Sleeping in Nest Boxes

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by mylilchix, Oct 25, 2008.

  1. mylilchix

    mylilchix Chillin' With My Peeps

    I put in our nest boxes about 2 weeks ago for 18-20 week old chickens. Out of 14 hens I have 1 possibly 2 that are laying. I've been noticing that my hens and roos are using the nest boxes at bed time instead of their roost. Is this ok or should I find a way to prevent them from selling there?
  2. weloveourchicks

    weloveourchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 15, 2008
    I'm glad you posted this question; I've noticed the same thing. We have 16 chicks (4 of which are roosters). Only 2 of them are laying right now but I've noticed they are nesting in the boxes at night.

    - - -Susan
  3. 92caddy

    92caddy Egg Lover

    May 18, 2007
    Portland, IN
    I have a few hens that like to sleep in the nest boxes, I go out every night to shut em up, I boot them out of the nest boxes, its the same ones every night. If I dont boot em out, they poop in there and then the eggs get all dirty with poop. ..............
  4. mylilchix

    mylilchix Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'll have to try booting them out. It's funny because I have 3 that like to pile into one box. I just end up cleaing out the poo every morning. Don't they go back in once you leave though?

  5. rooster-red

    rooster-red Here comes the Rooster

    Jun 10, 2007
    Douglasville GA
    Positioning the nest boxes lower than the roost will help deter them from sleeping in the nest box.

    Some may still be stubborn, just push them out of the nest box before you lock them up for the night.
  6. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Quote:Like RR said, lowering the nest boxes helps.
    I have two dark hens that I am still working on breaking of the habit of sleeping on the nest boxes; actually one nest box.
    For the past week, I've started going out there when it's good and dark and grabbing them and setting them on a roost. They don't move back to the boxes that night because they don't like to move around in the dark. I use a laser pointer keychain to help me see without giving them enough light to move.
    So far it seems to be working. The boxes were clean this morning. It may take another week or so before they are finally broken of the habit.
  7. 92caddy

    92caddy Egg Lover

    May 18, 2007
    Portland, IN
    No they usually dont go back into the box after I boot em out.
  8. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

    May 24, 2007
    As stated above: make sure your roosts are higher than your nest boxes; most chickens like to sleep at the highest point available for them.

    And yes, go in after dark and physically move them to the roost. They will almost always stay there for the night and eventually will get the idea to go there on their own each night.
  9. playmeasong

    playmeasong Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 9, 2008
    South Jersey
    see my post recently about putting pizza box lids in the roosts--mine got the picture that they were "closed" at night but open during the day for laying. Takes some work to be consistent with putting them in there and taking them out in the morning but it worked for me.
  10. Chicnsrthebest

    Chicnsrthebest Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 1, 2008
    Has anyone tried partially covering the nest box entrances with burlap or other cloth type closures?

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