Hi Treats for Chickens' community, it's me, Dawn!
Chickens are messy. There’s no doubt about that.
Bhutttt, what about the chicken that insists on shatting IN a nesting box! Why are my chickens pooping in their nests? I just don’t even know why this has to happen.
Before we get too far into my journey in trying to tackle my chickens from pooping in nesting boxes. I asked myself several questions. Was it... the Roost Size, Fighting, Nests Too High, Mites, Broody Hens, Injuries, Old or Young Chickens, or Cleanliness the reason(s)? Nope by 9 times.
Every now and then I start to reach into a beautiful nesting box and there is a big fluffy chicken turd. More often than not it’s pressed into the corner and thankfully not touching any eggs. (If you aren’t careful, the risk of salmonella or E. coli.) But it is chickenshit and it is nonetheless IN the nesting box.
Right now it just so happens to be CT my bantam Silkie gal who is insisting on sleeping INSIDE a nesting box. I don’t know what transpired to make her so abruptly change her roosting tactics but they have changed. I don’t know, maybe she got in a fight with Larry her most recent roost-mate?
No matter the reason I put her back on her regular roost and come morning she’s there in that damn nesting box, with a tiny little turd squished in the corner, again.
Next night I gently place this sweet chicken on a roost, in a different spot, then I blocked the lower set of nesting boxes with various small split logs intended for the wood stove. It was sort of a half-assed attempt at preventing her access and wouldn’t you know it there she was again in the morning.
Tricky girl was now roosting ON the log, IN the nesting box with her signature tiny-turd squished in the corner.
Day 3 of tiny-turd removal.
I should let you know that I have an official tiny-turd tool now just for this situation.
The thing I try to remember is that I have gone to great lengths to make sure that these nesting boxes are spectacular. The crème de la crème. They’re hung at the right height and they don’t get too hot or too cold at any time of the day or night. There’s plenty of boxes to choose from - 10 to be exact, and each and every one has been dusted with Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth and fluffy shavings. And you know I’ve included more than a generous palm full of certified organic Nesting Box Blend. These boxes are the place to be no doubt. Just not for pooping please.
So here we are at day number five as this nonsense continued. I’m a big girl and I have decided I’m done. I’m just absolutely done. If she really wants to roost in this very specific nest box while everything in the world is turned upside down and feeling backwards and messy [Covid-19, I am looking at you] – I am just gonna let her.
I mean day it’s day five: she and I have a routine. It’s the most scheduled, routine and expected thing I can really count on right now amidst a global pandemic of WTF.
She’s calling it a sleepover. I oblige.
This chicken still heads out in the morning for standard coop/run socialization and scratching. And, I pick up her crap with my tiny turd tool. #expected #routine #consistent #thankyou🙋🏻♀️
A few things to note:
- She is not broody. Still lays an egg every other day.
- She’s not sick. I checked her over. Her eyes are clear, beak clear, vent looking good. No impacted crop. Good healthy weight and she’s pest free.
- She’s active. Pooping, drinking, eating, scratching, dusting and eating with her coop mates.
- She just wants to sleep and poop in a nest box. So be it.
I would say if you have a chicken that is insisting on sleeping and pooping in nest boxes to give her a quick check-up noting any of the bulleted items above. Chickens are historically pretty good at hiding when things are not good. And a quick once over will give you an idea if this is an illness or just a new desire and behavior.
- Dawn, Treats for Chickens 🧡
Let's keep your flock happy + healthy!
Got something to cluck about? Have other suggestions? Questions?
Help fellow chicken parents and leave a comment below!