Any thoughts on how to re-train or redesign my coop

Jill G

In the Brooder
Aug 2, 2020
4
2
14
Hello I have a Rugged Ranch coop and run, and 8 hens (of which two are bantams). Only 3-4 of them will roost where they’re supposed to - on the top perches. They knocked out and keep knocking out the lower perches, probably because they know they’ll be pooped on at night. The other 4-5 hens take turns perching or sleeping in the nesting boxes. There are only two out of six nesting boxes that are used for laying. The girls like to sleep and poop in the others and will poop in the laying boxes as they see fit. They also perch and poop on their stairs.

It is all very annoying because we are doing the deep layer method, and literally all of the poop that hits the actual ground of the coop and run is quickly scratched in and goes away. No mess, no odor. It’s been really great.

But I’m thinking of removing the floors of the nesting boxes in the coop and then introducing a new nesting box either in the run or somewhere else to break the bad pooping habit.

Ayaya - any suggestions?
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Jill G

In the Brooder
Aug 2, 2020
4
2
14
There are two 5’ long roosts at the top, but the coop was designed to have lower roosts. That clearly doesn’t work. The problem is the nests, which have a front wooden piece on each that is out of “poop” range. The ladies that don’t flock to the top will perch on these and poop into the nests at night. I wish I had just installed a shed with perches!!! Considering removing the floors of all but one of the nesting boxes.
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
5 Years
Jul 3, 2016
19,740
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WA, Pac NW
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Hmm from the photos it doesn't look like 5' of roost, but obviously all I can do is guess on that. Do check the gap between the two roosts, if they're close together (like less than 12" apart) picking on the roost can also be an issue.

As the roosts pictured are the same height as the nests, as far as the chickens are concerned, it's all fair game to sit on at night, so between possible roosting rumbles and the availability of "nest perches" that's probably why some have decided to move on over to nests.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Nov 27, 2012
104,024
155,681
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SW Michigan
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Can they even get up to the 2 higher roosts, space looks too tight between them?

That small coop is not well designed, not sure what to suggest to fix it.
 

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