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Suddenly Sleeping in Nest Box

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Capvin, Feb 18, 2012.

  1. Capvin

    Capvin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 13, 2011
    Lake Placid, FL
    I have six hens that are about 10 months old and they have been perfect in every way...that is up until now. They have three nest boxes in a row and on the other end of their coop are three roost bars each about four feet long and each at a different level. Up until now all of the girls went into the coop at dark and all of them got on the roosts and stayed there for the entire night. This was great because it made cleaning up the night poop very easy at it was all in one place. Now one of the girls has decided that she wants to sleep in one of the nest boxes, which I do not like because I don't like the poop in the boxes. For the last several nights I have gone out after dark and pushed the offending pullet out of the box and waited until she hopped up onto the roost. That has been successful because once she has gotten on the roost she has stayed there, but she continues to start the night in the nest box. Why has she suddenly started this and is there anything else I can do to fix it.?
     
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    You might try lowering your nest boxes or raising your roosts. Make sure you have fake eggs or golf balls in the boxes.
     
  3. PtldChick

    PtldChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 15, 2011
    Portland, OR
    Maybe she's starting to go broody?
     
  4. 7L Farm

    7L Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 22, 2010
    Anderson, Texas
    Are the others picking on her ? You can go in there after its dark & put her back on the roost. Do this a few times & she will get the message,
     
  5. Capvin

    Capvin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 13, 2011
    Lake Placid, FL
    Thanks for the responses. 1) All the nests are already at the lowest level of the coop and the roosts are at three levels the highest going to a point where the chickens heads will almost touch the roof. 2) I do not notice any indication that she is being picked on and, in fact, when I do go to check after dark I do push her out of the nest and she goes on the roost and stays there for the rest of the night. 3) As for broody, I guess that is possible but she only goes in the nest box at night when it is getting dark. She is not on the nest at all during the day other then to just go in and lay her egg and then she leaves immediately thereafter.
     
  6. Rockyriver

    Rockyriver Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 15, 2012
    N.C.
    I have a hen doing the same thing. My hen is being picked on by the others and is also a loner it seems.
     
  7. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    They don't poo where they are broody from my experience. It is their sacred nest spot.
     
  8. Arret

    Arret Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 2, 2011
    Pacific Rain Forest
    When my pullets did this I had to put a board in front of the nest box in the evening, just before they went in, for a few nights. They milled around in front of the nest box in confusion, then gave up and roosted. I removed the board in the early morning. Chicken owner magic! They weren't laying yet, which made it easier. That fixed the problem. They occasionally thought about roosting there afterwards, usually when a hen got pecked at and wanted to get away from the aggressor, but I could nudge them gently before I closed up for the night, and they'd remember. The board really worked to teach them to find a different place to sleep, and only took a few nights. Hope that helps.
     
  9. KMilani

    KMilani Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 9, 2012
    Richmond, CA
    I hang wire mesh (hardware cloth) over my nesting boxes at night to keep the hens out. If i forget there is always 1 of the older ladies who capitalizes on my forgetfulness. I think they should get the idea soon?
     

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