How to get 10 weekers to stop roosting on nest box **Pics Added**

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Lolliegee, Apr 23, 2009.

  1. Lolliegee

    Lolliegee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They've been in the coop now with my 2 older ladies for about 4 weeks and I don't have a clue how to stop them from doing this. The boxes are getting nasty and they've got a perfectly good roosting pole. I even put their little one in there (that they had in their brooder, for familiarity) when I first moved them in. Thought that would help prevent this. Any thoughts on how I can discourage it, but still leave the boxes available to the 2 laying hens? Definitely don't want to discourage them! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2009
  2. Bantam Bodon

    Bantam Bodon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What is your roost like? Round? If so id try some plat poles instead of round, chickens seem to like flat over round, that maybe why. They also might just need a little more time. It seems to me the older the chicken the more likely they are to roost.
     
  3. Lolliegee

    Lolliegee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They are actually roosting on the edges of the nest box, not on the flat part, so I'm not sure if providing a flat roost would help or not???
     
  4. Bantam Bodon

    Bantam Bodon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    hmm, im not sure what to suggest. I would think they would just figure it out on their own?
     
  5. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

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    I had to close off the nest boxes until they were almost 18 weeks old. Put boards in front of them so they were forced to go to the roost boards.
     
  6. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    I had a similar problem and closed the nest boxes off at night and put the chickens on the roost, then opened them back up in the early AM. Not a perfect solution, but it worked for me; guess I got there early enough that no one layed an egg elsewhere.
     
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Congratulations, by the way, on integrating 10-weekers with your existing hens. If you are writing about roosting problems instead of integration problems you are doing OK.

    Is it all your 10 weekers or just a few with this problem?

    Are your roosts clearly higher than the nesting boxes? 12" should be sufficient, but maybe they are young and confused.

    You could move them to the roosts every night shortly after they go to sleep. They may get the hint in a week or so.

    I'm not sure I totally understand what your nesting boxes look like. You say they are roosting on the edge not the flat part. Do you mean the opening for the nesting box? If so, I don't have a good idea other than block it off. Are your nesting boxes topless so they are roosting on the dividers? Try putting a top with enough overhang to protect the nests. Is it a perch in front of the nesting boxes to help them in? Try lowering the perch so the offending anatomy can't reach the nest opening while roosting.

    Try using ddawn's method. You can always open the nesting boxes back up after they are asleep but before you go to bed if that helps your two girls lay where they are supposed to. Make sure they do not have light to move by after you remove the blockage. That timing may work out better than getting up early for you.

    In my opinion, it is most likely height or habit. Good luck.
     
  8. Lolliegee

    Lolliegee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ridgerunner, Thanks for all the great suggestions. I'll take a pic of my coop later and post it so you've got a better idea of what I've got. The boxes are open and they're roosting on the dividers and fronts.

    Oh and as far as the integration...I got lucky. I had planned to let them "play" supervised for a few hours each day for a few days then put them in at night and have them wake up together the next day. However, the first day I put them out there, I hurt my back so bad, that I had to lay flat on my back for several days. My family in the midst of helping me, forgot about the chicks. When we got back from the doctor late that night, my husband went to check on them, and they had all gone into the coop together. There was some picking on for a few days, but the pecking order was established and they've been co-existing pretty peacefully since. The older ones will still run at the younger ones occasionally, just to remind them who's boss, but that's about it. As I said, we got lucky! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2009
  9. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

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    I agree with the other posts.My boxes are outside my main coop but I did have boxes inside another coop. I slanted a board over the top of the nest boxes so that they couldn't roost on top of them as I too got tired of cleaning the poop off every day. Similar to this picture only more boxes. Also make the roosts higher than the next boxes. They like to roost as high as they can get.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2009
  10. chickenannie

    chickenannie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    See that little ledge? It's supposed to be pushed up at night to prevent them from roosting in there. Kind of a pain to do it, but that's what it's for. Put it up when you gather eggs or shut the coop door in the evening, then put it down in the morning when you let the chickies out.
     

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