2013
    Oregon
    So I've had my chickens for about five months now, two adult layers and two pullets who are about 20 weeks old and I'm assuming will start laying soon. They have always sleep together in the nest boxes, there are two, usually two chickens per box. My rhode island red seems to be the broodiest, and she has been moving the eggs around the roost and making nests in other spots. I don't blame her because the nest boxes fill with droppings quickly and I think at one point a chicken must have stepped on one and broke the egg. I did get ceramic eggs to place in the boxes which helps, but only for about a day after I have cleaned out the nest boxes and put fresh hay down. So I have this quandary that it is actually easier to clean out the droppings because they are all in one spot, but it is more difficult to reach the eggs from the access door (I have hay covering the floor of the rest of the roost). I have put some roosting branches in there, but they always go for the nest boxes. I was thinking maybe I would just make another set of boxes that they would hopefully not sleep in? Or is there something else to try?
     
  2. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    Keep your nest boxes lower than your roost bars and make the roosting desirable...comfortably wide and high in the coop. They like to roost high as they can. Then go to the coop after dark and place them on the roosts each night until they get the hang of it. You can even block off one of the nests so that two of the birds have to use the roost....and monkey see, monkey do may do the rest for you.
     
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  3. starchicky

    starchicky Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 14, 2013
    Oregon
    The boxes are on the roost floor, but the branches aren't that much higher, so I can move them up. I never thought of moving them while they sleep, I'll have to try it, lol
     
  4. ChickensRDinos

    ChickensRDinos Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would start blocking off the nest boxes at night and placing them on the roost where you want them to sleep. Chickens love routine and will keep doing the same thing unless something makes them change. Whenever I get a few new pullets they tend to want to sleep in the boxes. I just place a board in front when the sun goes down move it first thing in the morning. After a week or so of roosting I stop and they tend to sleep on the roost unprompted. It's nice to break the bad habit, otherwise you will always have messy eggs.
     
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  5. creaturelife

    creaturelife Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 10, 2013
    move the roost away from the nest boxs like away so they cant get to them unless they walk
     

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