Gals are sleeping / perching / roosting in the nests?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by percy, Nov 13, 2009.

  1. percy

    percy Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 11, 2009
    Is that a problem? we have 6 chicks that are 9 weeks old & they sleep in the run/coop with a heat lamp still... is it a problem to have them hanging out & pooping in the nest boxes... there is no bedding in there yet... should there be?
    also... on a somewhat related matter, one of the gals' poo is very dark & runny [sorry for the visual] is that cool?
    do they prefer to sleep in the dark?
    are they old enough to sleep without heat?
     
  2. ScrambledGreg

    ScrambledGreg Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 25, 2009
    North Charleston, SC
    I had a similar problem with my first coop - it was 3x5 with nest boxes built sticking out of one wall (so I could raise the lid/roof on the nest boxes to remove eggs) the girls were roosting on the edge on the nests instead of the pole I put in the middle of the coop. I solved this by tacking up some shop rags in front of the nest boxes - covering about half of the entrance to each box - to discourage them from roosting there. When they began laying, I put some fake eggs in the boxes to encourage them to lay eggs there. They seemed to prefer the dark area for laying eggs.

    As far as heat goes, when my chicks got their feathers I took the lamp away.
     
  3. Alley

    Alley Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 23, 2008
    Eureka, California
    My coop has a nesting box on one end. I have 4 girls... 2 are a year old and 2 of them are 5 months old and I'm having the same problem. My 2 older girls always roosted on the roost until I put the 2 younger girls in with them. Now all 4 of them sleep and poop in the nesting box. I've tried to go in and move them to the roost but they still sleep in the nesting box. Why dont they want to roost? I've given up on trying to get them to roost so... unfortunately, my eggs are poopy when I collect them.
     
  4. Galaxiedriver

    Galaxiedriver Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 25, 2009
    Mid Missouri
    Our's did that till I figured they didn't have enough roost space as they grew up. I built another higher longer roost and immediately they quit roosting in the nests. Make sure the roosts are much higher than the nest boxes.
     
  5. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    My five girls are 9 weeks this weekend. I had a perch in front of the nest box (my nests are about 2 ft. off the ground, so this was to help them into the nest boxes), but they were roosting on THAT rather than their roosting bar, even though it was a good 6 inches higher. So I removed the nesting box perch, and blocked the opening to the nest boxes (I just stuck buckets inside there). We also moved the roost up a few more inches. After setting them up on the real roost a few evenings in a row, they've been faithfully using the roost for over a week now. [​IMG] I'll put the nesting box perch back in another week or two, and unblock the nest boxes.

    It's only a problem if it bothers YOU. You're the one who has to clean up that mess. And you'll be the one to possible end up with poopy eggs...
     
  6. twentynine

    twentynine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mine would roost in the nest boxes too. Right up until the day they started laying, then presto chango! Up on the roost boards they went on their own. No more roosting in the boxes. Suprised the heck out of me, I didn't think they were that smart.
     
  7. percy

    percy Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 11, 2009
    Thanks guys, i might take out the one lower roost & make the high one bigger - also, i may as well block off the nesting boxes until they need them for laying.
    good ideas.
     
  8. gsim

    gsim Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 18, 2009
    East Tennessee
    Cover until they reach 4 months age. If you put a roof over them, make it slanted 45 degrees or more to discourage roosting and pooping there. (Easier to keep hen house clean if you have poop planks under roosts ) I had roosts in their box from day one. They were only 4" high, but they took to them right away. Soon I did an 8" roost and they took to it too. When I put them in the hen house, they took to their 24" ht roosts naturally. I later added a roost at 48" and it is the only one occupied now. I put walkboards/ladders in their coop, but they pretty much ignore them. I did not put boxes in until they were around 12-14 weeks old. (They began to lay at 16 weeks and now at 22 weeks, I have 9 layers out of 24.)
     

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