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How do I keep them from sleeping in their nesting boxes?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by clickncluck, Jul 15, 2011.

  1. clickncluck

    clickncluck Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 28, 2011
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    My speckled sussex hens are 19.5 weeks old. The nesting box is a kitty litter dome with artificial grass and 2 plastic eggs in it. I put it in their coop a week and a half ago and theyʻve pretty much ignored it except for sleeping wedged behind it in front of the door. They have never slept on their roost, always in a pile. This morning when I went out to let their ladder down, Clack was inside of the nesting box (I was very excited) and Cluck had her head in the door and was perched on the edge. They were like that for about an hour until I booted them out to see what was going on. I suspected Clack slept in it because there was quite a bit of poop in it. Tonight they were in the same configuration when I went out to pull the ladder up. I kicked them out of it and turned the opening towards the wall. The coop is an A frame tractor so I canʻt reach the roost to actually put them on it at night. They spend a lot of time on the roost during the day but not at night. Any suggestions?
     
  2. Barred Babies

    Barred Babies Red Roof Farms

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    I would put them on the roost every night till they learned that's where they need to sleep at!!
     
  3. Urban Chaos

    Urban Chaos Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 9, 2011
    Austin
    Quote:x2 and block off the nesting boxes each night if you can.
     
  4. Nonny

    Nonny Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 16, 2011
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    Mine used to sleep in their nesting boxes and I was a bit worried because when the first hen started laying I would find her egg on top of a pile of poop, but then after a few days I would find poop only in the spare nesting box (I have 2 boxes for 3 chooks), and eggs in the other one. Now that all three are laying I find they have decided to all sleep on the roosts and leave the nests for eggs only.

    It's winter here in Oz so I assumed they were sleeping in their nests because it was warmer, but if anything it's even colder this week and they still all sleep on their roosts.
     
  5. clickncluck

    clickncluck Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 28, 2011
    Kahaluu on Oahu
    Quote:Boy, I wish I could. But I canʻt reach the roost since it is an A frame tractor style coop.
    Iʻll continue to block off the nesting boxes. How do I know when they are ready and I should give them access again?
     
  6. mamabigbird

    mamabigbird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 11, 2010
    Vancouver Island, B.C.,
    Quote:The OP said they can't reach in enough to put the pullets up on the roost.
    They also said that they turn the nest box opening against the wall so they can't go into it at night.
    I think the OP has done as much as they can considering the shape and size of the tractor coop.
    The pullets should naturally go the roost eventually. Sometimes it just takes time.
     
  7. mamabigbird

    mamabigbird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 11, 2010
    Vancouver Island, B.C.,
    Quote:Boy, I wish I could. But I canʻt reach the roost since it is an A frame tractor style coop.
    Iʻll continue to block off the nesting boxes. How do I know when they are ready and I should give them access again?

    You should allow them access to the nest box during the day, even if they're not laying yet. Either sneak in after dark or first thing in the morning and open their nest box for them.
    They will practice a lot, going in and out of the nest. They may even dog-pile into it together until they start laying.
    Just close it up at dusk before they go to bed in it. Then they will learn that it isn't a bed.
    I always give my baby chicks a roost by the time they are about 3-4 weeks old. Even in their brooder. Placed very low at first and then raise it as they get bigger so that by the time they move to the big coop they are used to sleeping on a roost.
     
  8. clickncluck

    clickncluck Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 28, 2011
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    Yes, my girls had a roost from 5 days on made of PVC pipe for the stakes and a 1/4" dowel for the roost. It was very cute and they used it, but never to sleep on it. So theyʻve been exposed to it from the beginning, they are just extremely slow to sleep on it.
     

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