Hens roosting in the nesting box

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by vick01, Nov 30, 2014.

  1. vick01

    vick01 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 5, 2014
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    Hi.

    I have 3 ISA Brown chickens and 1 Australorp. I had an ISA Brown previously who constantly roosted in the nesting box. That didn't bother me, because they layed in the other box, so there was no contamination. After she passed, I bought the 3 new ISA Brown chickens. Once I convinced them to roost in the hen house, they all moved into the nesting boxes.

    I heard that ISA Brown and other sex link chickens, because they are bred purely for laying, have forgotten how to roost, and therefore don't like sitting on a perch at night. I can't really build any other nesting boxes. I'm not that handy.

    I was considering filling the nesting box with sand and cleaning it out each day, although I don't always have the time each morning. Does anyone have any suggestions?
     
  2. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    To the bolded - not accurate. There are, however, other things that may be causing their preference - a little more information will help us sort that out for you.
    How is your coop set up? What is the height of the nest boxes and the roosts? Can you post photos of the interior? What are you using for roosts?
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. SD Bird Lady

    SD Bird Lady Chillin' With My Peeps

    Are your roosts higher than the nest boxes?
     
  4. vick01

    vick01 Out Of The Brooder

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    This is almost exactly the coop I have. The roosts are at the same height as the nesting boxes, and are 50mm (2 inch) round. One weird thing is that there are 4 perches in here, and they are in pairs about 3 inches apart. Unless they are bantams, I don't know how any chickens could perch this close together. Looking back, I would have been better off building my own coop. [​IMG]




    Here's the picture of the nesting boxes from the website.
    [​IMG]
     
  5. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    Coop design is causing the nest boxes to be the preferable roosting location.
     
  6. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    If at all possible raise your roosts higher than your nesting boxes - chickens like to roost at the highest possible point. If you do raise the roosts, block the nest boxes at night until the hens start using the roosts.
     
  7. toby8429

    toby8429 Out Of The Brooder

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    Can you block nesting boxes at night? Till they get used to roosting somewhere else
     
  8. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    Heck, you don't even *have* to block the nests - just go out at "bedtime" and physically move them from the nest box and onto a roost (maybe easier said than done given the coop design, I know). Generally, when they are ready to settle in if they are moved they just hunker right back down.
     
  9. vick01

    vick01 Out Of The Brooder

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    OK. I'll try to move the roosts on the weekend. They may be hard to move, and have to be turned sideways, due to the available wall space. If I do, I'll need longer poles. As a guide, what size poles do I need, and how far off the ground can I have them? How far apart do they need to be?
     
  10. emshens

    emshens Out Of The Brooder

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    I do the same thing currently mine won't roost because they are on the floor.. until recently they have not had poles to roost on.
     

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