When cleaning the coop, should you disturb the used nest?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by YardBirdCountry, Aug 3, 2013.

  1. YardBirdCountry

    YardBirdCountry In the Brooder

    Apr 27, 2013

    My hens just started to get productive. One of my nesting boxes is being used. The other is used to roost and poop in.

    I am planning on cleaning the coop soon, but I am afraid to touch the used nesting box.(To me, cleaning means sweeping or scraping out all the poop and changing the bedding, I never use cleaner). It looks like, whichever bird is laying, spent a lot of time arranging pine straw and bedding around in the nesting box. I picked a little bit of poop out one time, but other than that, the used nest looks pretty clean.

    I am worried if I just throw out all the old bedding in the used nest and put new stuff there the bird might be discouraged from using the box and start nesting elsewhere in the yard (which I do not want). When I clean the coop, should I leave the nesting box alone and just clean the rest of the coop?

    Also, what if the chickens want to lay while I am cleaning the coop?
  2. chfite

    chfite Songster

    Jun 7, 2011
    Taylors, SC
    I clean the nesting boxes from time to time. I just throw out all the pine shavings, scrape as needed, and add new shavings. They don't seem to care.

  3. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Crowing

    Dec 6, 2012
    New Brunswick,Canada
    I have the floor of my nests lined with a folded feed bag (nest box is 12 inchesĀ³) milk crates with a board across the front.

    I replace the feed bag when ever necessary no problems easy peasy!
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2013
  4. buckaroogirl

    buckaroogirl In the Brooder

    May 27, 2013
    I clean mine out once a month ( and spot clean here and there) and add new shavings, they don't seem to care.
  5. julie55555

    julie55555 In the Brooder

    Jun 13, 2013
    They don't care I clean once a week but change the boxes once a month. They are very curious when I'm done I think they like to poke around in the boxes and check out the new bedding I fill mine with pine shavings
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    I wonder why they are pooping and roosting in the nest boxes. Maybe because they are young, maybe they have been roosting in the boxes since too young to roost on a pole?

    The roosting pole should be higher than the nest boxes, they instinctually like to roost as high as possible because it make them feel safer. They poop a lot while roosting for 8-12 hours so you don't want them roosting in the nests.

    Move the roosting pole up higher if needed, and if you see that they are roosting in the nests when you go to lock them up at night, move them to the roosting pole until the get the hint.

  7. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Crowing

    Dec 6, 2012
    New Brunswick,Canada
    @ Aart

    I usually block off my nest boxes with a stuffed feed bag (straw grass or sometimes just more feed bags) until the pullets get the accustom to roosting up high.

    Occasion for what ever reason you are bound to have hens sleep in the nest box regardless.I think it may be just a touch of broodiness.

    I have nothing to back up my theory however.
  8. MelissaTXRn

    MelissaTXRn Songster

    Jun 3, 2013
    I blocked mine of with a cardboard box. The 5 week olds roosted on the 1st night after I blocked them.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: