Flock sleeping on nest box roof and not roost

tha5150

Chirping
Nov 29, 2015
100
2
51
Newly built coop and run with 4 nesting boxes and a slanted roof over it to provide privacy for the chicks as they lay eggs. Next to this is their roost where we intended them to sleep at night with a ladder to climb up to get settled in.

Problems... They like to sit on top of the nesting box in the morning for a few hours and sometimes they end up sleeping there overnight. They obviously poop a lot at night and this doesn't help them to stay clean. We built a roost for them with plywood under it, about 8" so we could clean it up and the droppings wouldn't get inside the coop.

The roost is an 1.5 inches square peice of wood and I notice they aren't in love with it. They are about 4-5 months old and I hoped this would be perfect for them. Would a round one be better?

Please give any suggestions on what is seen in these pics. Currently the bottom is open on 3 sides with the door shut. Bottom openings are 18" tall. The back of the coop where the roost is has the only back. Should we enclose this whole thing?

I sort of feel like this needs reconstructed like this picture. Something with a small opening to let them in and out and not have to go inside the run. Not a problem but would be nice. Also we need to add a small window for ventilation of we totally enclose the coop.

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Below you will see pics of our current setup.

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Pork Pie

Flockwit
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Jan 30, 2015
56,876
227,715
1,687
If I am seeing things correctly it appears that the roofing on the nest boxes is higher than the roasting bar. Chickens will always roost on the highest point. You may wish to consider either lowering the level of your nest boxes and / or increasing the height of your roost. If the roost is higher than the roof of the nesting boxes then you should have your chickens roosting where you intended them to.

Ct
 

tha5150

Chirping
Nov 29, 2015
100
2
51
Duh. Can not believe is missed that! How tall should the nesting boxes be? Maybe I could cut it way down
 

Pork Pie

Flockwit
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Jan 30, 2015
56,876
227,715
1,687
Duh. Can not believe is missed that! How tall should the nesting boxes be? Maybe I could cut it way down

If you mean reducing the actual height of the boxes, I'd say you could reduce them by around a third - maybe then increase the height of your roost a bit. Making the slope of the roofing on your nest box more acute / steep would also work - if they can't stand on it, they won't use it.

Good luck

Ct
 

tha5150

Chirping
Nov 29, 2015
100
2
51
Forgot to measure but here are the additional pics. I will be working on everything this weekend

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Tumbling K

Crowing
Oct 5, 2015
10,573
1,627
346
Texas
another idea, would be to put the nesting boxes hanging off the outside of the coop, change the slop of the roof to be away from coop. heck, you could even hinge the roof to be able to check for eggs from the outside.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
96,464
129,922
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
If I am seeing things correctly it appears that the roofing on the nest boxes is higher than the roasting bar. Chickens will always roost on the highest point. You may wish to consider either lowering the level of your nest boxes and / or increasing the height of your roost. If the roost is higher than the roof of the nesting boxes then you should have your chickens roosting where you intended them to.

Ct
This^^^....and looks like roost is too close to the wall, should be 12-18" away from wall.

Coop does not look secure from predators.
 

UlmerChickens

In the Brooder
Dec 23, 2015
65
7
31
Here's an idea,
We had to find a different roost because our chickens were supposedly slipping off of it.
So we created two different kinds of roosts.
We cut an old tree smoothed off one of it's branches and drilled it into the chicken coops and the chickens love it!
We also put up a tomato stake which had small ridges so the chicken could cling on comfortably, here is a pic.
Hope this was helpful!
 

tha5150

Chirping
Nov 29, 2015
100
2
51
The coop has chicken wire everywhere and 8" under grass too. Not that the door does much but shuts out the lights and world a little bit for them at night.

After hearing all of this, first off, Thank You!! This is what we need is for people to give their advice from experience.

We are going to build the nesting boxes outside with a lid on hinges. 15" tall in shortest part. In front of this will be a ledge for them to fly up, but also with a small ladder for them and will be lower than the current nesting boxes. They aren't laying yet so this will be a good time to move everything.

So... How hard up from the ground should we have the boxes???

We will add some inside round wood, hopefully some nice branches for them and measure about 2" ((1.5" - 2.5"))... And will be 12-18" away from whichever wall it is near.

Thanks again!! Pics to come this weekend (I work fast!)
 

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