Why are my hens sleeping in there nesting boxes?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Denise's zoo, Dec 3, 2010.

  1. Denise's zoo

    Denise's zoo New Egg

    8
    0
    7
    Sep 6, 2010
    We've have 9 hens and one rooster for about 1 1/2 years. They would hang out in their nesting boxes long enough to lay an egg and always roost well...on the roost. We made a new roost and added 5 hens (born this spring) to the mix. Initially, the 9 hens slept on the new roost with the rooster and the 5 new gals perched together in a different spot in the coop. All of a sudden 5 of the older hens started sleeping in the nesting boxes (happened about 1 month after the new roost and the addition of the 5 hens). There doesn't appear to be any fighting amongst the group. Several are molting and we haven't got an egg in almost a week...whether that's related or not, I don't know!

    Does anyone know why they would want to sleep in the nesting boxes? How might I get them to sleep on the roost...I'm not a fan of the poop in the nesting boxes!! [​IMG]

    I would apprecaite any feedback!!!
     
  2. justtoni44

    justtoni44 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 13, 2010
    oregon
    I cannot tell you why specifically they moved to the nesting boxes..........
    but my husband put new roosts in part of our coop...they will not go near it.
    They all scrunch up on the old roosts...
    Guess it is true.they really do not like change.
    I told them they are ungrateful....[​IMG]
     
  3. Cavendish Chickens

    Cavendish Chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    382
    0
    119
    Apr 24, 2010
    Summit County, Ohio
    We constantly make changes around the pen and in the coop to keep our birds accustomed to change. Perhaps they are unhappy about the new hens, or maybe they all went broody... which would explain no eggs. Stress would also cause no eggs in some cases. Try different things to "cheer" them up and see if that helps at all. Also, some say to set them on the roosts at night every night, and they will eventually get the idea that that's where they are to sleep. These are the only thoughts I can offer. I hope you can get them back to normal. Good luck!
     
  4. math ace

    math ace Overrun With Chickens

    6,676
    63
    273
    Dec 17, 2009
    Jacksonville, FL
    My guess is the new roost is too low or too high.

    Too low and they will roost in the higher egg boxes.
    Too high and they will find a safer easier place to get into.

    After you figure out why they don't like the roost - - - here is a tip on how to get them out of your egg boxes.

    I picked up several cardboard boxes - - -SMALL ones that will fit in the nest.
    In the evening, I go out them and put the cardboard boxes in the nests. In the morning, I go out an remove them.

    It is a little extra work and you should not have to do it forever. Just do it for a couple of weeks until they have been re-trained into using the roosts.
     
  5. Cavendish Chickens

    Cavendish Chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    382
    0
    119
    Apr 24, 2010
    Summit County, Ohio
    Very smart idea math ace! I like that! [​IMG]
     
  6. Hottchick

    Hottchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    251
    0
    109
    Jul 29, 2010
    Maybe they're warmer in the nest boxes? It's a possibilty. I think mine are!
     
  7. dreamcatcherarabians

    dreamcatcherarabians Chillin' With My Peeps

    371
    16
    113
    Jul 29, 2010
    Stillwater
    Quote:Awesome idea, and like most great ideas, so simple it's elegant and totally something I'd never have thought of!
     
  8. Denise's zoo

    Denise's zoo New Egg

    8
    0
    7
    Sep 6, 2010
    Well, the roost is the same height as the highest nesting box and we to try to change up the coop to keep them accustomed to change. The coop has solar radiant heat and a back up heat source for the really cold nights (haven't needed it yet here in WI)... but they are molting, so maybe they are a bit chilly. I LOVE the idea of the boxes, we are going to try that tonight! Thanks for the suggestions everyone!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by