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blocked up the nesting boxes, now what?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by gretchen, Aug 25, 2007.

  1. gretchen

    gretchen Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 18, 2007
    So my seven 17 week olds were all sleeping in their nesting boxes, I have 3 boxes and 4 would be in one and 3 in the other. I am new to this chicken thing, this is my first batch so I didn't know this was not OK. I saw someone's post and learned this was bad so I blocked up their boxes with blown up trash bags the first night (two of them managed to weasle into the sides and sleep). Last night I put a large piece of paper tacked in front of the boxes and that worked better, but now what? When they start laying what do I do? Any advice on the next steps?

    Also, any ideas when I might know if I have any roos? I live in a city and they are not permitted so I need to find them homes if I have any. I have 1 barred rock, 2 silver laced wyandottes, 2 americaunas and 2 golden comets (which I assume are my only "safe" chicks)
     
  2. DuckLady

    DuckLady Administrator Staff Member

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    Jan 11, 2007
    Washington State
    Leave the nest boxes open and put a golf ball or fake egg in each one. THey are getting close to laying.
    Each night after they go to roost (or nest box LOL) go out and PUT them ont he roost. You will have to do this for a few nights but they willge the hang of it.
    Also what are your roosts made of? Is it possible they are not comfortable on the roosts? I like to use 2x4's turned 4 inch side up so they can settle good on their feet.
     
  3. gretchen

    gretchen Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 18, 2007
    My roost is just a 1 1/2" closet poll, made of pine, it's about 6' long, so it has plenty of room for all. The nesting boxes are 26" wide and 14"deep and made of plywood with straw for padding. So a golf ball in each?
    They really fight me when I try to take them out of the boxes, like dogs going to the bathtub they put their legs out and stiffen their whole bodies.
     
  4. DuckLady

    DuckLady Administrator Staff Member

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    They probably don't like the pole. They are usually sanded smooth so it is quite slick and hard to grip to keep from falling off. If you change what you use for a roost, they will use it.
     
  5. WindyOaksYokes

    WindyOaksYokes Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 17, 2007
    Central Virginia
    my 2 cents for what its worth. I too am new to the chicken thing (19 weeks) as for raising them on my own (my mother has been raising for years and I took care of them when they went on vacation) Anyways, I did not know either that they were not supposed to sleep in the boxes... We put up some new roosts... never blocked the boxes... and since my girls have started laying, most of the chickens are on the roost... But I do have a couple who will stay in the boxes, and personally I do not fight with them... Especially that big rooster... he is a handfull (but the past couple of nights he has been on the roost). You can put a "fake" egg in each box or you can put a couple here and a couple there (this is what I did). The only one that I have a problem with is momma hen and her laying in my sons bed in the HOUSE! [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Well good luck, and honestly I would listen to the "veteran" chicken raisers since they really know what to do and how to handle it. I just wanted to share with you of my experiance. For your roost... do you have any big trees with nice sized limbs? Those work GREAT!!!
    Good Luck...Tes
     
  6. menkot

    menkot Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree with Terrielacy. I also think maybe it might be a little small around? I blocked my nest boxes off at night for a few nights after I re-did their roosts. Mine were kind of small to begin with also. I went out and cut down some limbs like Tes was talking about. They love those. They griped the first few nights about the nest boxes being blocked off but then started getting right up on the new roosts. I was able to unblock them after just 4-5 days. I have no problems now and nice clean nest boxes which means nice clean eggs lol.

    Oh, and I just unblocked mine first thing every morning so they could get in them to lay. The golf ball trick seemed to work very well because they all lay in the boxes.
     
  7. gretchen

    gretchen Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 18, 2007
    I went in this morning and they had broken through the paper I put up to block the boxes and 2 of the boxes had poop, but there was also a lot of poop under the roost, so some ladies are catching on. I just cut down a very old lilac and put the branch in today, we'll see what happens. The coop layout has the nesting boxes on the back wall and I used to have the roost about 2" in front of the boxes but my kids (who I'm giving the chore of egg gathering to) were having trouble getting around the roost so I placed it running from one wall up to the nesting boxes... is that bad? I was wondering if the roost running up to the nesting boxes isn't a clear enough distinction for them.

    I also had a cat get into my yard today while the ladies were out free ranging and one of them caused a huge racket and flew up to the top of the outdoor run, which is 6' high.... I think Penny might be a He, very bold and protective while all the rest of them were huddled in a group hiding.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2007

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