How do you make them roost where you want?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Doug62, Sep 12, 2010.

  1. Doug62

    Doug62 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 28, 2010
    Carson
    I have 8 chickens, 6 hens and 2 roosters. My problem is where they choose to sleep. When I built my coop I went way overboard with nesting boxes, I have since taken away all but one, being told 1 box per six layers. Every chicken I got crams into the one nest roosters included, the box is approx. 11"x13"x11" which I know now is way too big. They have a nice 3 tier roost. So yesterday I took the last box away and 5 used the roost (where I want them), 2 went to the rafters, and the dominant rooster was perched in front of the blocked nest.

    My hens should start laying any day now. I don't know what to do.
     
  2. True Grit

    True Grit Chillin' With My Peeps

    My nest box is 12 inches x12 with a high slanted roof so they can't perch on the top. It doesn't sound like yours is too big. You could put the nest boxes back and let them sleep in them but it sounds like if you keep it blocked off for a bit they may roost. For your roost are you using 2x4' laid on their sides so they can roost flat?
     
  3. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    I'd leave the nest blocked off til I found an egg. It may also help to put them onto the roosts by hand for a week or so, after dark or nearly at dark, after they have settled down for the night.
     
  4. Suechick

    Suechick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Are they pretty young? Young birds may want to sleep in a nest instead of a roost. I know lots of people don't give the chickens access to a nest box until just before they are ready to start laying eggs around 16-18 weeks old (mine started laying at 25 weeks). By the time they are 4 months old they aren't as interested in sleeping in a nest, so they are more likely to use it for eggs.

    When they are old enough, they will choose to roost in the highest possible spot, so, if the nest is higher than the roost they will go to the nest. I have 5 chickens and they all use the same nest box. Mine is 24"x14" and 16" high. I made it larger so that several can lay at the same time. Sometimes I have 3 chickens in there together. [​IMG]

    Good luck
     
  5. Doug62

    Doug62 Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:Yes I've slanted the roof, as for the 2x4, I was told a 2 1/4" dowel was best.
     
  6. Doug62

    Doug62 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks everyone, sounds like I'll leave it blocked off for awhile, and make their roost higher than the nests.
     
  7. Annabella

    Annabella Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Chooks feet don't curl around their perch like other birds. Dowel is not the best option as it isnt comfortable for them.
    2 x4 is best with the widest side up, they like to be able to rest down over their feet.
    Good luck.
     
  8. growinupinfl

    growinupinfl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I wish mine would at least use the roost I gave them... But nooooo they are way to difficult for that. At first it was on top of the nesting boxes.. I think I caught them once on the actual perches... Now they sleep on a small paneling of wood at the top of there coop. We left it open so air would get in during the hot florida summers.. They PERCH UP THERE, not on the nice one or two inch wide perches... They also sleep in the trees that they reach before I can get them in, and some of the geniuses jump up on top of the coop.. I used to try getting them in to lock them up at night HAHAHAHA they laughed at me for days.. I never thought chickens could be so cruel to their owner... LOL So we just put up a extra high fence and they roam around an acre of land then sleep where ever.. Luckily they do use the coop for laying eggs... Free range chickens for sure... SO if you figure out how to make chickens behave let me know..

    Christal
     
  9. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Quote:Yup. Some individuals, esp. roosters, of the heavy breeds may even need a shelf. Wider roosts that let them rest their body on their feet also help protect the feet from frostbite.
     
  10. Doug62

    Doug62 Out Of The Brooder

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    Well it sounds like 2x4s it is, if I have to change it might as well do it right.
     

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