Chickens in nest boxes, ready to lay or roosting?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by 6RandomBrownLayers, Dec 13, 2011.

  1. 6RandomBrownLayers

    6RandomBrownLayers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 23, 2011
    My chickens are bout 14 weeks old and a couple have been going into the nest boxes at night, maybe in the day and i havent seen them. Well im just wondering if they are getting to lay or just roosting in them. The bottom row of nest boxes is about 15" of the ground and i have two 2x4's at the same level along the sides of the coop.
    So are they choosing the next box because it is higher? Is it more comfortable in the next boxes?( I put pine shavings in them as well as on the floor) Lately to discourage them from going into the nest boxes i have put another 2x4 across from the left 2x4 in the diagram to the middle nest box ( the second from left in diagram). It usually falls down in the night so im going to have to screw it down. Any help on keeping them out of the nest boxes if they arent ready to be there would be great!
    P.S. They have pink to light red waddles.


    |Nest Box | Nest Box |
    | | | And then another top/bottom
    | | | set here
    | | |
    | | |
    |_______________|________________|
    |__2X4 ledge____|___2X4Ledge___ |
    | Nest Box | |
    | | |
    | | |
    | | |
    | | |____
    |_______________|________________|2x4|
    2x4
     
  2. loanwizard

    loanwizard Chillin' With My Peeps

    They are too young to lay. ALWAYS have your roosts away and above your nesting boxes unless you like a handful of chicken crap whilst collecting eggs and enjoy cleaning out nesting boxes. Once you have the boxes and roosts arranged train them by moving them at dusk from the boxes to the roosts every night til they stop..
     
  3. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    I don't put out nesting boxes until the pullets are at Point of Lay. 18-19 weeks. When they are younger, all they will do with a nesting box is develop bad habits such as sleeping in them, pooping in them and such.

    I like to place the nesting boxes just 6 inches off the floor. The younger pullets need to first learn roosting and sleeping on a roost. Then, at POL learn about nesting boxes and they learn them more easily when they are down low, lower than the pullet is accustomed to sleeping.
     
  4. Moonkit

    Moonkit Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 20, 2011
    Richardson, Texas
    Yeah.. I have an A-frame coop that came with two nest boxes installed. Once they figured out how to reach them, they forgo'd the roosts and slept in the boxes.. all 9 pullets! We tried multiple ways of getting them out until I finally thought I'd come up with an ingenious solution.. SOCCER BALLS! Size 5.. surely this will put a stop to this travesty of roosting, right? First night it worked, they slept on the roosts. VICTORY! Second night.. two were roosting on top of the soccer balls and everyone else was squished in around them. We removed the nesting boxes the next day.
     
  5. joneus

    joneus Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 2, 2011
    Ballston Spa
    Quote:[​IMG]
     
  6. 6RandomBrownLayers

    6RandomBrownLayers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 23, 2011
    Ok, if i put cardboard over the openings, in theory would they move to the roosts instead and would they break the habit? And is there a certain amount of space the should have to roost?
     
  7. Moonkit

    Moonkit Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 20, 2011
    Richardson, Texas
    Quote:I believe 1 foot of roosting bar per standard-size chicken is recommended.. although you'd be surprised how many chickens can fit into one space..
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2011

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