Sleep­ing in nest­boxes

Your Chickens - - Ask Our Experts -

QMy new hens have be­gun to sleep in the nest­boxes. Should I try to dis­cour­age this or doesn’t it mat­ter?

AVic­to­ria says: It’s a bad idea for hens to sleep in nest­boxes as they do most of their drop­pings at night and thus will con­tam­i­nate any eggs. Clos­ing off the nest­boxes with card­board un­til the hens be­gin to lay will not al­low them to get in bad habits. If they have not learnt how to perch, you may have to lift them onto the perch in the evening for sev­eral days so that they get the idea. The perches should be higher than the nest­boxes in any case as they feel safer when perched as high as they can get.

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