Chickens aren’t known to be meticulous about hygiene, and if you want your chickens to have a clean place where they can lay eggs, then you must work on showing them how things ought to be done.
You see, nesting boxes are meant exclusively for laying eggs, and the chickens are supposed to sleep in their roosts.
But, many times, you will find that your chickens are sleeping in their nesting boxes.
And that’s when chickens tend to poop a lot.
So, let’s look into why your chickens are sleeping and pooping in their nesting boxes and what you can effectively do to prevent your chickens from pooping in their nesting boxes.
Why Do My Chickens Poop In Their Nesting Boxes?
Chickens can roughly poop every 20-30 minutes and the frequency, size, and amount of poop of chickens depend upon the chicken’s size, age, and diet.
Smaller chickens, chicks, and pullets poop more often than older chickens.
So, it becomes evident that chickens sleeping in their nests will eventually dirty their nests.
In short, you want to provide a place where your chickens can sleep when they are not laying or hatching their eggs.
Without a roosting bar for your chickens, your chickens will use their nesting boxes to sleep and poop in them.
Another thing to remember is that you ought to have enough roosts for all of your chickens, and the width and diameter of the roosts should be sufficient for your chickens to feel comfortable in them.
Also, nesting boxes appear to become filthier if you aren’t into the habit of cleaning the nesting boxes more frequently.
Some chicken raisers only clean out their nesting boxes semi-annually.
Naturally, you have to consider that if the nests aren’t cleaned more regularly, your chicken nests will be full of poop even if your chickens aren’t sleeping in them.
Furthermore, roosting bars are often placed directly above the nesting boxes, so constantly, when your chickens are pooping in their roosts, the nesting boxes below get messy.
And, you’re left wondering why your chickens are pooping in their nests.
How Do You Stop Chickens From Pooping Where They Lay Eggs?
You can take a few steps to ensure that your chickens stop pooping in their nesting boxes.
The first thing to consider is that if your chickens are done egg-laying for the day, you can restrict their nesting area.
Chickens usually lay eggs in the very early hours of the day.
Many chicken keepers claim that their chickens are usually done laying eggs by mid-afternoon.
So, you can attune your birds to an early morning routine where they can come out of their roosts, eat and then head off for their nesting boxes for egg-laying.
Moreover, you can ensure that you provide your chickens with comfortable roosts and enough for all of your chickens to settle into the night without looking for alternative places to sleep.
Chickens have in their DNA to forage for food before sunset and then head off to look for the highest perches to sleep to be safe from predators.
Keeping your chicken roosts higher than their nests will motivate your birds to sleep where they are meant to snooze.
At the same time, you should build your nesting shelf a bit further away from the roosting rack so that your nests stay clean.
You can’t stop your chickens from pooping in their sleep, but if the nesting area is away from the roosts and not underneath the roosts, they will likely stay tidier for longer.
Another aspect that is vital to consider is that you should never build the roosting shelf too high.
If the roosting shelf is too high, the chicks, pullets, and even the slightly older chickens will prefer to get into the nesting boxes that are more accessible.
Many times, chickens that are being bullied or are ill will revert to sleeping in the nesting boxes rather than opt to go roost with the other chickens.
The case of bullying usually resolves itself in a few days, but it does help if you give your chicken a thorough inspection for any injuries or diseases.
In the case of an illness or injuries, you ought to isolate the chicken unwell or hurt.
Why Do My Chickens Poop On Their Eggs?
Chickens don’t poop on their eggs.
Hens just use the same vent to poop and lay eggs.
While laying eggs, there’s a strong probability that the eggs might wind up with a little bit of poop on it.
But, if you consistently find poop on the eggs, then it might be that your chickens are having a tough time laying eggs.
Providing your fowl with a calcium-rich diet will hopefully solve your problem.
The one major issue that chickens low in calcium face is egg-binding.
Egg-binding can also happen due to too much protein, stress, intestinal worms, dehydration, low quality feed and weakness.
Egg-binding is a condition that you want to avoid at all cost as it can be life-threatening for you hens.
How Do You Keep A Nest Box Clean?
As you might have deciphered by now, chickens poop quite a bit.
Whether your chicken is sleeping in its roosts or not, you will find that nesting boxes get dirty.
The only way to prevent the nests from turning filthy is to practice routine cleaning.
When your hens aren’t laying, remove the nests to stop hens from becoming broody and discourage your fowl from sleeping in their nests.
Changing the nesting materials and cleaning up the entire coop once every month or two will go a long way in keeping away an infestation of mites, foul odors, and diseases such as salmonella.
Keeping chickens means having low-maintenance pets who are sturdy and self-sufficient creatures.
But, every animal needs love, care, and attention.
And, if you don’t want dirty nesting boxes or a foul-smelling coop, you’ll have to practice cleaning more often and training your chickens to sleep in their roosts.