Sleeping in the nesting box (all together)

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by eleanorkay, Jul 24, 2010.

  1. eleanorkay

    eleanorkay In the Brooder

    May 11, 2010
    Big Rapids, MI
    Hi, I know I've read that people have a problem with the chickens all sleeping together in a nesting box but I can't seem to find the thread. So my 5 chickens (bantams) 2 rooster and 3 hens are now 14 weeks old and they're still all sleeping in a nesting box. I've tried a couple of times to put them on the roost but they fly right off and end right back in the box. Is there any harm in letting them continue to do this? Or will I end up with a big problem?

    Thanks for the input...[​IMG]
  2. HudsonValleyGirl

    HudsonValleyGirl In the Brooder

    Jun 9, 2010
    My pullets do that. They are 4 1/2 months old. It doesn't bother me.
  3. jennh

    jennh Songster

    Jun 21, 2007
    Hi ! Is it dark when you do this? If not, do it in the dark, when they can't see to fly back to the nestbox. If you do this for awhile, they WILL get the message. It could take up to two weeks. I have 4 that are about 14 wks, and they are finally getting it. One other thing, do you have other hens that they can learn from?

  4. peepswiththepoof

    peepswiththepoof Songster

    May 19, 2010
    Rougemont, NC
    What kind of chickens are they? And are the nest boxes up high or down low?
  5. cleoandtheo

    cleoandtheo Songster

    My hens do this. It's funny, really, because all four of them jam into one nesting box to keep each other warm when they go to sleep at night.

    I think the concern about the nesting boxes is that you want them to know what the purpose of the nesting box is: for laying eggs! Strangely, my girls always sleep in one nesting box (and poop in it a little bit too), but they use the other box for laying eggs, and there is no sleeping (or poop) in that box. Hey, whatever....

    Now, our Easter-Egger has some issues about where to lay. Mostly she lays in the one box, but occasionally she lays in other places -- and that is the danger of their not knowing. I do keep them in the coop all morning until they have layed eggs for the day. Otherwise, I think I could get blue eggs hidden all over the yard!
  6. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Y'know, I don't mind them sleeping in nest boxes, either. Only a couple of 'em do it, and for the most part, nobody lays eggs in that nest box.

    I have to do some coop duties anyway, so it's no big deal to check for poop there, which there usually isn't much. Easy peasy.

    I suppose if I had a whole farm of chickens and it was a bona fide business I was running, it would be annoying. So I do understand the folks who break (or try to break) their pullets from sleeping in nest boxes.
  7. MaggieRae

    MaggieRae Songster

    Apr 12, 2009
    North Texas

    I had my old roost that they loved to use. Then the big fat rooster hopped on it (Sturdy construction, mind you), knocked it over while they were all on it, and proceeded to attack the evil roost. That roost is now dead. We spent hours making a new roost; a big, beautifully designed roost. By the time this roost had gone up, they'd been sleeping in shavings for about two weeks and I had just gotten rid of the rooster (different reasons than him breaking the roost.). Now they all pile themselves into the corner nest box. I don't know why they do this, as the roost would be much cooler with the air flow. They hop up on the roost, they play on it, but for the life of me they won't sleep on it! I even tried moving them after dark so they woke up on it.

    *Sigh* I'm going to lurk this thread for hints as to what to do.
  8. sisterfeather

    sisterfeather Hatching

    Jun 23, 2010
    I've had many chickens over the years try to sleep in the nesting boxes. It's a nightly ritual that I go out at dark with a flashlight to"put the girls to bed". Some chickens will learn quickly and just start sleeping on the roost and others have been a little more persistent, taking a couple months of me moving them each night. They stay put for the night after I move them. I enjoy going out anyway just to check on them and count them to make sure they all made it back to the barn after a day on the farm.

    BTW, I am new to the forum and have learned a lot. Thanks everyone for posting great info!
  9. eleanorkay

    eleanorkay In the Brooder

    May 11, 2010
    Big Rapids, MI
    Quote:They are D'ccule Mille Fleur (hens) and golden laced seabrights (2roosters & 1 hen) The nest box they were in last night was higher than the high roost but but they started out in the lowest nest box then have moved up to the 2nd level, now on the top. I'll show you a picture.[im[​IMG]g][/img][​IMG][i

    It doesn't bother me that they sleep in the nest boxes. There's 11 nest boxes and only 3 hens at this point but what happens down the road if we get more?

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: