hens sleeping in nest box?

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owli

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hens sleeping in nest box?
« on: May 15, 2009, 10:23 »
Hi

We got our first two hens a couple of weeks ago. They were bought at point of lay and they seem to be settling in nicely, although not laying yet (we were told they would take a few weeks - which is fine). We have a pottery egg in each part of the nest box, but they still sleep in there - and poo a lot on the nest box bedding. Should we be trying to discourage this -  and if so, how?????? Otherwise - what should we do when they start laying - because the eggs will be bound to be very pooy The house has a wooden slatted floor over the grass. Should we be putting bedding over this? There is no perch inside the house - would this help? At the moment we move the coop and small run every couple of days but should complete the bigger run today and let them out properly for the first time this weekend. That will be really exciting for us all!!!!

Thanks for any help.

Owli

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Vember

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Re: hens sleeping in nest box?
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2009, 10:51 »
Hi Owli :)

Yes they need a perch and it's better if it's above the nest boxes. Hen's will always go to the highest possible place to sleep :)

The house has a wooden slatted floor over the grass. Should we be putting bedding over this?
Owli

Is there any protection to stop mice/rats getting in the coop?


Sarah :)

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Fifitrix

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Re: hens sleeping in nest box?
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2009, 11:03 »
Sarah's right.  Ideally you'll get them onto the perch, although I've absolutely no idea how.  Sorry!

Just wanted to say it's not the end of the world if you don't.  There was a topic very recently that you should be able to find where people couldn't get their hens to sleep anywhere other than the nest box.  It's just a case of you having to clean it out more regularly.  Mine sleep there and mostly we don't get pooey eggs.

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andreadon

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Re: hens sleeping in nest box?
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2009, 11:58 »
Yes they need a perch and it's better if it's above the nest boxes. Hen's will always go to the highest possible place to sleep :)


or the most comfortable in ours' case!!  ::)

We just check them after it's gone properly dark and if anyone's in the nest box, we pop them on the perch.

usually in the morning the nest box if full of poo, so i'm guessing they all go back in there.
we've got some new ones that we've had for about 2 weeks, and it's they who sleep mostly in the nestbox - the oldies are quite good at staying where they're supposed to be.

so, I think my advice is: pop them on the perch.
                                     give it time.

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Vember

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Re: hens sleeping in nest box?
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2009, 12:02 »
Yes they need a perch and it's better if it's above the nest boxes. Hen's will always go to the highest possible place to sleep :)

so, I think my advice is: pop them on the perch.
                                     give it time.

Think the thing that your missing there Andreadon is they don't have a perch at the moment I was suggesting that they would be better with one :D

There is no perch inside the house - would this help?

Owli


Sarah :)

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andreadon

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Re: hens sleeping in nest box?
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2009, 12:19 »
oh, sorry!
i did read that, too!  :blush:

It sounds a bit like a broody pen to me, with the slats directly onto the grass...

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owli

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Re: hens sleeping in nest box?
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2009, 12:36 »
Thanks for all the replies...

No actual protection against mice/rats getting in, but we are going to continue moving the coop every couple of days within the big pen to prevent rodents nesting underneath. Should we do anything else?

Sounds like we need to fit a perch - any advice on doing that?

And finally - the really exciting news - first egg laid this morning!!!! WOW!  :D

Owli

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Vember

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Re: hens sleeping in nest box?
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2009, 12:46 »
Sounds like we need to fit a perch - any advice on doing that?

It all really depends on the size / shape of your coop :) I have a couple of branches and also a piece of 2x2 as a perch, they favor the natural ones :lol: :) Mine are screwed into place so every so often I can take them out and give underneath of them a good clean to keep red mite at bay :)

No actual protection against mice/rats getting in, but we are going to continue moving the coop every couple of days within the big pen to prevent rodents nesting underneath. Should we do anything else?

How big are the gaps in the slats I'd be concerned about vermin getting in. Stoats can also wriggle into gaps and kill a hen :(

And finally - the really exciting news - first egg laid this morning!!!! WOW!  :D

That's fantastic news :D Nothing like your first, second, third or any egg your girls lay :) I still get a buzz collecting eggs :D

How you going to eat it ?

Sarah :D




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sminky

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Re: hens sleeping in nest box?
« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2009, 16:30 »
Mine generally sleep on the perch, but tend to lay anywhere in the coop, not just the nest box  ::)

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Wyandottie

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Re: hens sleeping in nest box?
« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2009, 18:29 »
I wouldn't be too concerned Owli.  Some of my hens sleep in the nest boxes despite a range of perches for them to use.  The boxes are usually full of poo in the morning which I remove whilst they are distracted by breakfast.  At present I am just using wood shavings in the boxes and on the floor of the coop since they seem to dislike straw, throwing it around and removing it all from the boxes.  I have also purchased Diatom powder and mix some of this with the wood shavings in the nest boxes so that they get a light dusting with it as they scratch around to settle down for the night.  I have given up worrying about it - they seem happy enough.

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bunch29

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Re: hens sleeping in nest box?
« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2009, 18:49 »
Mine have always slept in the nest box too they are ex bats so they did'nt know how to perch anyway, but I find it easier in some ways to keep the coop clean as I scoop out the nest box every morn then they lay in a clean nest box so no pooy eggs ;) and a cleaner coop

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owli

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Re: hens sleeping in nest box?
« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2009, 21:50 »
Thanks again to you all - you've put my mind at rest!

Owli

PS egg in fridge to cook and share tomorrow!

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Laverne88

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Re: hens sleeping in nest box?
« Reply #12 on: May 16, 2009, 07:45 »
I once found that a good emergency/temporary perch is 2 broom handles taped together
Stay Muddy x



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