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Chickens roosting in nesting boxes

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by carsonstutz, May 21, 2016.

  1. carsonstutz

    carsonstutz New Egg

    5
    0
    7
    May 15, 2016
    Kansas
    All 5 of my golden comets roost in the nesting boxes at night. Since there are only 3 boxes, there are always a couple on top of each other. Any tips on getting this to stop? From what I understand, this isn't a good thing.
     
  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    32,744
    5,503
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    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    How old are your birds and how long have they been in the coop?

    Several things you can do to turn this around.
    First, make sure your roosts are of adequate length (1ft per bird) and at least a foot higher than the nests.

    You can either block off the nests a couple hours before normal roosting time, then uncover them when you lock up after dark or by first light in the morning. You may only have to do this for a few weeks.

    Or you can go out every night after dark, remove birds from the nests and put them on the roosts until they 'get it'.
    Hold them firmly with both hands holding wings to body, place their feet on the roost and give them a second to get stable, then slowly let go of wings and maybe a hand on the back for another few seconds to hold them there. Staying calm and confident and talking softly the whole time to soothe them.
     
  3. carsonstutz

    carsonstutz New Egg

    5
    0
    7
    May 15, 2016
    Kansas
    Birds are about 16 weeks. Been in this coop about 2 weeks
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    32,744
    5,503
    556
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Are there other birds in coop?
    Anything else I posted helping?
     
  5. carsonstutz

    carsonstutz New Egg

    5
    0
    7
    May 15, 2016
    Kansas
    The 5 GCs are the only birds in the coop. Going to try a couple things today/tonight and see how it goes
     
  6. sharon1955

    sharon1955 Out Of The Brooder

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    26
    Apr 18, 2016
    Oregon
    Ya all of mine are roosting in 3 nest boxes. some on top of each other. They are about 20 weeks old. There are 3 - 3 foot long roost bars for them to roost on. They are soiling the nest boxes terribly so I guess I will have to cover the nest boxes until they get idea of using the roosts.
     
  7. sharon1955

    sharon1955 Out Of The Brooder

    38
    1
    26
    Apr 18, 2016
    Oregon
    Mine do the same thing, 8 chickens crammed in 3 net boxes and sitting on each other. I cut a piece of plywood and laid it over the top of the nest boxes until they get the hang of roosting on the roost bars. The have 9 feet of roost they can use.
     
  8. jpalmatier83

    jpalmatier83 Out Of The Brooder

    149
    15
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    Jul 15, 2016
    Traverse City, MI
    Thoughts-

    1- Make sure the roosts are higher than the nesting boxes.

    2- Close off the nesting boxes until they get the idea with the roosts.

    3- You may have to place them on the roosts for a couple evenings until they get the idea.

    After a couple days they should probably take to the roosts without anymore assists.
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. sharon1955

    sharon1955 Out Of The Brooder

    38
    1
    26
    Apr 18, 2016
    Oregon
    Hmmm....... Did not know the roosts should be higher than the nest boxes. They are about the same height. I'll have to figure out a way to re-position them as this is a prefab coop.
     
  10. bluewaterranch

    bluewaterranch Just Hatched

    5
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    11
    Sep 7, 2013
    When I put my young birds in a pen that already has next boxes, I stuff empty feed sacks in the nest boxes so they can not roost in them. When I see them start laying eggs, usually on the ground, I take out the feed sacks and put fresh hay in the next boxes and press it down in the middle like a nest. They usually get the idea to lay their eggs in the nest boxes and not roost in them. It is hard to break them of a habit once it is started good so I do this before they get to laying age. This has worked well for me. I hope it will help you too.
    Helen
     
    2 people like this.

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