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Chickens sleep (and poop) in nesting boxes, won't roost

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by boomdiddyah, Jan 22, 2013.

  1. boomdiddyah

    boomdiddyah Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 21, 2013
    Hello all!
    We have a portable, A-frame style coop. It's a very simple design that looks much like this one:
    http://www.homedit.com/do-it-yourself-chicken-coop/

    Our issue is that our chickens are sleeping huddled in and on the nesting boxes. We have several laying, so blocking off the boxes isn't much of an option at this point. We also have two roosts up for them, both of which are higher than the nesting boxes. We made our coop according to this design, without realizing that the nesting box area is also their cozy "coop" area.

    What can we do?
     
  2. ChickensRDinos

    ChickensRDinos Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Block off the nest just before bed time and open it again first thing in the morning. Set them on the roost each night if you have to. Once they have been doing it correctly for a week you should be able to stop blocking.

    Is the roost outside in the run? Anyway to make it feel safer and less drafty?
     
  3. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Overrun With Chickens

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    Oops! just noticed it may not work in your situation. I just stuffed my nest boxes with feed bags at bed time until they were broke of his habit.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  4. boomdiddyah

    boomdiddyah Out Of The Brooder

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    Yes, the roost is outside in the run. There is a roof that covers the top half of the open area. As you can see from the picture, there's no space to add a roost in the cozy coop area
     
  5. debid

    debid Overrun With Chickens

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    Build an addition? Chickens will roost where they feel safe. Trying to make them roost outdoors when they have a cozier option in the nesting area is fighting instinct and that's not a battle you're likely to win. So, I'd add a roosting area that will feel secure to them.
     
  6. ChickensRDinos

    ChickensRDinos Chillin' With My Peeps

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    x2 Unfortunately, I think this is the best advice. They are unlikely to want to sleep there.
     
  7. boomdiddyah

    boomdiddyah Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for the replies everyone. I did some work on the coop today by making the nesting boxes as unappealing as possible, and their roosting area warm and cozy. I removed the roofing from the nesting area, so as to allow drafts and rain and what may be, and added a wall to their roosting area, so now they essentially have a warm little coop. But I went out there this evening to see where they were, and not to my surprise, they're still sleeping huddled in the nesting boxes! I'm at my wits end. They just seem so used to sleeping there, they're oblivious to their warmer and cozier option.
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    Can you post a pic, that would help get you some practical advice. Also how many chickens and the size of your coop.
     
  9. boomdiddyah

    boomdiddyah Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks again everyone, for the first time in months, the flock roosted! I blocked off their beloved nesting boxes, and everywhere else but under their roosting poles it was raining, so they sought cover by roosting. Success! Hoping this is permanant!
     
  10. taylynnp

    taylynnp Chillin' With My Peeps

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    yay!
     
    1 person likes this.

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