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Will chickens lay eggs if they don't roost? Mine sleep in nestbox..

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

My chickens sleep in a converted rabbit hutch (homemade). The ceiling is high enough for them to roost, I added poles for them to perch on. They don't use them, just sleep in the nest boxes that were the rabbits sleeping quarters. Will it make them broody? How can I encourage them to roost? They are free range during the day, and always return 'home' right before dusk. It's so cute to listen to them talking to each other as they settle down for the night.

1 tolerant husband, two gorgeous kids, 3 cats, 1 dog, 3 rabbits,  1 NJ Giant, 2 silkies, 2 Ameraucanas, 1 maybe delaware, one New Hampshire red hen, one NH rooster, and about ten fish.
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1 tolerant husband, two gorgeous kids, 3 cats, 1 dog, 3 rabbits,  1 NJ Giant, 2 silkies, 2 Ameraucanas, 1 maybe delaware, one New Hampshire red hen, one NH rooster, and about ten fish.
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post #2 of 10

I will admit to standing outside the coop on occasion to hear that roosting conversation.   I do have 2 hens that initially would sleep in nest boxes until really cold temps hit then they wanted to be up on the roost warm with the rest of the flock.  What kind of chickens are yours and how old are they? Did they ever roost on poles?  I suppose if they need to roost you could put them on the poles at night after they settle and see if they "get it". Can you block off the nesting area for the night and open it in the am when they are most likely to lay?  Are the perches over a solid floor or over a wire floor?  If wire maybe they feel "safer" in the enclosed area?
I am not sure if they will get more broody sleeping in the nest box area-someone with more chicken experience will probably be able to answer that.

post #3 of 10

Yes a chicken will lay regardless of whether the roost or not.

Comercial egg farms have no roosts, and they get plenty of eggs.

The problem with letting them sleep in the nest boxes is that if they lay in the nest box, you will get eggs that are layed in poop, unless you clean them every day in the morning before they lay thier eggs.

post #4 of 10

I've noticed this too here lately....we go out to make sure the chickens (all 8 weeks old) have gone into the coop, only to find them stuffed into one of the next boxes. I mean stuffed.....all six in a 16" x 16" box, with Brewster the rooster sitting on the floor underneath. It's very interesting.

The nest boxes are the same height as some of the roost bars. Do I need to raise the bars, or lower the nest boxes?

Presently home to 3 cats and 2 rescued Greyhounds, and now "the girls"...two Barred Rocks, two Red Sex Links, and two beautiful Buff Orps, and last but not least, Brewster the Barred Rock Rooster

"Until one has loved an animal, a part of ones soul remains unawakened..." Anatole France
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Presently home to 3 cats and 2 rescued Greyhounds, and now "the girls"...two Barred Rocks, two Red Sex Links, and two beautiful Buff Orps, and last but not least, Brewster the Barred Rock Rooster

"Until one has loved an animal, a part of ones soul remains unawakened..." Anatole France
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post #5 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by lakeguy55 

I've noticed this too here lately....we go out to make sure the chickens (all 8 weeks old) have gone into the coop, only to find them stuffed into one of the next boxes. I mean stuffed.....all six in a 16" x 16" box, with Brewster the rooster sitting on the floor underneath. It's very interesting.

The nest boxes are the same height as some of the roost bars. Do I need to raise the bars, or lower the nest boxes?


At 8 weeks you need to block off the boxes so they cant get in.  If same level and they learn to roost out of the boxes it should be OK, it is best to have the roosts higher, but not 100% necessary.

post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 

My girls are possibly Australorps or NJ Giants, they both have yellow feet so it's hard to tell. They came from a Vivero (live poultry market in the Bronx) where they were all squished into metal cages. I don't know much more than that they are five months old, the person that sold them to me spoke barely any English. They are sleeping in a converted homemade rabbit hutch, it is made from wood, with wire sides. There are two sleeping boxes that are the same level as the rest of the hutch, the floor is completely wood, with pine shavings. They were terribly sick for a while and I thought I would lose them, but antibiotics, vitamins and some home remedies suggested to me here brought them back. Their feathers are now really coming in (they were very raggedy) and they are gaining weight, I'm so glad they survived. If you love chickens, those live markets will break your heart, they also sell rabbits, turkeys, guinea hens and ducks. All ten to a cage with feathers missing. They slaughter them for you right there if you want fresh meat. I've watched the truck drivers bringing in new birds park their rigs on the side of the road fully loaded in 95F weather with no shade, go to have breakfast, and come back two hours later. But don't get me started.....!

1 tolerant husband, two gorgeous kids, 3 cats, 1 dog, 3 rabbits,  1 NJ Giant, 2 silkies, 2 Ameraucanas, 1 maybe delaware, one New Hampshire red hen, one NH rooster, and about ten fish.
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1 tolerant husband, two gorgeous kids, 3 cats, 1 dog, 3 rabbits,  1 NJ Giant, 2 silkies, 2 Ameraucanas, 1 maybe delaware, one New Hampshire red hen, one NH rooster, and about ten fish.
Reply
post #7 of 10

Is that the market below 895?  I go past that quite often, was wondering what all they sold, but they are not open at 5am.  frow

post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 

No, it's on West 207th Street. Actually I just realized I've been saying it's in the Bronx, when in fact it's upper Manhattan, on Tenth Avenue under the 1 train, right near the Fordham road bridge that crosses the Major Deegan. I now live in CT, so I tend to lump everything together down there without thinking. There are plenty of these places though, some will butcher goats or cows also, I think those are the Halal places. (A cow that escaped was in the news last week, he was placed on a farm upstate somewhere). The one I went to is in a predominantly Hispanic nabe, it's something of a tradition to buy a freshly killed bird apparently.

1 tolerant husband, two gorgeous kids, 3 cats, 1 dog, 3 rabbits,  1 NJ Giant, 2 silkies, 2 Ameraucanas, 1 maybe delaware, one New Hampshire red hen, one NH rooster, and about ten fish.
Reply
1 tolerant husband, two gorgeous kids, 3 cats, 1 dog, 3 rabbits,  1 NJ Giant, 2 silkies, 2 Ameraucanas, 1 maybe delaware, one New Hampshire red hen, one NH rooster, and about ten fish.
Reply
post #9 of 10

weesy68,

frow

We had one pullet try to do that. When we first got her, she would settle into the nest box as though she planned to sleep there.

For several nights we just picked her up out of the nest box and sat her on the roost. She was a quick study and now roosts with the other 9 girls. yippiechickie: clap

post #10 of 10

Hi weesy68,

What shape is your roost?  I am very new to parenting chickens smile but I have recently read that a good roost is a 2x4 placed so that they can roost on the wide side so that the chickens can sit on their feet so they don't get cold.  Just a thought?

Don't Let Any Gov't Body Take Our Right To Keep Chickens On Land We Own
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Don't Let Any Gov't Body Take Our Right To Keep Chickens On Land We Own
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