Two of my girls aren’t roosting at night and pooping in nesting boxes.

Gretaga

In the Brooder
Oct 22, 2021
1
3
14
Two of the chickens refuse to roost every night and so they end up pooping in their nesting boxes lined with turf. None of the 6 have started laying eggs yet but I’m worried it will be an issue when these girls start. I have gone out at night and moved them onto the bars but they continue to settle into these each night together. My other breeds have no issue roosting. Help! I can’t keep cleaning the turf in the winter as my hose won’t be connected.
Any ideas are welcome at this point. I’m desperate!
 

Attachments

  • 74261A2E-1275-4DCD-91A7-4EA0DDB7A927.jpeg
    74261A2E-1275-4DCD-91A7-4EA0DDB7A927.jpeg
    866.9 KB · Views: 1
  • 51B1B719-A20D-4676-A962-4C7FECF11F54.jpeg
    51B1B719-A20D-4676-A962-4C7FECF11F54.jpeg
    976.1 KB · Views: 1

M-H-Fielding

Formerly known as -7-6-
Apr 10, 2019
1,439
4,705
386
right here
My Coop
My Coop
Two of the chickens refuse to roost every night and so they end up pooping in their nesting boxes lined with turf. None of the 6 have started laying eggs yet but I’m worried it will be an issue when these girls start. I have gone out at night and moved them onto the bars but they continue to settle into these each night together. My other breeds have no issue roosting. Help! I can’t keep cleaning the turf in the winter as my hose won’t be connected.
Any ideas are welcome at this point. I’m desperate!
I have a similar problem, I also need an answer to this!
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
28,306
23,633
907
Southeast Louisiana
There is a reason they are sleeping in the nest. If you can figure that out the problem becomes easier to solve. Are your roosts higher than the nests? They probably are since your others are sleeping on the roosts. Are all your chickens the same age? Are the ones in the nest younger than the others. What do your roosts look like? How much roost do you have for your 6 chickens? Photos showing the roosts might help us understand.

One typical reason they sleep in the nests is that they like to sleep in the highest spot possible. That's why the roosts need to be higher than the nests. That does not sound like that is your problem but let's get it out of the way.

The highest ranking chickens in the pecking order get to sleep where they want. The lower ranking have to do the best they can. Even if they get along great during the day, bedtime can be bedlam. Best buddies can become bullies. Usually it settles down when they all get in their right places but sometimes one will continue to be a bully until it gets too dark to go on. This can cause some to seek a safer place to sleep than the roosts, often that is a nest. Yours aren't laying yet so they are probably still adolescents. They mature at different rates so they may still be changing places in the pecking order which can lead to unrest.

So what can you do? You can try to set them on the roosts after it is too dark for them to be attacked. Sometimes that does work. But if they are being beat up if they try that before it is dark they aren't going up there on their own.

You can block off the nests to force them to find a different place to sleep. That might be the roosts, it might be someplace else. If it is someplace else when you open the nests back up they may move back into them. I want the nests open before they start to lay anyway. Often pullets will look for a good place for a nest a week or so before they start to lay. I want the nests available so I'm not teaching them to lay somewhere other than the nests. Some people do it this way. To me the best way is to block the nests fairly late in the afternoon to force them to find another place to sleep but open the nests back up after it is too dark for them to move around.

If you have a lack or roost space it could help to provide a separate roost, higher than the nests but far enough away from the others that bullying stops. These can even be a bit lower than the main roosts to make them less desirable to the other chickens. I have a roost like that which makes integrating chicks easier.
 

horsegirlabi

Crowing
May 14, 2021
571
2,471
266
Eastern WA
When I've had this problem (many times!), I go out right when they're getting onto the roost, and block them from going in the nesting boxes. Some get it right away, others can take longer. Most of the time, they give up within a week. I can sympathize with cleaning the poop out! It's so annoying, especially because it will get on the eggs when they start laying.
 

Sally PB

Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
Aug 7, 2020
9,354
42,143
983
Belding, MI
I want the nests available so I'm not teaching them to lay somewhere other than the nests. Some people do it this way. To me the best way is to block the nests fairly late in the afternoon to force them to find another place to sleep but open the nests back up after it is too dark for them to move around.
I close up the nest box about half an hour before they would be going in to roost. I open it back up in the morning, so it's open most of the day.
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
5 Years
Jul 3, 2016
18,223
37,021
1,062
WA, Pac NW
My Coop
My Coop
I close up the nest box about half an hour before they would be going in to roost. I open it back up in the morning, so it's open most of the day.
Can work either way (uncovering in morning or later in evening), depending on how early/late you get up, and how determined the bird is to get in the nests.
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom