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why do my girls keep pooping in the nesting box's

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Bill2457, Oct 19, 2011.

  1. Bill2457

    Bill2457 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 16, 2011
    How do i keep this from happening? My nesting boxes are 7 across with another 7 on top of those. They never use the bottom ones and the top are always dirty with poop. My coop is 3 foot off the ground and is 3 foot front to back, 8 foot wide and 4 foot tall. it has two 8 foot long perches inside that are at different elevations. My run is 8 foot wide and 12 foot long. I have 8 hens and only one is laying so far, (green eggs). I'm hopeing the rest will start within the next month. Can't wait but, would sure like to put the crappy nest problem to an end before they do. I've only been into chickens about 2-3 months now.

    Please help. Any ideas?

    Bill
     
  2. they'reHISchickens

    they'reHISchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Our younger chickens like to sleep in the nest boxes just prior to laying. It seems to feel more secure to them. That behavior seems to change when they begin laying, although it reappears here during early molt.
    Who knows what goes on in their little minds?
     
  3. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    First, if your nesting boxes are up high, it leads me to suspect that they are sleeping in them, thus the poop. I'd rather not have my nesting boxes up too high, just for this reason. Second, don't have open nesting boxes available to yet-to-lay pullets. They'll just play and especially sleep in them. Could be a hard habit to break, once formed.

    The roosts must be higher than the nesting boxes. This works best in conjunction with the chicken's instinct of sleeping "up high" for self protection.
     
  4. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Fred's Hens :

    First, if your nesting boxes are up high, it leads me to suspect that they are sleeping in them, thus the poop. I'd rather not have my nesting boxes up too high, just for this reason. Second, don't have open nesting boxes available to yet-to-lay pullets. They'll just play and especially sleep in them. Could be a hard habit to break, once formed.

    The roosts must be higher than the nesting boxes. This works best in conjunction with the chicken's instinct of sleeping "up high" for self protection.

    +1 well said​
     
  5. Bill2457

    Bill2457 Out Of The Brooder

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    should I staple a long sheet of cloth or somthing all the way across the entrances to the top boxes to close them off so the lower ones are thier only choice for now?
     
  6. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Yes, you'll have to start "over" in their training.

    First, unless you have 50 birds, you don't need that many boxes. [​IMG] Truth be told, the ratio is honestly 8-10 hens per box. We keepers love to provide more, but they never use them. It's the nature of the chicken to make "clutches" with each other. Part of the social framework that is the chicken's social order.

    Remove more boxes than a 6-8 to one ratio. You won't need them. Or, cover them.

    Absolutely, never have an open nesting box any earlier than virtually days before first lay. I know that take experience, but better to err on the side of caution.
    Again, boxes must be low, at least until the pullets are trained on where to lay and where to sleep. It is somewhat learned behavior.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2011
  7. Bill2457

    Bill2457 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 16, 2011
    thanks for all the advice. I'm not really sure when the rest will start laying, they all look to be around the same size except for two are just a little smaller. when i bought them i was told by the sellers (two different ones) that they should start laying any time now. that was two months ago. So far only one is giving me a small egg about every 24 to 48 hrs.
     
  8. mommissan

    mommissan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Do fake eggs (training eggs) help? I put a plastic toy easter egg in each box and they stopped sleeping/pooping in them. Actually, it was my last rooster who was the main culprit. He's gone now.
     
  9. NovaAman

    NovaAman Overrun With Chickens

    Neighbor has open top boxes... old wooden milk crates... eggs are always poopy. I have side open nesting boxes... always clean eggs...
     
  10. wyododge

    wyododge Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You can get cheapo walmart plastic balls that fill the nest boxes instead of covering them completely. This will allow them to see the nest boxes, but not get in them to sleep. When they are ready to start laying, take one or two out, then progress as they need them. As stated earlier, roosts above nest boxes. Also is you go in your coop after dark and if they are in there, take them out and put them on a roost. If need be, don't be real nice about it after the first couple corrections. You are the lead chicken so they will take the lesson. We didn't need to use the ball technique, but we did have to remove a few girls from the nest boxes. One of them needed a little extra convincing, but no more sleeping in the nest boxes anymore.
     

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