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Coop/sleeping question

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

So i have 5 chickens, 9-10 weeks old, so not laying yet.  When i was cleaning out the coop the other day, it's obvious they are either hanging out or sleeping in the laying boxes.  I have wood shavings along the main part of the coop, and a roost dowel, and then another little area set aside with bricks because the 2 younger ones like to snuggle together.  Anyway, i don't have any shavings in the nesting area b/c i didn't want them to sleep there.  But it was a  mess of poop and hard to clean.  

 

Should i just make it comfy anyway?  Block it off so they don't hang out there?  We had a super rainy week so i think they were in the coop a lot.

post #2 of 4

This is a common problem encountered with young birds -- the simplest solution, when possible, is simply to block off the nest boxes until the birds start to show signs of reaching the point of lay *and* had a firmly established roosting habit.  As you have seen, a sleeping bird expels a LOT of waste and a poopy nest box = poopy eggs (when they come), who wants that?    Definitely do not accommodate the bad habit by making the nest boxes comfy for them.

While it can take a bit for young birds to get the hang of roosting to sleep (sleeping piled up in the meantime - on the floor of hte coop or, when they can, in a nest box), one thing to consider when they are doing this is whether the place you don't want them has inadvertently been made more attractive than the place you do want them.  Whether or not they are bedded/lined, the nest boxes may well be a more attractive place to a chicken than the intended roost - some internal shots of your coop setup can help us to see if you have any potential pitfalls that will work against you in training them not to sleep in the nests.

Where are we going, and why are we in this hand basket?
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Where are we going, and why are we in this hand basket?
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post #3 of 4
Sometimes you have to train them ... Pick them up in the evening, and put them on the roost! It may take a few days or weeks!

How big around is the dowel?

How high is it off the ground?

Sometimes ... If you have a low roost like 12" off the ground, they will jump up on it, once they get the hang of perching on a roost, they will look for a higher roost! Make sure your nesting boxes are not higher than the roost.
Keep your eyes on the road ... And, your head out of your apps!
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Keep your eyes on the road ... And, your head out of your apps!
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post #4 of 4


Are the roosts easy to get to?  And are the roosts wide enough?  A 2x4 is a perfect size, and being flat, it lets them settle down on their feet to keep them warm in the winter.  Also, a good idea is to have a poop board under the roost filled with Sweet PDZ so the poop dries up quickly, doesn't smell, and can be scooped out like a kitty litter box.

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