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Sleeping in their nest boxes?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Chickpea M, Jan 25, 2013.

  1. Chickpea M

    Chickpea M Chirping

    Hi everyone! I've been doing some research/learning as I'm new to owning chickens. I've read that some people refuse to let their girls sleep in the nest boxes. Why is that?

    Thanks in advance for your responses! [​IMG]

  2. Angiebubs

    Angiebubs Songster

    Aug 19, 2011
    Amery, WI WI/MN border
    Hmm I haven't heard of people refusing to let their chickens sleep in the nest boxes (besides unless they are planning on camping out in the coop-there isnt much you can do about it). I am thinking its perhaps that they are trying to break a broody hen who is wanting to sit on eggs? And broody hens won't usually lay while broody-so people frown on that. Personally, I currently have a broody hen (yes in the middle of the winter) and thank goodness for her during the past week where temps have dipped to -20-she has kept some of the eggs from freezing allowing us to still have eggs!) I hope this helps.
  3. Chickpea M

    Chickpea M Chirping

    Thanks! That does help!

    I was thinking unless they are sleepin' in the coop with them how could they stop it! (besides covering the box I guess. . . ) Anyway, thanks for your reply. [​IMG]
  4. ChickensRDinos

    ChickensRDinos Songster

    Aug 19, 2012
    Los Angeles
    Most people keep their hens from sleeping in the boxes to keep them from pooping in there. Healthy hens go to bed with a full crop and digest food through the night meaning every morning there is a little pile of poo under the roosts. If they sleep in the boxes all of this poop will be in the boxes and thus on the eggs.

    If you are having this problem, make sure that your roosts are higher than your boxes and in a place the hens feel safe sleeping. If they are still sleeping in the boxes, block them off right before bedtime so it is not an option. You can even set them on the roosts if they do not go up themselves. First thing in the morning, unblock the boxes so they can lay. Once they have been roosting for a week like this they will have a new routine and you can stop blocking.
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  5. chfite

    chfite Songster

    Jun 7, 2011
    Taylors, SC
    If they sleep in the nests, they will poop in the nests. A higher roost with plenty of space should help.

  6. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Crowing

    Apr 8, 2008
    Yup, exactly right. Has nothing to do with broody hens, and everything to do with not wanting poopy eggs. I have a few that I just can't break of this habit, and I have to put new straw in the box daily. Very frustrating.
    1 person likes this.
  7. iluvmypeepslol2

    iluvmypeepslol2 In the Brooder

    Jan 25, 2013
    Mabey people don't like the hens to sleep in the nesting boxes because then other chickens can't use that nesting box. It really depends.[​IMG]

  8. K-12 Chickens

    K-12 Chickens Songster

    Oct 6, 2010
    I discourage my pullets from sleeping in the nest boxes, since any eggs laid there in the morning become covered with poop. When I go to shut them in for the night, I check the nest boxes and place any pullets I find on the roost. This used to be a real problem when they were younger, but as I kept placing them on the roost, I broke the habit and now only about the lowest pullet in the pecking order attempts to sleep in the nest boxes. However, a few of my older hens (they live in a separate coop) sometimes have trouble flying up onto the roost or get pecked on, so they sleep in the nest boxes. I don't mind this as much since they don't lay eggs very often, but an issue is that their butt fluff can get covered with poop more easily.
  9. Chickpea M

    Chickpea M Chirping

    Thanks for all your responses. I'll be moving my roost to a higher place than I had originally thought. We are still in the process of building our coop so I personally haven't had this problem I just read somewhere that a few people refused to let them sleep in their boxes and it was unclear as to why. Now I know! Thanks again for your help!

  10. chickenlily13

    chickenlily13 Chirping

    Apr 4, 2013
    As soon as it started to get cold here in Vt. my Rhode Island Red has decided to take up residence in the nest box at night. She normally roost with her 7 other buddies but has changed habit in the cold. Yup , poop in the box! Can't blame her , it is cold out there. Not sure what I am going to do.

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