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help.. my girls keep roosting in the nest boxes..

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by papeine, Sep 26, 2010.

  1. papeine

    papeine Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 25, 2010
    I am a roocky chicken owner... so hoping someone can help.. my chickens roost at night in the next boxes.. so I cut off the perch..that didn't help. Yesterday I added another perch...higher than the nesting boxes. Last night I went in to check on them.. and sure enough they were roosting in the nest boxes. I moved each one to the new perch... They are just starting to lay, so I hate to cover the nest boxes... any ideas would be great.

  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    They usually like to roost on the highest thing they can get too, but they are creatures of habit. They are in the habit of roosting in your nest boxes. Some might eventually change on their own, but then again they might not. I suggest moving them onto the roosts each night after it is too dark for them to find their way back to the nest boxes. Use as little light and commotion as you can, but do it each night until they are all roosting on the roost. It should take a week or less, but I have had some really stubborn hens.

    If they are just starting to lay, I would not cover the nest boxes unless you are very sure you will be out there to open them up before they wake up. You do not want them to get in the habit of laying somewhere else, or then you have a different problem to solve.

    Good luck!
  3. berkeleybackyard

    berkeleybackyard New Egg

    May 22, 2010
    I put a "nest egg" (a marble one) in one nest box. They never roost there and always lay their eggs there. They do sleep in the other nest box. My hens are 6 months old and have been laying for a month. I guess I am lucky they've figured it out.
  4. papeine

    papeine Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 25, 2010
    Quote:thanks.. I wen tout tonight and 5 were on the roost.. so I moved the other 7.. I am hoping they eventually get it...
  5. Cynthia12

    Cynthia12 Always Grateful Premium Member

    Apr 11, 2010
    Quote:thanks.. I wen tout tonight and 5 were on the roost.. so I moved the other 7.. I am hoping they eventually get it...

    I'm having to do the very same thing right now. I have a few that want to roost.."over" the nest boxes..messy..so, I go out when I know they can't see me, and I quietly put them on their roost. I've been doing this for about a week, and they are finally getting it, haven't had to move them the last couple of nights. [​IMG])
  6. Mrs. Feathers

    Mrs. Feathers Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2010
    At least it is your hens that are in there...every evening I am chasing my 13 week old cockerels out of the nest boxes. `The 24 and 21 week old girls`won`t have them on their roost...or even on the ground their side of the coop...but do they care about the nesting boxes...noooooooo!
    The boys are either very stubborn (they have a nice roost too) or just plain slow to get the lesson. Sounds like yours are quicker learners [​IMG].
  7. Erock1234

    Erock1234 Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 28, 2010
    mine did that as well and it got aggravating cleaning poo out of the boxes [​IMG]. so i added extra roosting space, moved them at first after they roosted for a few days, then when they started to roost in the evening I shooed them from the boxes and they got the picture. It took about 4 nights and haven't had one in the wrong spot since:clap. Good luck!!
  8. turtlebird

    turtlebird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 11, 2009
    cover your nest boxes just before they come in to roost, remove the cover the earliest you can get out there. They should find a new roosting spot and your nest boxes should remain clean. The temporal inconvenience of covering/uncovering totally outweighs the inconvenience of broken and dirty eggs.
  9. papeine

    papeine Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 25, 2010
    Thanks all of you for your advice.. 11 of them are now roosting on the roost.. Still have one stubborn one, but every night I go and move her to the roost.. hopefully she'll eventually figure it out...

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