chickens as engineers....

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by DVTO2, Sep 18, 2010.

  1. DVTO2

    DVTO2 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My chickens are smarter than I am. I built their nest boxes 13 inches above the floor of the coop so I could deep litter the coop. The chickens got impatient for the litter to rise and built a perfect ramp of litter to get into the nest boxes.
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    What happened is that they are constantly scratching. They stuff they scratch goes everywhere. But since they cannot get under the nest boxes, the stuff that gets scratched in there never gets scratched back out so it stays full. Same thing happens in my coop. Under my nest boxes is actually a pretty good place to find fairly clean bedding if I need it for something.
     
  3. DVTO2

    DVTO2 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No, no. They are not filling the nest boxes, they are pushing the litter toward the nest boxes. It could be scratched anywhere but its ramped. I tried to take a picture but it didn't do justice what they did.
     
  4. crawfordmama

    crawfordmama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Watch out - they could be conspiring to take over the farm! Seriously, I don't know why people say chickens are dumb. Sure, they can be flighty (no pun) at times, but so can my mother-in-law. They're really quite clever and resourceful. I think people who claim chickens are dumb, have never owned any.
     
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    No, in mine, they do not fill the nest box. They scratch the stuff under the nest box and next to the nest box. Since they do not have good access, they cannot scratch it away so it stays built up. I would like to see a picture of what you have. It sounds like it might be a little different than what I'm talking about, but I suspect it is more that they don't have good access to scratch it away more than they purposely built a ramp.

    I don't think chickens are dumb. They can actually learn pretty quickly. But I think they are more instinct driven that we are and their instincts are different than ours. Their reasoning ability is not always real good either. An example, a few days ago, one of mine got inside a fenced area that had a gate open. When it came time to go to the coop for nighty-night, the hen went to the corner of the fenced area nearest the coop and kept trying to get out through there. Although the gate was still open, she did not reason out, I came through the gate so I can go back the same way. Her instinct was Get to the coop! Get to the coop! I could not even herd her to the gate but had to catch her and physically put her out of the enclosure. I have no doubt she could be taught to use the gate, but her instincts strongly overcame her reasoning abilities.
     
  6. DVTO2

    DVTO2 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Here's a try at a picture. It's hard to see the slope of the ramp but the coop floor has an inch or two at the most and the ramp is built up to about 10 inches of litter. You can see the litter is not trapped in any way.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2010
  7. ScotH

    ScotH Out Of The Brooder

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    I like the design of the roost and poop board above the boxes, I might try something like that.
     
  8. DVTO2

    DVTO2 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Boxes are recessed outside the coop to provide more space in the coop, thanks to someone's suggestion on the board. See my page for some more photos. The roof to the nest box hinges to get both the eggs and remove the poop board.
     
  9. ScotH

    ScotH Out Of The Brooder

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    Yeah I saw that on your page, I had planned on having my nest boxes (sort of) half in & half out of my coop, but I couldn't figure how to work a poop board in there... Now I need to measure again and see if they'll have enough headroom. [​IMG]

    & I can only imagine my chickens will end up building that same sort of litter ramp.
     
  10. DVTO2

    DVTO2 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My coop is 4' high plus 1' gabled roof, which gave me 26" ofp headroom under the poop board without the litter. I figure I can put 9 or 10 inches of litter in there and they still have headroom. However, since most of the poop goes on the poop board, which is 26" deep, enough for 2 roosts, I am not building up the litter very quickly. Hence, the need for the chickens to build a ramp. Again, the basic concepts for this were recommened by someone on the forum and I must say it's has worked out very well.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2010

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