Strange sleeping behavior

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by auracana07, Nov 28, 2008.

  1. auracana07

    auracana07 In the Brooder

    Nov 9, 2008
    Something weird has recently been happening with my hen's sleeping routine. Normally they will go inside the coop at approximatley when the sun goes down and they will fly up to the perch to roost for the night. Quite recently I decided to put a nesting box into the coop to get them used to the idea of having it there. (They just turned about the age of laying.) I decided not to keep the light on to make them deliberatly lay and I only put the light on if it's really cold, about in the 20s or below. Because of this they havn't been laying obviously, but I just put the nesting box in there anyway, just for the heck of it.
    Strangely, since I put the nesting box in the coop with them they haven't been flying up to the perch to roost at night. IT'S SO FRUSTRATING! Every night only 1-2 hens are actually on the perch. The other ones are all laying down on the floor. I thought I'd just wait it out but tonight when I went to put them to bed only one was even in the coop! The rest were all laying cool as can be outside in the run despite the freezing temp. When I shooed them all back into the coop they keep trying to get back out! Please help me to solve this delema! It's really annoying and I don't want it to be a permenant habbit of theirs. Thanks! [​IMG]
  2. crazyhen

    crazyhen Crowing

    Aug 26, 2008
    mtns of ,NC.
    The first time I put a nest box in my coop they refused to go in. I finally took it out and painted it the same color as the pineshavings. Then buried it slightly. then after 2 or 3 nights all went well again. They don't like any changes in their home. Jean
  3. sunnydee

    sunnydee Songster

    Jul 17, 2008
    I think they are a little scared of the nesting boxes. I put the nesting boxes in "after" my girls were used to the coop and it took them about 3 days to get used to it. Crazy girls! I would just keep on putting them on their roost. I am sure they will get the hang of it again.
  4. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

    May 24, 2007
    They are afraid of that big box thingy that is going to eat them!

    You could try throwing scratch down right in front of the nest box and maybe some inside it. That might help them overcome their fear. Otherwise you just need to give them whatever time it takes for them to get accustomed to it.

    I would also try physically putting them on the roost every night after dark. I would think they would realize pretty quickly that they are safe from that horrid thing you added to their coop.
  5. Reinbeau

    Reinbeau The Teapot Underground Premium Member

    I read about this 'nest box installation' fear thing and have to say, ours didn't even blink an eye. Maybe it's because we've been literally building the coop around them since they were five weeks old, I dunno, but they were absolutely fine when we put the four nest boxes into place.
  6. auracana07

    auracana07 In the Brooder

    Nov 9, 2008
    Thanks you guys! Your tips were really helpful![​IMG]
  7. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm 10 Years

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    Chickens are funny and don't like change but they will get used to it.
  8. mocchickfarm

    mocchickfarm In the Brooder

    Nov 23, 2008
    Ours also didn't have a problem with the nesting boxes, we kept expanding the coop around them. They are very curious as to what's going on around them. But I will admit that some nights they will not come into the coop after dark but by morning all are in.
  9. digitS'

    digitS' Songster

    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    Quote:You may want to have the light on before sunset. They can then keep an eye on that mean, old, dangerous nestbox while they get themselves comfortable on the roost. Then turn the light off.

    When they wake up alive and without the nestbox having made one threatening move at them all night, maybe they'll be a little calmer around it thru the daylight hours.

    with monsters in his closet. . .
  10. crooked stripe

    crooked stripe Songster

    Jan 14, 2008
    N.E Ohio- Suffield
    I read some where here in a thread of doing all the changes at night. I placed my nest boxes in after it was good and dark. When I went to let them out in the morning some where sitting on them. They acted like they where always there.

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