Young chickens and 8 week old chicks sleeping in nesting boxes

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by walkerbrens, Oct 26, 2013.

  1. walkerbrens

    walkerbrens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 14, 2012
    Have two batches of chicks in with established group of hens. They have taken up sleeping in the nesting boxes. I have put rocks in the nesting boxes, tried to wire it off with small rabbit wire...but they somehow are finding their way around it. They are making such a mess the hens don't want to use the boxes. Any suggestions on how to make them use the roosts or at least move out of the boxes would be helpful. Thank you in advance
  2. Dawns Funy Farm

    Dawns Funy Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 6, 2013
    you will either have to do a better job of blocking the nest off at night or after dark go place them on a roost . is there enough roost space? the older girls tend to pick at younger ones trying to get the prime spot on the roost.
  3. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 26, 2011
    Upper Peninsula Michigan
    Best to block off the boxes late in the afternoon, before your birds go to roost, then open them again (you can do this at night after dark or early in the morning) to allow the hens to use them for laying. Once the juvis have become used to roosting, you can stop.
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    What’s probably happening is that the older hens are making life miserable for them on the roosts so they are looking for a safer place to sleep. Or they are transitioning to the roosts but are afraid of those older hens. They’ve got a good reason to be afraid. Those older hens can sometimes be brutal on the roosts.

    Like the others said, block them off before they go to bed and open them up the next morning early when you let them out of the coop. Eventually they will mature enough to be able to make their way into the pecking order and sleep on the roosts with the adults. That’s often when they start to lay, though if roost space is tight, it can still be a problem.

    When they’re young and in transition they are pretty inconsistent but most chickens like to sleep as high as they can when they roost. I wound up putting an extra roost higher than my nest boxes but lower than my main roosts and horizontally away from the main roosts to give the younger chicks a safer place to go. It doesn’t always work but it has helped the problem a lot.

    If you have space, I suggest increasing roost space, either at the same elevation or a little lower and separated a bit from the main roosts. Try to give them a safer place to go. You might need to put them on this new roost after dark for a while to get them used to using it.

    Good luck! You can solve this but it can be a challenge.
    1 person likes this.
  5. walkerbrens

    walkerbrens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 14, 2012
    Thank you all for your suggestions.....I will probably need to lower one of the roosts...although separated, they are very close to the same height. I have gone out and paneled the nesting boxes tonight...will see how that works. I will keep you posted.

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