sleeping in the nest box

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by trudyg, Nov 13, 2016.

  1. trudyg

    trudyg Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 3, 2013
    Hi. I have 5 hens and a rooster. All of my birds are molting, some worse than others. One of my hens has started sleeping in the nest box--I think to stay away from the other birds. I haven't seen any rooster activity with her, he has been ignoring the girls pretty much as they molt. They have plenty of room on the roost--I have 2 roosting bars, both are 5' long broad side of 2x4's, and have worked well with no problems for several years now. All of a sudden this one is sleeping in the nest box, 4 are all snuggled up together and the last is on a roost all by herself. The nest boxes are just above ground level and the roosts are at about 4' up from the ground. I rarely get an egg since they are molting and, often during the day, the rooster is in the nest box just chilling out. Do I block the nest off in the evening to stop it or see if it stops?
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    If she has molted her flight feathers, she may not be able to make it up to the roost. I would block off the nests until the molt is complete if they were mine.
  3. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

    Nov 7, 2012
    2 thoughts. #1: Along with the molt comes feather loss, including wing feathers. She may have a hard time getting up to that roost. Is there any type of ramp or step up to it? #2: Some birds in molt tend to isolate themselves from the rest of the flock. They know that if they get in any kind of skirmish, it is going to be very painful for them. And flock mates are opportunists. They will take advantage of the hen who is feeling uncomfortable with all those new feathers coming in. They will single her out to push her to the bottom of the pecking order. I have one bird who is having a difficult molt, and she is isolating herself. She also will sleep in the nest box if I let her. My suggestion is: be sure the roosts are easily accessible. If coop is large enough, you might give her a lower roost, or even a low platform to sleep on. Block off the nest boxes late every afternoon, and open them back up late evening after all birds have gone to roost or first thing in the morning. (You can give your flock extra protein to help them through their molt.)
    1 person likes this.
  4. trudyg

    trudyg Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 3, 2013
    There is a ladder up to the roosts. It's only a short hop to go from the ramp to the roost. I think it's a pain thing, not roost accessability. She's always been one to head in early, so there wouldn't be anyone in her way. Probably she doesn't like them cuddling with her at the moment. I'll block the boxes tonight when I get home as suggested. Thanks
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Agrees she's isolating.
    I had a hard molter stay on the end of the roost, closest to ramp, away from the others for a time.
    Think she went up last to avoid the RoostTimeRumble.

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