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Advice on sleeping in the nesting box

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
My chicks are 2 months old now, they recently started sleeping in the coop at night, so far, night 3 and they really caught on to going into the coop at nightfall (so happy about that), but they are all sleeping in one of the nesting boxes. The roosts we have in the coop are too low and we plan to hang some higher, but what if they continue to do this? It's my understanding that they should be discouraged from hanging out in the boxes. I don't want to block them off, because I want them to be comfortable going in there when they do start to lay.

Along those same lines, when should I start to put hay or other material in the nesting boxes? Right now I just have cardboard to protect the bare wood.
Redwood Mountain Peepers!
1 Silver Laced Wyandotte (Arrow)
2 Golden Laced Wyandottes (Chika and Llama)
1 New Hampshire Red (Banjo)
1 Blue Wheaten Armeraucana (Bullet)
1 Cuckoo Maran (The Baby Fuzz Butt Marshmallow Sushi)
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Redwood Mountain Peepers!
1 Silver Laced Wyandotte (Arrow)
2 Golden Laced Wyandottes (Chika and Llama)
1 New Hampshire Red (Banjo)
1 Blue Wheaten Armeraucana (Bullet)
1 Cuckoo Maran (The Baby Fuzz Butt Marshmallow Sushi)
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post #2 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Naz223 View Post

My chicks are 2 months old now, they recently started sleeping in the coop at night, so far, night 3 and they really caught on to going into the coop at nightfall (so happy about that), but they are all sleeping in one of the nesting boxes. The roosts we have in the coop are too low and we plan to hang some higher, but what if they continue to do this? It's my understanding that they should be discouraged from hanging out in the boxes. I don't want to block them off, because I want them to be comfortable going in there when they do start to lay.

Along those same lines, when should I start to put hay or other material in the nesting boxes? Right now I just have cardboard to protect the bare wood.


Blocking them off now will not cause them to be uncomfortable with them at the time they reach point of lay and boxes are again made accessible to them.  Preparation of the nests should be done around the same time one would open the boxes - the point at which you begin to see signs that they are nearing production and/or you find the first egg.....that's right, even if the boxes are still not open when they first lay they will still easily learn to use the boxes for their intended purposes.

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 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ol Grey Mare View Post
 


Blocking them off now will not cause them to be uncomfortable with them at the time they reach point of lay and boxes are again made accessible to them.  Preparation of the nests should be done around the same time one would open the boxes - the point at which you begin to see signs that they are nearing production and/or you find the first egg.....that's right, even if the boxes are still not open when they first lay they will still easily learn to use the boxes for their intended purposes

 X2.  Very good advice.  I usually block off wooden nest boxes by stapling part of a feed bag over the entrances, and only remove it when it's clear they're ready to lay.  

The joy of the Lord is my strength!
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The joy of the Lord is my strength!
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post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
Sounds good I'll get right on that this weekend
Redwood Mountain Peepers!
1 Silver Laced Wyandotte (Arrow)
2 Golden Laced Wyandottes (Chika and Llama)
1 New Hampshire Red (Banjo)
1 Blue Wheaten Armeraucana (Bullet)
1 Cuckoo Maran (The Baby Fuzz Butt Marshmallow Sushi)
Reply
Redwood Mountain Peepers!
1 Silver Laced Wyandotte (Arrow)
2 Golden Laced Wyandottes (Chika and Llama)
1 New Hampshire Red (Banjo)
1 Blue Wheaten Armeraucana (Bullet)
1 Cuckoo Maran (The Baby Fuzz Butt Marshmallow Sushi)
Reply
post #5 of 9

Howdy Naz223

 

I agree that you have been given good advice to date.

 

Just wanted to add that if you do block off the nest boxes, they might be upset and confused about where they are going to sleep.  Popping them on the roost just on bed time will encourage them to roost.  A couple of nights of doing that and they should pick it up; they sound like smart gals having caught on quickly with the going into the coop at nightfall.

 

Good luck and let us know how you go.

Bambrook Bantams; Home to Cilla, Dusty, LuLu, Blondie and Crystal

 

'There is No snooze button on a chicken who wants breakfast'

 

'Until One Has Loved An Animal, Part Of Their Soul Remains Unawakened'

 

My Chicken Page: http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/bambrook-bantams

 

Teila's Tales from the Coop: http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1109051/teilas-tales-from-the-coop

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Bambrook Bantams; Home to Cilla, Dusty, LuLu, Blondie and Crystal

 

'There is No snooze button on a chicken who wants breakfast'

 

'Until One Has Loved An Animal, Part Of Their Soul Remains Unawakened'

 

My Chicken Page: http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/bambrook-bantams

 

Teila's Tales from the Coop: http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1109051/teilas-tales-from-the-coop

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post #6 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Naz223 View Post

My chicks are 2 months old now, they recently started sleeping in the coop at night, so far, night 3 and they really caught on to going into the coop at nightfall (so happy about that), but they are all sleeping in one of the nesting boxes. The roosts we have in the coop are too low and we plan to hang some higher,

If you have heavy breeds, then your roosts should be 12-18 inches off the ground. Too high and they can sprain a leg or foot jumping off them when they are adults. I once took in some Speckled Sussex from a person who got hurt and couldn't care for them anymore. The person also had Guinea hens. For the Guineas they had put the roosts 5 ft off the ground. The Sussex had also been using these roosts. This poor hen was so crippled up in her feet that she could hardly walk. They had been injured by coming down off that high roost and she had like lumpy arthritis in her  legs and feet. It was very sad to see this lovely well-bred hen hobbling around the poultry yard trying to be a normal chicken. She could have been spared all that if the owner had just put her in  a place with a low roost.

 Best,

 Karen


Edited by 3riverschick - 5/29/15 at 4:03am

Awaiting my lovely Large Fowl White Chanteclers coming this Aug.

Walt Boese strain and Tewart flock of Pure English  Light Sussex

My flock now resides with Farmer Karl in PA.   

  I know he will do well by them. Karl is a knowing poultry man.

RIP Hellbender, my friend. Good friend, good heart, gone too soon.

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Awaiting my lovely Large Fowl White Chanteclers coming this Aug.

Walt Boese strain and Tewart flock of Pure English  Light Sussex

My flock now resides with Farmer Karl in PA.   

  I know he will do well by them. Karl is a knowing poultry man.

RIP Hellbender, my friend. Good friend, good heart, gone too soon.

Reply
post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3riverschick View Post
 

If you have heavy breeds, then your roosts should be 12-18 inches off the ground. Too high and they can sprain a leg or foot jumping off them when they are adults. I once took in some Speckled Sussex from a person who got hurt and couldn't care for them anymore. The person also had Guinea hens. For the Guineas they had put the roosts 5 ft off the ground. The Sussex had also been using these roosts. This poor hen was so crippled up in her feet that she could hardly walk. They had been injured by coming down off that high roost and she had like lumpy arthritis in her  legs and feet. It was very sad to see this lovely well-bred hen hobbling around the poultry yard trying to be a normal chicken. She could have been spared all that if the owner had just put her in  a place with a low roost.

 Best,

 Karen


FWIW - this can be overcome by bedding the floor deeply to provide shock absorption, configuring the inside of the coop in a way that allows the bird more room to make a controlled decent and/or using ramps, etc to allow for a choice in how to get off the roost.  It is entirely possible to maintain healthy birds with regards to this concern and still have roosts more than 18 inches from the floor.

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 #8 of 9
We don't even put the nest boxes in the coop until it's clear they are ready to lay. They have always figured it out quickly at that point. Had one independent GL Wyandotte, though, that laid her eggs behind the lawnmower for months, until it got too cold!
post #9 of 9

This is what I've done. It's worked really well for me. Good luck!

 

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