Chickens Housing Issues-HELP!!!!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Sgtfirstwife, Nov 25, 2013.

  1. Sgtfirstwife

    Sgtfirstwife Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 29, 2012
    Okay my fellow chicken lovers, I have an issue I need help with. We have a big barn which has 3 large horse stalls. One stall holds my Pot Belly Pig, one is filled with odds and ends (left by the previous owner) and the final stall has a lovely roost with nesting boxes made by my husband. Here is my problem, my chickens will not use the roost or use the nesting boxes. They just wander around in the barn, roosting wherever they want. I would like for them to go in the stall at night and I would let them out in the morning. My flock consist of about 15 hens, 6 roosters, 1 turkey (hen) and 4 ducks, 1 female 3 males. The roosters do not all get along, so that adds to my dilemma. However when they free range everyone gets along for the most part.
    Here are my questions.
    First how do I get them to roost and use the nesting boxes? Do I put all the roosters in together and cross my fingers?
    2. Where should my ducks go?
    I do have a Rubbermaid shed that my husband can put up inside the barn, if needed.
    My birds do free range outside or if the weather is bad I can let them out in the barn.

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
    PS I can take pictures if that would help.
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    I can't answer the duck question, maybe the Rubbermaid thing for them.

    Chickens are definitely creatures of habit.
    I find the roosters settle down at dusk. I would put some wire up on any openings on the stall the chickens can get through. Send the flock into the stall in the evening using treats and lock them in. Once they've slept in there a few nights they'll go back on their own.
    Once that's worked out, If you leave them in for a few hours in the morning they'll start using the nests as well. Once they use the nest a few times, they'll most likely continue to do so.
    During the nest training days, you may want to let the roosters roost in the rest of the barn so they don't fight in the morning before you let the hens out.
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2013
  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    If you want them to roost and lay in a specific area, you'll have to be able to confine them to that area for a while. As stated, they're creatures of habit and it usually takes a good week or so to acclimate them to a change in routine. You'll need to figure out how to enclose the stall, and get all the birds in there. I'd say you just have too many freeloading roosters anyway [​IMG] so this would be a good time to evaluate each rooster's place in your flock and cull as necessary.
  4. DallasCriftins

    DallasCriftins Chillin' With My Peeps

    My Ducks share the same run but at the moment have a separate shed to the Chickens although occasionally a Chicken will invade their shed at night before the automatic doors come down!
    I have a large run and the two Chicken Sheds and the Duck Shed feed in to it and that is their staging post morning and night before they are allowed into the field.

    The Ducks will share happily with Chickens but ensure all your perches have dropping trays as the Ducks will stay on the floor (so will some Chickens) and being poo bombed all night is not nice.

    Other than that you need to enclose the stall so they can learn to stay put.
    Using decent 8' x 4' welded mesh panels would do it that way the birds are secure-able at night till they get used to the location plus the mesh will help protect them.

    I have two Roosters in with the Hens two in each coop and two drakes in with the Ducks
    All the rest of my breeding or eating Roosters are in this tractor at the other end of my field.
    My Geese used to be in the same run as the smaller birds but they could do some serious harm if they got angry over food or when broody so they now have their own run and Shed same might apply to your Turkey.


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