Chickens sleeping in Nesting Box instead of on Roost

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by dgilmore, Sep 27, 2016.

  1. dgilmore

    dgilmore New Egg

    Sep 27, 2016
    Howdy! I've been lurking these forums since we got chickens in April. This is my first time posting.

    We built our coop over the course of several weeks this summer. The girls have been sleeping in their nesting box since it was completed. Now that one of them is laying, I don't like having to pick the eggs out of all their poop that they create while they are sleeping.

    I built a roost, which is about 12" off the floor. It is about 3.5" wide. One section is about 22" long. The other is about 10". I rounded off the edges. I read that I should try blocking off their nesting box at night, so they are forced to sleep somewhere else. I did that for about a week. There was only one night when I actually saw one sleeping on the roost. I had to stop blocking the nesting box because I forgot about it a couple of times, and they didn't have access to the box for entire days. There is a curtain on their nesting box, but all four still squeeze in there every night.

    I will include some pictures of what I have. If you see anything else about my coop that I could improve, please let me know. Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks!



  2. AustralorpsAU

    AustralorpsAU Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 20, 2016
    Down Under
    Hi. Welcome to BYC. My younger chickens would always sleep in the nest boxes and i couldn't block it off because i had laying hens. One thing i did was put them on the roost every night by myself and by the third or fourth night they got the picture! This is what worked for me but it might not for you! Hope this helps
  3. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Overrun With Chickens

    Dec 6, 2012
    New Brunswick,Canada
    First off welcome to BYC former lurker.
    Chickens have a natural instinct to roost up high to avoid predators. Your problem maybe solved by simply adjusting your roost so that they are about a foot or so higher than your nest boxes.Since we do not live in a perfect world you may end up with one bird who repeatedly sleeps in the nest box. You may find this happening to the hen who is at the bottom of the pecking order.

    Nest boxes
    In my nest boxes I fold a feed bag to fit (nest boxes are 1 ft³). When a bag gets soiled; fold a new one; pop out the soiled; pop in the new. Feed bags are a nylon mesh bag.
    Frozen poop just peels off in below freezing temperatures and just flakes off in summer when left out in the sun to bake and dry.

    I have 66 trips around the sun it is the best method I have stumbled upon.

    Make sure the twine is removed from the open end of the bag it can get tangled around your birds.

  4. Folly's place

    Folly's place True BYC Addict

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    Welcome! Your roost needs to be the higher than the nest boxes; a 2.5" to 3" diameter tree branch or sapling works great. Also, about your coop; more ventilation a, as in hardware cloth windows high up, and in the door. During really bad weather you can attach clear plastic over the lower north side windows if needed. Also, raccoons could open your doors there. Locks or some added security will be a good idea. Nice coop! Mary
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
  6. dodochick92

    dodochick92 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 8, 2014
    portland maine
    Hello, I have the same problem but it is because I got one of those prefabricated coops that really isn't fit for even one chicken, let alone three. It didn't come with roosts which I thought was odd. The coop is I think 2x2 . It is not very big but when I saw it on Amazon it looked like it was big enough for me to walk in the run. There are only three vent holes on one wall and plus there are alot of drafty spots and where I live up in Maine, the winter can get cold. The question I have is should I use a 2x4 or a thick branch?
  7. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Overrun With Chickens

    Dec 6, 2012
    New Brunswick,Canada

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