sleeping in the nest boxes?Is this allowed?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by chantecler, Oct 20, 2008.

  1. chantecler

    chantecler Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 25, 2008
    Moncton New Brunswick
    Hi all

    Well my girls have not started laying yet but they wwant to sleep in the nest boxes at night.. [​IMG]
    I have been covering the nest box openings with cardboard at night so they don't sleep and poop in them.

    What do you guys do about this? Any suggetsions?

    Thanks [​IMG]
  2. chickflick

    chickflick Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 10, 2007
    Exactly what you have done, block off the openings to the nest boxes. Are the roosts higher than the nest boxes? Chickens will roost as high as they can. It's normal for them to lay in their nest boxes before they begin to lay. Just keep it blocked off until they get use to using the roost. Another thing you can do is pick them up and put them on the roosts so they get the hint that's where they're suppose to go. They'll figure it out soon!
  3. spook

    spook Chillin' With My Peeps

    You know, up until recently I have never had a hen that did I have one that puts out pearls (poop) as large as her eggs in the nest box each morning. Some of my girls, when they get laying again after this recent moult lay early in the morning so covering the nest boxes are not what you want to do but then you don't want them sleeping in them either! I hope someone gives an answer that is workable. Good luck to you too!
  4. swtangel321

    swtangel321 ~Crazy Egg Lady~

    Jul 11, 2008
    I have a few hens that will sleep in there box, I hate it !!!!!! The poop gets everywhere and on the eggs, I dont think there is anything wrong with it... just annoying !!!!!
  5. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    I agree with the other posts. My boxes are large enough to put milk crates in. Some how I would close off the nest boxes for awhile to discourage sleeping in them. At first I would get them out and put them on their roosts but they kept going into the nests then I pushed them out, but one was insistant and kept going in, so I blocked them off with the milk crates. I didn't want poopy eggs. My roosts are higher than the nest boxes. They eventually got the idea and started sleeping on the roost. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2008
  6. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    At the beginning of the behavior, I blocked off the nest boxes. At about week 19 I removed the boards that blocked the nests and put golf balls in. I've only had one egg layed on the coop floor and one in the run, the rest have been in the nest boxes and I don't see any poop in them. Good luck.
  7. chantecler

    chantecler Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 25, 2008
    Moncton New Brunswick
    Thanks GUys!
    My roost are NOT higher than the nest boxes.... oops!! [​IMG]
    Should put the roosts higher? The nest boxes are quite high .... sigh.... I thought I had done all my homework when designing my coop. Somehow I missed that [​IMG]
  8. bluey

    bluey thootp veteran

    Apr 10, 2008
    Washington, PA
    That would explain it. I'd try to put the roost higher...if possible.

    Personally, I have 4 birds that sleep on the roost and 4 that sleep in the nestboxes.

    I just clean the nestboxes out frequently. I don't mind.
  9. spook

    spook Chillin' With My Peeps

    Well, I'll tell ya, there is always something we miss along the way, so homework or not, you are in the same ball park as the rest of us! [​IMG]
    My roosts are higher, its only one bird, she lays long before I get up, even at 6:30 one morning there was an egg. So guess I'll clean out poop seeings they like 1 nest box. Pig pile when everyone is laying.
    I'll welcome any suggestions too. [​IMG]
  10. lovemychix

    lovemychix Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 14, 2008
    Moulton Iowa
    I bought my red stars from a guy who had them I assumed they never roosted. They all huddled in the nest boxes and filled them with poo. So everyday I had to clean the boxes out that got old fast. I decided that I would try to get them to roost at night so I started going out at night and placing them on the roost bar. Most of them are roosting now on the bar but I have a few that sneak back into the boxes. So I only have a few poos not a bucket. [​IMG]

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by