COOP - Introducing Smart Coop

On average, a chicken spends around 25 to 30 minutes in a nesting box daily. They mainly sit on these bird boxes to lay eggs. But do you see your chicken in the nesting box all day long? If so, it is a concerning point you don’t want to overlook.

Chickens may stay in the nesting box all day if they are brooding, sick, or disturbed. A too-dirty chicken coop or uncomfortable roosting location can also cause this problem.

Why Chicken In Nesting Box All Day Long?

Chickens may sit on the nesting boxes all day for various reasons.

Figuring out the primary reason is crucial to keep out of the bird boxes.

The followings are the most common causes of chickens spending hours daily in nesting boxes.

01. Your Chicken Is Brooding

One of the most common reasons chickens sit on the nesting boxes all day is brooding. Broodiness is a hormonal urge to hatch or nest eggs.

Hens go for brooding at least once or twice a year. Some broods five times a year.

Chickens usually go broody due to hormonal imbalance and warm weather.

If the birds are flattened out and ruffled their feathers with a little growl after opening the box, they are most probably broody.

They will rotate the eggs from time to time to ensure an ideal level of heat and humidity.

Generally, hens will stay broody for 21 to 28 days. During the broody phase, these female flocks eat less food and drink less water.

They may reduce their feed consumption by up to 80%. It will lead to losing weight and becoming dehydrated.

Chicken In Nesting Box All Day

02. You Are Not Collecting Eggs For Too Long

Chickens keepers are supposed to collect eggs every day. Even experts recommend visiting the chicken coop twice daily.

Gathering eggs daily during extremely hot and cold weather is more important. Flocks generally lay more eggs.

Some chicken keepers collect eggs only twice or thrice a week. When the egg storage box becomes full, eggs will not roll away anymore.

Hens may start their brooding period if they have enough eggs and the weather is favorable for brooding.

Female chickens may crack or break them while playing with them. Sometimes, they may eat them if hungry and find them tasty.

03. Your Chicken Coop Is Dirty

Chicken coops need regular cleaning. You don’t want it to be too dirty for long. 

Cleaning and changing the bedding material on time is necessary. Flocks hate dust because it clogs their breathing pores of parasites.

Hens usually prefer a neat, non-crowdy, and quiet place to lay eggs.

When they see nesting boxes are cleaner than chicken coop floors, they may pass their time inside the boxes all day.

They will only leave the bird boxes for eating feed and drinking water.

It can be a common scenario during extremely hot or cold environments, rain, and storm. They don’t prefer to go out due to the bad weather.

Once they develop the habit of sitting on the nesting boxes all day, it might be hard to deter them.

04. Chickens Don’t Have Enough Roosting Space

Flocks usually prefer to roost on the roosting bars. A chicken needs around ten inches of roosting space.

A lack of roosting space may encourage birds to find another good spot for sleeping. They need to sleep 8 to 12 hours daily.

If chickens notice the nesting boxes inside the chicken coop have enough space and are clean, they may start sleeping in them.

It may lead to creating a mindset that this is their new home. They will start sitting on the nesting boxes all day long.

05. Aggressive Chickens Are Disturbing Them

Do you have both calm and naughty chickens? Aggressive chickens are pretty dangerous, fearless, and boisterous. They often attack shy and quiet flocks.

The conflict may arise from territory issues. Some broods are extremely territorial. In addition, they may peck and bite newly introduced chickens.

The new birds may feel unsafe staying with the aggressive ones.

They will search for a safer place where they can sit relaxed without any worry

If chickens notice the nesting boxes inside the chicken coop are empty and a tip-top condition, they may start sleeping in them.

It may lead to creating a mindset that this is their new home. They will start sitting on the nesting boxes all day long.

06. Your Chickens Are Ill

 Sick flocks often try to hide in nesting boxes. They prefer to conceal their weakness from other birds. Plus, ill chickens won’t expend the energy needed to fly.

Instead, they will try to find a quiet, non-crowdy place to relax.

If the nesting boxes are empty, they may stay inside the box all day long.

Sometimes, injured chickens can also follow this path. Fighting with other birds or any predators may have made them hurt.

You can identify a sick chicken from various symptoms, such as unusual posture, irregular droppings, less food consumption, pale comb or wattles, abnormal behavior, etc.

07. Your Chicken Coop Has Cold Drafts

Chickens can endure a good amount of cold air. But it may be too much during the freezing weather.

Flocks may feel uncomfortable sleeping on the roosting bars if windows are near their sleeping area.

A lack of proper insulation will cause entering a good amount of cold air inside the chicken coop.

Birds may search for a new place to sleep. If the nesting boxes are more confined, they may start sleeping in them.

08. Mites Are Attacking Your Chickens 

Mites are pretty dangerous for chickens. They may attack the birds’ external parasites and make them anemic.

It often leads to feather loss, severe anemia, and even death if it remains untreated for a long time.

If mites regularly disturb some of your chickens, they may try to hide them from these small arachnids and stay inside the nesting boxes during the daytime.

If mites bite, you will see itching, swelling, and raised reddish spots or tiny red dots on your bird’s body.

Plus, a pale comb, changes in appetite, fewer egg productions, irregular behavior, etc., are common symptoms of biting mites. 

How To Prevent Chickens From Sitting On The Nesting Boxes All Day?

Correctly figuring out the problem solves half of the problem.

Here are the following methods to deter chickens from sitting in the nesting boxes all day.

01. Lock The Nesting Boxes

Nesting boxes with a locking system come in handy.

It allows you to keep the bird boxes closed when they sit on them unnecessarily.

But make sure you know to keep it open early to mid-morning. Most hens lay eggs during this period.

Don’t forget to keep the nesting boxes closed at night. Otherwise, they may sleep on it.

02. Move Away The Chickens Physically

Deter that your chickens using hands whenever they sit on the nesting boxes.

But don’t show aggressive behavior. Just gently hold their feathers and put them away outside or inside the coop.

Some will go away when you act like catching them. Do it several times.

When they see this behavior regularly, they won’t sit on the box unless it is time to lay eggs.

03. Maintain Enough Space For Roosting

If you recently added a few more chickens, you may need to add additional roosting bars.

The place should not be too crowdy. Otherwise, flocks will search for another place to roost.

Also, you want to maintain the proper height for the roosting bars. Chickens generally prefer a higher elevation for sleeping.

04. Add A Cold Or Frozen Water Bottle

You can add a cold or frozen water bottle with a chilly dip during the regular weather temperature.

This will deter chickens as the majority of them do not like water. They often consider it evil.

You can also use a garden hose as chickens are scared of the hose. Do just a small spattering. They will move away instantly.

However, the feathers of chickens are not waterproof. They may feel sick if the water doesn’t dry properly.

It is better to utilize this method only during hot summer days.

A bag of frozen vegetables also comes in handy. When hens sit on top of cold objects, they will think it is an ideal time for brooding.

05. Remove all Nesting Material

It may seem odd to remove the nesting material every day. But this practice is likely to work. Chickens don’t sit on any hard surface to lay eggs or relax.

They need a cozy place to sit. That’s why chicken keepers use straw, hemp, or aspen materials.

This approach seems practical when you have a few nesting boxes.

 Remove the nesting material after mid-morning and add them early the next morning.

Once you practice it for a few days, chickens will only sit on it during their laying. 

Bonus Tips To Keep Chickens Away From Nesting Boxes Unnecessarily

  1. Keep the chicken coop always clean and disinfect them regularly. Do a deep cleaning at least twice a year.
  2. Collect the fresh eggs daily at least twice to prevent them from brooding and stay in the box.
  3. Manage a separate space for newly introduced shy chickens to save them from aggressive ones.
  4. Add proper insulation around the chickens’ roosting location to let them sit comfortably during the colder and hotter months.
  5. Add a few leaves of mint, lemon balm, or lavender regularly to prevent mites from biting your chickens.
  6. Do a health check-up at least once a month on all chickens to determine if they have any illness.
  7. Make sure no predators are harming your chickens. Install several CCTV cameras around the chicken coop to track predators’ movements and take preventive actions.
  8. Serve fresh foods and clean water to your chickens on time and ensure optimal health for your flocks and make them active.

Wrapping Up

So, are you still wondering this question: why does your chicken in the nesting box all day? It can happen for different reasons that we have already mentioned.

Regularly track your chicken movements. If you find anything abnormal, figure out the problem and address it soonest.

Hopefully, you will be able to deter chickens from staying inside nesting boxes all day. But take all necessary actions, so they don’t lay eggs elsewhere.

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