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Grooming laying habits

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by furrybollocks, Sep 13, 2015.

  1. furrybollocks

    furrybollocks Out Of The Brooder

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    May 26, 2015
    Houston, Texas
    Hey there! My pullets are four months old, so I'm crossing my fingers for eggs in November! I designed my coop, but someone else built it and completely wacked up my design so now the nest boxes are much higher than the roost. It's a small custom coop, and at first it wasn't an issue, but now my hens are sleeping in the nest boxes instead of the roost since it's so much higher. I want to get a staple gun and temporarily block them off with some mesh, but I'm concerned that when I do eventually take it down again that they'll start sleeping up there again and pooping on and around their eggs, maybe even crushing them. How can I stop this, and how will they know the nest boxes are where they're supposed to lay?
     
  2. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    Wad up and stuff empty feed bag in each nest area. When they come to lay take them out. If they return to sleeping in the nests you'll have to put the wadded bag back in nest each night when closing the coop and take out in morning when opening the coop. So hopefully it will train them to roost on the roost pole so you don't have to go through that effort each day. That or lower the boxes.
     
  3. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Runs With Chickens Premium Member

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    I'm afraid your hens will always try to be as high as possible when they roost, you could block them off and hope they don't go back to them, but I'm pretty sure it won't work long term, you might have to do some construction and alterations. As far as where to lay, I always put fake ceramic eggs or golf balls in the nestboxes so they know it's safe to lay in them.
     
  4. furrybollocks

    furrybollocks Out Of The Brooder

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    May 26, 2015
    Houston, Texas
    Unfortunately moving the position of the nest boxes is impossible without completely destroying the coop and starting all over again. The coops are built into the coop and I don't have any feed bags that haven't already been trashed. The faux eggs make sense, thank you. I don't know what I'm going to do; this coop was so expensive to build and my step father paid the builder before letting me check it over, so we're stuck with it unless we want to invest that kind of money again.
     
  5. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Runs With Chickens Premium Member

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    Jul 16, 2015
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    Sorry, hopefully you'll figure it out.
     
  6. MinnesotaNice

    MinnesotaNice Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Can the roosts be moved or does the space/design not allow that?
     
  7. furrybollocks

    furrybollocks Out Of The Brooder

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    May 26, 2015
    Houston, Texas
    This is my coop. Under the nest boxes is a separated rabbit hutch where I keep my rabbit. So unless I do some major work, I can't move the boxes.

    [​IMG]

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    [​IMG]
     
  8. furrybollocks

    furrybollocks Out Of The Brooder

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    May 26, 2015
    Houston, Texas
    The roost worked great when they were younger, but now that they're older and the roost is so low and fixed onto the coop, I don't know what to do. Recently I've had to chase them into the coop because they prefer the high stairs above the coop.
     
  9. MinnesotaNice

    MinnesotaNice Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I see your issue. Can that roosting bar be moved up towards the top? If it's just a few screws keeping it put, that would work out pretty easily. Aside from this complication, it's a cool space saver idea you have going on on there. I like how you found a way to tuck your rabbit hutch in there.

    I noticed your water is on the ground. Since the ceiling is wood, you could suspend it up a few inches with a chain or rope. It would keep the water cleaner and your chickens can take a drink easier. Same with your food.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2015
  10. furrybollocks

    furrybollocks Out Of The Brooder

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    May 26, 2015
    Houston, Texas
    I'll look at the position of the roost tomorrow and see if I can move it, but what I assume they did is nailed the roost in from the top and then covered the top in some tin-like material. I would have to saw it off or completely dismantle the coop if that's the case, and I am far from a carpenter and I doubt the chickens would appreciate a dehoming. Thank you! It was intended to cover the entire stair underpass, but along with the many many other mess-ups the builder made, they cut off an entire two or three feet which in turn gave me a door that I have to stoop to get in and out of. Very frustrating.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2015

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