Why is it bad for chickens to sleep in nesting boxes?

Weeg

Crowing
Jul 1, 2020
2,578
4,147
326
Small town in Washington
I know when I am tired and in a hurry or my WiFi is not cooperating it makes my communication skills go out the window. However, you are managing a lot of chickens in a small space which goes a long way on a space budget.
Honestly, we have SO much space on our property, and plenty of room to expand the coop, but since I just recently joined BYC, we built the coop before I joined, we never though about space factor. I never though about it that much, even though I care about them so much and want them to be happy and safe, I never really though how much it mattered. Now that I have joined, I defiantly understand the space issue. I agreed it is hard to express the whole setup, problem, and knowledge through text. I really do appreciate the help though, you have no idea!
 

thepick4uchicks

Songster
May 23, 2020
982
1,624
143
Mississippi
Honestly, we have SO much space on our property, and plenty of room to expand the coop, but since I just recently joined BYC, we built the coop before I joined, we never though about space factor. I never though about it that much, even though I care about them so much and want them to be happy and safe, I never really though how much it mattered. Now that I have joined, I defiantly understand the space issue. I agreed it is hard to express the whole setup, problem, and knowledge through text. I really do appreciate the help though, you have no idea!
I wrote a huge response to your message then it wouldn’t let me send it because it was too many characters. So I was ticked. My battery was dying. Figures. Not my day. If you want my cell # to text or talk it is no problem. You will be safe. I promise. No judgement and no criticism. Just let me know. Message me all you want.
 

CluckerFamily

Crowing
Feb 14, 2016
1,828
4,009
301
Wisconsin
Typically coops have roosts higher than the nesting boxes. Chickens want to roost in the highest place available to stay away from predators.
If you rearrange the coop and take out the top nesting boxes and have the roosts up there, you may need to add a ramp or lower roosts to help the older ones get up there. Chickens are creatures of habit! If you remove the top nesting boxes you will have to block off the lower nesting boxes at night (may plywood) and then remove it in the morning.
My other thought since you built the coop is to take out the flooring of that lower nesting box or maybe lower that flooring to add a roost in there.
The pictures were taken at night and you warned us about that. They look healthy!
I always worry about flystrike and sitting in a nesting box all night can lead to this.
Your chickens have fluffy butts!
 

Vickischics

BYC Songster & Master Egg Collector!
Premium Feather Member
May 6, 2020
1,443
3,412
326
Space Coast of Florida
I have to agree, your fluffy butts look healthy.
Yes, the picture does appear to allow the top roosted birds to poop on the lower ones. You explained that now. As far as the dark scab markings on your RIR appearing like Dry Fowl Pox. Its not a terrible virus to have. Many flocks have it and like any other virus, it runs its course. My flock got it this summer from the mosquitoes too. I am always looking for early signs of it so I can begin to put iodine on the areas, cleaning ect to inhibit the spread as much as possible. Another person with a lot of expertise spotted it on a picture I posted.
It ran its course and I learned about it.
I will be adding screening to the hardware cloth for additional protection from those blood sucking preditors.
I'm glad you will think about expanding your coop.
Remember when you do, you will like most of us on here want to add more chickens because we are Chicken Addicts. Lol
Good luck with your coop renovations and I'm glad your dad will be able to help you.
Your Fluffy Butt Coop will be getting winterized.
 
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Weeg

Crowing
Jul 1, 2020
2,578
4,147
326
Small town in Washington
As far as the dark scab markings on your RIR appearing like Dry Fowl Pox. Its not a terrible virus to have. Many flocks have it and like any other virus, it runs its course. My flock got it this summer from the mosquitoes too. I am always looking for early signs of it so I can begin to put iodine on the areas, cleaning ect to inhibit the spread as much as possible.
It is possible that that is what it is. I did notice it, but though it was a scab from earlier injury. I have been keeping and eye on it, and it ant gotten bigger or anything like that. I can get more pictures today, any you can give me ideas for treatment.
 

Weeg

Crowing
Jul 1, 2020
2,578
4,147
326
Small town in Washington
Fowl Pox is healthy diet and time. Stress can prolong it, but healthy chickens overcome it.
They are very healthy otherwise. Plenty of free range time, no additional diseases. I do have an older chicken with bubbles in her eye, that she has had for a year though. I wouldn't want her to get it. I posted another thread about her and they said it was weird since her eye didn't look irritated and she's had it for so long. I don't know. She seems healthy otherwise, and is separated from the possible fowl pox with my ducks because otherwise our rooster will over mate her. I will get more pictures of everything, and the setup around the coop, so you can see how I would have to go about expanding. The only problem is, when we built the coop, we did cement flooring. So, its kinda cemented on the ground. We could move it, there is a way, it would just be more complicated then, "okay, lets pick it up and put it on the tractor!" ;)Thanks again!
 
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texsuze

Songster
Dec 17, 2012
206
260
164
Texas Hill Country
Some of my hens sleep in their nest boxes (small rubbermaid totes/no lids/'cut-down' entrances, filled with hay). No problem, since I clean coops each morning. But each coop also has PLENTY of separate roost space, so I think my girls' decision on where to sleep is simply preference. In 10 years I've never had an "egg eater" or fly strike, knock wood!!

You're on the right track with care/management. But.....since you do have more space to expand, that would be my suggestion, big time. Check out all the coop/run designs here on BYC for ideas, and maybe just bump out an existing wall and s-t-r-e-t-c-h that coop size to be more space-friendly to your girls. Use good ol' 2x4s (beveled corners, sanded super smooth) for roosts at different heights to accommodate those older hens. Fun project! Good Luck!
 

Weeg

Crowing
Jul 1, 2020
2,578
4,147
326
Small town in Washington
Ya, I think I could take out the top nesting boxes and make more roosting space, but then like you said everyone is gonna poop on the other. I need a bigger coop, whether I expand, or build a whole new one. The big issue, is gonna be getting my dad to help me build a new one. He has no problem building one, but since he kids just build this one a month or 2 ago, he isn't gonna be easy to convince to build another. I may need help there.
 

preciouschick

Chirping
Aug 26, 2020
76
173
63
PA
I am fairly new at this but From what I am reading in posts, nesting boxes should be lower than roosts, so maybe the height of the boxes is giving them the idea of safety. My hens always choose the highest roosts. Although I do have a hen that is sleeping in a nesting box from time to time. Mine are 4 on the ground level. I find poop in there in the morning. I scoop it out. Sometimes theres an egg in there and no poop. Try putting a low bar for the chickens that cant jump up any more.
 

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