sleeping in nesting box

momofchicks

Songster
11 Years
Apr 23, 2008
431
0
149
Kentucky
UGh, they keep sleeping in nesting boxes, which of course means poo in the box every morning! What do I need to do? They are 22 weeks old, do I wait until almost dark and put something in there so they can't fit in? Will this scare them and then they won't lay in there either? Help!
 

Happy Chooks

Free Ranging
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Jul 9, 2009
40,414
3,498
596
Northern CA
My Coop
Are your roosts higher than your boxes? If they are 22 weeks old, I wouldn't block off the nesting boxes because they could start laying soon. But I would move them to the roost every night until they get the picture.
 

JodyJo

Songster
9 Years
Sep 27, 2010
2,786
51
188
Colorado
Above poster is correct, where are your roosts located? If the boxes are higher, that is where they will go.
 
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brandislee

Songster
8 Years
Feb 15, 2011
510
18
133
Southern Minnesota
I have bars that move up and down to block my nest boxes at night. It's nothing fancy- I rigged up a 1x4 the length of my nest boxes, screwed to short 1x4's at each end. Then I used a single long nail to secure to each side of the nest box, so it rotates on the nail. Pretty ghetto, and I have to use my little poo scraper (wedged between the bar and the wall to make it secure) to keep the top one from falling down, and a piece of wood wedged up against the bottom one. But it works and doesn't freak them out/discourage them from laying in the box. Only the bantams lay on the ground- my first EE egg was laid in the corner of my second level (it's just a big shelf, you can see it in the pic to the right, just below that roost), but next time I see her nesting I'll try to move her to a box. But really, as long as she doesn't lay on the ground I don't care. My nest boxes are lower than the roosts (there is one low roost, but they don't use that, it's mostly there for younger chicks or for the bantams... not that they use it) and they were STILL trying to roost in the boxes at night. I just make sure I move the bars down first thing in the morning so they can lay, and that I get the bars moved up early enough (a while before dusk, all my chicks lay in the morning/early afternoon) so I'm not shooing them off of it at dusk.

Here's a pic of my bars. The top one sits level only because there is a little piece of wood that sticks out and supports it. I didn't worry about the bottom one sitting level because they don't really need it as a perch to enter the box, but it's helpful for the higher boxes. And I have no idea why, but they are all doing really well about laying in separate boxes instead of all squeezing into one box, which is nice.

 

branston

Chirping
8 Years
May 23, 2011
227
3
91
Virginia
My 6 Silkies all sleep in the nest boxes. Infact, I have one broody hen that is sat on two eggs and the rooster likes to cozy up to her at night and the other four all sleep together in the box next door! They have 6 nest boxes in the coop and two low roosts as they can't fly, however the nest boxes are higher than the roosts??
 

epeloquin

Songster
8 Years
Mar 11, 2011
626
21
141
Western Massachusetts
I agree with the above posts. Chickens like to be as high as they can be. My roost is well above my nesting boxes and they all sleep on their roost. These pics are from the Spring, my girls are grown now but the coop is the same.



 

momofchicks

Songster
11 Years
Apr 23, 2008
431
0
149
Kentucky
Well I went out there and did some looking and I think the problem was they all couldn't fit on the 2 roosts that are above the nesting boxes so we made another one tonight. Hopefully this will cure the problem. But I may need to physically move them if they don't figure out that there is another roost. Thanks for all your ideas!
 

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