Chickens roosting on poop board.

tracecom

Songster
10 Years
Jan 16, 2010
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I have 11 chickens that are from 10 to 18 weeks old. (See the picture.)



They are good about going into the coop at dusk, and they all are able to climb up to the roost pole, which is about 8-10 inches above the poop board. Usually, six of them get onto the roost pole, but five insist on huddling together on the poop board. If I move them onto the roost pole, they stay there overnight (as evidenced by the poop,) but I don't really want to go out every night and move the five recalcitrant hens.

The roost pole is eight feet long, and four inches wide, so there is plenty of room. The rooster (Big Boy James, also pictured) is almost always on the pole, and one of the BCM hens is next to him; the four buff chicks are bunched together on the opposite end of the pole, but the three RIRs and two of the BCM hens are on the poop board underneath James.



What to do?
 
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donrae

Hopelessly Addicted
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Jun 18, 2010
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So is it a problem because the birds on the board get pooped on?

I'd pull the board for a few days. Let them get used to roosting then put it back. But 8 feet for 11 birds really isn't enough room, in my experience. I'd look into putting up more roosting space.
 

mightymax

Songster
6 Years
Oct 8, 2013
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Central Coast, CA
I don't know about your chickens, but mine all seem to have a pre-established roosting spot that they always go to. I have plenty of space, at various levels, yet there are at least three that I can think of, two in particular, that refuse to roost on the...well, 'roost', preferring instead to sleep on the straw that's fallen from the nesting boxes onto the ground. I've tried just about everything to get them to roost 'properly' but have decided that maybe they know what they like and will sleep where they see fit and not where I want them to...lol !!! But then again, mine aren't getting pooped on! Good luck. I think you'll need it...lol !!!
thumbsup.gif
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
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8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
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My Coop
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I have more than enough roost length (2x4 wide side up) but have always had a few birds(now 4-6 out of 15) who prefer to roost right on the poop board, also 8" under the roost with a 1/2" of sand/PDZ, or on the 2x2 edge of the poop board.

They don't seem to get pooped on, doesn't make sense to me either-but I've come to realize that chickens don't always do what makes sense to me lol!
 

Mrs. K

Free Ranging
11 Years
Nov 12, 2009
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Either remove the poop board, or make an open rectangle of two by fours, and cover one side with chicken wire. and place on top of the poop board.

They won't like roosting there, and will create a new habit, hopefully roosting where you want them too. But don't be surprised if it is somewhere else you don't want. Right now I have some juveniles not quite where I want them, but at least I got them out of the nests.

Mrs K
 

tracecom

Songster
10 Years
Jan 16, 2010
344
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Thanks to all of you for your replies. After considering them all, yesterday afternoon, I cut a small pressed wood rectangle just large enough to cover the area on the poop board where the chickens were erroneously roosting. See the picture below.



For at least last night, it worked exactly as I hoped. I went to the coop after dark, and all 11 were on the roost pole. B. B. James (the roo) takes his place next to the window, and the other BCMs and the RIRs want to be close to him. (The four buffs all group together on the opposite end of the pole.) The pressed wood won't allow any of them to roost on the poop board under him, so they went on up to the pole. I hope that it continues to work. After a couple of weeks, I plan to remove the pressed wood.

On a side note, it's amazing how little poop is on the floor of the coop. Between the poop board at night, and the run during the day, the chickens don't make much of a mess on the floor. If any of you are debating about a poop board, it absolutely saves a lot of cleanup. I use the litter scoop (hanging on the wall) to sift the poop from the PDZ every two to three days. I place the poop in a five gallon bucket (with a lid to keep flies down) and empty the bucket every couple of weeks in the compost heap, along with the used pine shavings from the floor. I am hoping to use the compost on my garden next spring.

One final note. Sweet PDZ costs $10 for 25 pounds at TSC, but I found it at $15 for 40 pounds at the Co-op; that's a small savings, but 40 pounds is just the right amount to fill my 24" by 89" poop board about an inch deep. I don't expect to change the PDZ more often than every couple of months. However, that remains to be seen.
 
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