Having some trouble with my coop?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by ChandaH, Apr 18, 2011.

  1. ChandaH

    ChandaH Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 11, 2010
    OK this is a little tricky.

    At the same time as I had some odd egg laying behavior my all my chickens but one decided to start roosting outside.

    So I think part of the problem is that my coop setup is just wrong. It is a small coop with 6 chickens. There are two roosts inside one on each side with a shelf underneath each one.

    Then there is the door on one side and on the other is another lower shelf that I divided into two for the nest boxes.

    I noticed that they were all laying in one nest box since they started laying months and months ago. Then last week a couple eggs started ending up on the floor and broken so I thought that I should take the divider out and give them more room. I still have days where there are eggs on the floor.

    Around the same time as this weird egg laying behavior they all started roosting outside in their run except one girl.

    Even though my coop is small I measured the roost space and it should be just enough. They has been roosting in there since last year up until a couple weeks ago.

    I don't have a door on my coop because it didn't come with one and the coop is small and our weather is always nice so I didn't think that was a problem.

    I am just not sure what is going on here and/or what to do about it.

    Did I make any sense or give you guys enough information? I could try and take some pictures if that would help...

    Thanks so much,
    Chanda
     
  2. clairabean

    clairabean Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 7, 2010
    Kootenays of BC!
    Pictures are always great, or a layout drawing. And what type of chickens? Do you not have predator problems, with no door? Have you tried the plastic eggs in the boxes?

    A few ideas, the roosts are seperated, so maybe they prefer them together. Are the roosts over the laying boxes? Maybe they don't want to lay when others are above them. Ar ethe boxes up on the wall or on the floor? My girls prefer the boxes on the floor to the ones attached to the wall.
     
  3. cajun coop

    cajun coop Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 9, 2011
    Louisiana
    Could something ( predator or pest ) be disturbing them causing the eggs to end up on the floor and making them feel unsafe to roost inside?
     
  4. ChandaH

    ChandaH Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 11, 2010
    Their run is secure so there shouldn't be any predators although a mouse could get in???

    I will take pictures today.

    The thing that is weird is that everything was perfectly fine for almost a year and now all of a sudden everything is different!
     
  5. mmaddie's mom

    mmaddie's mom Chillin' With My Peeps

    I thought my coop and run were secure also until a mink got in an impossibly small space... changed my birds too until the critter was caught and, even then, it took a few days for them to feel safe inside again. I'm not saying a mink in your case but maybe a rat or snake or ? [​IMG]
     
  6. ChandaH

    ChandaH Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 11, 2010
  7. ChandaH

    ChandaH Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 11, 2010
    Well I leave the door to the run open all day so they can roam the pasture. So anything could get in during the day. I am not sure if that would affect their laying since it has been like this for a year. They are still all laying in the coop but every couple days there are eggs on the floor as if they were ticked that there wasn't enough room in the nest box or something. That is why I thought removing the divider might help. But, they are still all piling in he one spot.

    I am sure that nothing big can get in at night since I close the gate to the run but something small could certainly slip through the chicken wire and get into the coop at night.

    Strangely there is still one girl roosting inside...
     
  8. carrlr

    carrlr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 31, 2010
    Southern Illinois
    I like your setup. Personally, despite having four nest boxes my 10 girls all share one of them. Although there is a lip on that nest box an ocassional egg ends up outside the box. Presuambly pushed out by another hen. Mine actually prefer a little privacy, so I'm not sure if they would like the same set-up as yours. I hope someone has an idea that helps.
     
  9. ChandaH

    ChandaH Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 11, 2010
    I actually was thinking of removing all the shelves and putting in a single nest box to give them a little more space around the coop. I just am not sure with this new development exactly what to do at this point. It seems like the shelves under the roosts are more trouble than they are worth.

    My old set up with the 'nesting' shelf divided into two had some more privacy with some cardboard hanging down and such.

    Maybe I can add a curtain to the other side of the shelf and see if I can lure some over... It does seem that there is so much crowding that that might be why the eggs are ending up on the floor?

    That still doesn't address why on earth most of them are roosting outside. I swear I am so clueless!
    I don't even know if it is a big deal if they are roosting outside. I live on the coast of California so it never gets that cold...
    Chanda
     
  10. ECBW

    ECBW Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 12, 2011
    NJ
    Your set up looks fine. The only thing I would comment is that the roosts are pretty close to the back walls. I give my birds at least 10 inches. Also, the roost may become a bit high as the birds age. How about lower the roost or a way to step up to them.
     

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