Chickens think laying box is a bed?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by cheeps, Nov 26, 2009.

  1. cheeps

    cheeps Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 18, 2008
    Rockwell, NC
    I have a few chickens to which I added four giant cochins earlier in the summer. These guys were hand raised by me and are so spoiled it's not even funny. It's a rooster and three hens, all hatched in april. Here they are when they were younger, I love pics!:

    [​IMG]

    Anyhoo, these folks WOULD NOT sleep inside all summer long. They literally slept in a pile in the run, there would be a struggle as to who got bottom and who got top. I would often place them in the house after they fell asleep, but they insisted they sleep outside. It was very frustrating, and I was worried with winter coming, because winter in NC can get pretty cold...I didn't want to find chicksicles one morning!

    OK, so at first when I realized they were sleeping in the house on their own, I was so happy. Then one morning I went out to check on them early, opened the door to the house where the laying boxes are to take a quick peek at my snoozing angels, and there in a huge pile in my laying boxes were fluffy cochin butts.

    How do I train them to sleep on a roost like a normal bird? Why do they think my laying boxes are their personal bed? I haven't had eggs in months, but I wouldn't lay an egg in a box filled with poo either. (I do clean them out every day, but it's like the other chickens don't know the laying boxes are there anymore.

    Just to give you guys a visual, the house is rectangular shaped, door is in the middle, on one end is the roosts, other end is two laying boxes.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Every night then put a board or somthing like that in front of the nesting boxes and then open them early in the morning so they can lay.
    And have you tryed setting them on the roosting bar?

    Matthew
     
  3. cheeps

    cheeps Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 18, 2008
    Rockwell, NC
    Good idea Matthew. No, I haven't tried putting them on the roost. For some reason I can't get these guys to really fit in with the other chickens which is probably part of the problem. They just don't get along. I'm sure the others aren't letting them on the roost in the first place!
     
  4. Do you have enough roosting space for all of them and a little more?

    Matthew
     
  5. Ariel301

    Ariel301 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 14, 2009
    Kingman Arizona
    Could you put up a second roost for them, so that they don't have to fight the other group?
     
  6. hcammack

    hcammack Overrun With Chickens

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    Oct 5, 2007
    Vermont
    Quote:That would probably be a good idea. The younger birds I have introduced always use the nest boxes as sleeping quarters then eventually move to under neath the roost and then when there are big enough into the flock in general. I think blocking the nest boxes would be the best option no one likes poopy eggs. Beautiful big birds I really like Blue and Splash birds [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2009
  7. cheeps

    cheeps Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 18, 2008
    Rockwell, NC
    Thanks guys! All great suggestions. Hubby says he will try to rig something up to partition off the laying box area. And possibly make more roosting room as well.

    Thanks, hcammock! They are great birds, so sweet and fun. Cochins are my breed now! Here's a newer pic of my roo:

    Mr. Fluffy Butt!
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    He's for sale if anyone happens to live close by! We're a one rooster farm, and King George already runs the barnyard!
     
  8. kristen2678

    kristen2678 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 26, 2009
    North Berwick Maine
    Mine slept in a pile in one of the nesting boxes forever. Eventually they got too big and started using the roost. Sometimes they still sleep close together on the floor, but they seem to have grown out of the pile/nest box thing.
     
  9. gsim

    gsim Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 18, 2009
    East Tennessee
    Question: Is the roost noticeably higher up than the nests ? I don't have Cochins. I have 4 breeds large brown-egg layers. They all use the roosts at 48" ht and never get in the nests except to lay. Those are at 24" ht. Roost must be higher because it is an instinct for chooks to roost as high as they can get wherever they are.

    I have only had mine 5 1/2 months and have not had the trouble you are having. Mine did have little roosts in their box that were only 4" tall and later an 8" tall one to start them. They have always taken naturally to sleeping on roosts. They did all pile up together on floor of box for a few weeks tho.
     

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