How far should a roost be from the nest box?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by LeezyBeezy, May 13, 2010.

  1. LeezyBeezy

    LeezyBeezy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 13, 2010
    Lancaster PA
    I just got 3, year-old chickens from a friend- an Americauna hen (Bella), and NH red hen (MG) , and a black autrolorpe (sp) rooster (Curley). We have a huge coop, courtesy of the farm's previous owners. It is about 15 x 24, with a 7-8 foot roof, inside of the barn. So, that means that three sides are wood from floor to ceiling- two outside walls of the barn (one long side with 2 windows, the short side with a full-sized door that can be opened and chicken door to the outside). The full sized door has permenent chicken wire to keep them in but let's air and light in- will change out soon.

    The other short wall is wood floor to ceiling, with some small 1/4 inch gaps to allow for air flow. On this wall we mounted the already-built nest box- 5 wide, three levels. We block off the 3 colummns, leaving nest boxes two wide, with three rows high. It is mounted about 15 inches off the floor. We put a slanted board on top, to prevent them from roosting on the top.

    Between the nest box, (which is pretty much centered on the wall), and the long wall with the windows, we mounted a 1x3 board on some shelf brackets for a roost. I would guess it's about 3-4 feet long and 3 feet off the ground.

    We got the chickens 2 nights ago, near dusk. We put them in, and all three got on the roost. Then the Americauna, Bella, flew down, then got back up in the top nest box, closest to the roost. I am guessing she spent the past two nights there, due to the droppings in the box. Or maybe she's roosting on the edge, because the droppings are closer to the front.

    I really don't want her soiling the nest boxes, or getting in the habit of roosting there. Is the problem that the roost is not wide enough? Or too close to the nest boxes? Or maybe just more time to adjust?

    That, and the NH red MG layed her egg yesterday in a little nest in the corner of sawdust, under the roost. I'm thinking maybe too much light from the adjacent window for her to try the nest boxes... but obviously the other owners had it there, so some chickens must have liked it. LOL. [​IMG]

    If this is clear as mud, I will attempt to get pictures and show you!

    thanks for any input.
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    Is your roost clearly higher than the top of the nesting box? It is probably not how close they are but how high they are.
     
  3. LeezyBeezy

    LeezyBeezy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 13, 2010
    Lancaster PA
    Nope- the roost in about the height of the middle nest box. Hmmmmm, Bella llikes to be higher than the other two... Darn, that may be a problem, because that darned nest box is heavy and mounted. BUT, we could block off the top two boxes, eliminating that problem. Thanks!
     

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