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How to adapt coop so the hens stop sleeping in nestbox? - Page 2

post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 
Hi aart, yes, I know things are a bit cramped in the coop, but Im removing poo daily and they seem to be happy. Ive got aubiose and zeolite there and it all seems dry etc. Given that they seem to prefer a big hen pile in the nest boxes, theres loads of space they arent using! Anyway they seem quite happy and are let out first thing until they put themselves to bed, Ive ensured the run is big enough and has loads of enrichment items etc, and to that extent it is going well.

I could raise the perches, good idea. As i said, Im told ex batts arent used to perching at night and I dont mind if they dont want to... As long as they keep out of the nest boxes overnight! wink.png

Ill find ways to raise them up, I can see how it would be done.

Thanks again!
post #12 of 17
That’s a problem with those prefab coops, they are just so small you don’t have a lot of flexibility to do much with them. At least the bottom of the nests themselves are below the roosts a bit.

My suggestion is to make it as dark as you can in there at night and move them to the roosts until they catch on where to sleep. If it is too dark for them to see to go back to the nests they should catch on but it may take a while.

With them laying at night I’d question how dark it actually is in there. It takes around 25 hours, give or take a couple of hours, for an egg to go through a hen’s internal egg making factory. There are different triggers for when they release a yolk to start that journey. One trigger for when they release an egg is when they lay an egg, time to get another one on the way. But another trigger is daylight, that’s supposed to keep them from laying an egg at night. Occasionally a hen might have a glitch but most are pretty good at it.

I think your best friend is patience right now, which I think you have plenty of. Good luck!

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

 

"If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." — former North Carolina coach Dean Smith

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

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When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

 

"If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." — former North Carolina coach Dean Smith

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

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post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 
One other quick comment, we are in east London where it never gets fully dark. Consequently the hens sleep but never get into that hen catatonic state. So I move them every hour but two of the five still sneak into the nest boxes, and it isnt always the same ones!

Im thinking to put a baffle in and hope they dont lay in the rest of the coop before theyre let out in the morning?
post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks Ridgerunner, great points! I will digest them and come back... Cos Im about to go make some perches for the run before sundown :-)
post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by techiebabe View Post

One other quick comment, we are in east London where it never gets fully dark. Consequently the hens sleep but never get into that hen catatonic state.
Perhaps you could put shade cloth over the ventilation holes.
post #16 of 17
Thread Starter 
Ok, so before it was dusk two of them had already settled into the boxes to sleep! I pushed them out, and once all were in the run I put cardboard to block off the boxes. Then I opened the door to the coop and they marched in crossly, wanting to sleep... And werent impressed to find the nest boxes blocked off. There was a bit of battling inside the coop before they settled.

As Ive said, we are in london where it never gets fully dark, so they sleep well but they never get into that catatonic state so they arent ever oblivious overnight.

Anyway, tomorrow we will see how they did overnight, and will remove the cardboard.

I hope they get the message!
post #17 of 17
Thread Starter 
Theres a window in the door too hmm.png
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