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Hens roosting on the nest boxes how to fix?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

With our current coop the hens roost on the nest boxes even though we have roost poles up. I am currently designing a new hen house and trying to figure out how to prevent this from happening. I have ideas but they are to complicated for what I want. This hen house will be 10 x 10ft and have 2 rows of 10 nest boxes one on top of the other. How can I make sure they prefer the roost polls to the next boxes?

2 Dogs a Boxer, Isis & a Boxador, Phoenix, 6 Cats, Mongo, JackJack, Squirrel, Snow, Calli & Peat Moss (Petey) 2 Goats: Rex, Pygmy, & Steve, Toggenburg & A flock of chickens: Easter Eggers, White Leghorns, Rhode Island Reds, Black Sex Links, Red Sex Links and EE crosses.
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2 Dogs a Boxer, Isis & a Boxador, Phoenix, 6 Cats, Mongo, JackJack, Squirrel, Snow, Calli & Peat Moss (Petey) 2 Goats: Rex, Pygmy, & Steve, Toggenburg & A flock of chickens: Easter Eggers, White Leghorns, Rhode Island Reds, Black Sex Links, Red Sex Links and EE crosses.
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post #2 of 9

Make sure that the roosts are higher than the nest boxes.  Chickens like to roost at the highest possible point in the coop.

Friends are the family you make for yourself.
There are no coincidences- only providences.
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Friends are the family you make for yourself.
There are no coincidences- only providences.
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post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
How much higher would work best?
2 Dogs a Boxer, Isis & a Boxador, Phoenix, 6 Cats, Mongo, JackJack, Squirrel, Snow, Calli & Peat Moss (Petey) 2 Goats: Rex, Pygmy, & Steve, Toggenburg & A flock of chickens: Easter Eggers, White Leghorns, Rhode Island Reds, Black Sex Links, Red Sex Links and EE crosses.
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2 Dogs a Boxer, Isis & a Boxador, Phoenix, 6 Cats, Mongo, JackJack, Squirrel, Snow, Calli & Peat Moss (Petey) 2 Goats: Rex, Pygmy, & Steve, Toggenburg & A flock of chickens: Easter Eggers, White Leghorns, Rhode Island Reds, Black Sex Links, Red Sex Links and EE crosses.
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post #4 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2BD4C10C View Post

How much higher would work best?

They will use the highest one, but generally it's best to 'ladder' them up from a lower point so that the heavier birds can hop to the higher ones...

I would say the lowest should be about 3' while the highest should be about 12" bellow the roof... My lowest is about 2' above the litter and although few birds actually roost on it (beyond newbies) several of the birds use the low roost as a stepping roost to get to the higher roost locations...
post #5 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2BD4C10C View Post

With our current coop the hens roost on the nest boxes even though we have roost poles up. I am currently designing a new hen house and trying to figure out how to prevent this from happening. I have ideas but they are to complicated for what I want. This hen house will be 10 x 10ft and have 22 rows of 10 nest boxes one on top of the other How can I make sure they prefer the roost polls to the next boxes?

How many chickens do you have? 20 nesting boxes is ALOT of boxes.
2 Buff Orpingtons, 4 Black Sex Links,. 1 Golden Retriever, 1 "old man" cat and 2 Betta.
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2 Buff Orpingtons, 4 Black Sex Links,. 1 Golden Retriever, 1 "old man" cat and 2 Betta.
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post #6 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChickenMammX4 View Post


How many chickens do you have? 20 nesting boxes is ALOT of boxes. ​

I agree with this. Your 10 x 10 coop will hold about 25 birds allowing 4 square feet per bird.  However if the nesting boxes are taking up space inside the coop you need to subtract that space from the whole coop and have fewer than 25 birds.  For 25 hens you would need 5 nesting boxes, not 20. 

post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 

Right now 14 laying hens

2 Dogs a Boxer, Isis & a Boxador, Phoenix, 6 Cats, Mongo, JackJack, Squirrel, Snow, Calli & Peat Moss (Petey) 2 Goats: Rex, Pygmy, & Steve, Toggenburg & A flock of chickens: Easter Eggers, White Leghorns, Rhode Island Reds, Black Sex Links, Red Sex Links and EE crosses.
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2 Dogs a Boxer, Isis & a Boxador, Phoenix, 6 Cats, Mongo, JackJack, Squirrel, Snow, Calli & Peat Moss (Petey) 2 Goats: Rex, Pygmy, & Steve, Toggenburg & A flock of chickens: Easter Eggers, White Leghorns, Rhode Island Reds, Black Sex Links, Red Sex Links and EE crosses.
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post #8 of 9


I have that number of layers at the moment and they only use 2 nest boxes. As has been said, 4ish will be fine, in my experience.

 

Cheers

CT


Edited by CTKen - 3/14/16 at 2:24am
Nairobi, Kenya
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Nairobi, Kenya
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post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2BD4C10C View Post
 

Right now 14 laying hens

Then you need 3, maybe 4 nesting boxes.  First try having your roosts higher than the nesting boxes.  You could also put a slanted roof over the top nesting box so they can't roost on top.  If they are sleeping in the nesting boxes then you might have to block the boxes off at night.  This would mean you'd have to get to the coop early in the morning to unblock the boxes so they can lay their eggs.  Once they get used to sleeping on the roost you should have no more trouble. 

 

My nesting boxes are even with the floor but hang outside the coop.  I have 2 6' roosts made from 2x4's with the wide side up that are 22 inches off the floor.  Of course they all like just one of the roosts so all 13 crowd into 6 feet rather than use the roost they don't like.  Chickens are kind of funny that way. 

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