Sleep on Roosts, Lay in Boxes

June 28, 2011
Dottie Speckles 11 weeks

Now that Dottie Speckles is 11 weeks old and Fifi is 14 weeks, I have been trying to get these two to sleep on the roosts at night.  Since the beginning of being transitioned into the large coop, they have been sleeping in the nesting boxes with Feathers and Dolly.  Two nights ago, I realized that this needed to change.

It needed to change for a few reasons but the one that was most important to me was keeping the nesting boxes free from chicken poop.  Okay, I know this is weird, but all my “grown up” chickens hold their poop until the morning.  Once outside, they all seem to pass their evening’s accumulations.  Yes, gross, to talk about, but could it be that my chickens are potty trained?  If only it were so easy with little kids.  Does this ever happen to you?

Anyway, for the last two nights, when it was almost dark, I have opened the nesting boxes to find all the Silkies and Dottie Speckles snuggled together.  In fact, last night Feathers, Fifi, and Dolly were all in the same box!  Each night it is the same.  I gently lift all of them from the boxes and place them on the roosts.  They fuss all the while but I have yet to see them return to the boxes.  The best part is that this morning the nesting boxes were unsoiled.

I am trying to avoid placing any sorts of cones or blockades in the nesting boxes for now.  I hope that they get the hint.  They say it takes 3 days/nights to change a behavior with children.  I wonder if the same thing goes for chickens?

Photo Credit:  Tilly’s Nest


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7 thoughts on “Sleep on Roosts, Lay in Boxes”

  1. Funny thing….my Buffs are two years old and just recently I noticed that there is no poo in the henhouse when I clean out daily. They (like my dogs) go immediately when let outside. I love it!!

  2. Gosh, I wish my girls would hold it till morning. They just fire at will all night long. And they pork out as the sun begins to go down. Not a big deal since I only have three and sand on the floor of their house. But it would be nice not to have to clean up after them each morning.

  3. I am so glad I mentioned that tidbit about the poop. Interesting that your girls do the same thing Maryann.

    Flock Mistress, I am sorry your girls don't hold it, but your comment gave me quite a chuckle. Oh, the visions that ran through my head as I read your commnent!

  4. I am not able to leave food out all night the rats would pack it off.I have feeding in the poop in the house at night.Recently there was a slight change and I had to feed late afternoon..poop in the house the next couple of days.Went back to morning only feedings..and walla no poop.
    Mine still all sleep in a huddle even in this extreme heat..they are so 17 weeks.Soon they will be in the new house with the boxes and the roost..this will be interesting.I will try to get them on the roost.

    Thanks for sharing..Cindy from Rick-Rack and Gingham

  5. Our three oldest hens are not potty trained… they do sleep on the roost at night, but they also poop… it's the messiest part of the hen house… I just scoop it out once a week and add it to my compost…you've got your girls off to a neat habit! Hope it sticks!

  6. Hi Deb, Glad to see you stopped by! I think we may be onto something about the pooping. Seems if they eat the majority of their food for the day before noon, they poop less at night. We all may have just discovered something!


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Sharing an inspired life from the New England seaside. Chickens, Bees, Gardens, Art and Yummy Goodness.