How to get chickens not to sleep in nest box

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by bman0023, Sep 25, 2014.

  1. bman0023

    bman0023 New Egg

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    Hi All, I am new to chickens and have 4 who are just starting to lay eggs. I have them laying in the nest boxes, finally. But now they are sleeping there. I have a coop about 3' by 5' with 2 nest boxes for 4 chickens, and they all crowd into the nest boxes for some reason. I have 2 roost bars which they don't seem to like. I put shoe boxes there to discourage this but it is a pain and when I forget there they are in the nest boxes.

    The one is also very mean and picks at the others, one especially who will not peck back. The others give it right back to the mean one. I think she will be invited to dinner for next week if she keeps it up!!

    Does anyone have any suggestions?

    Thanks
     
  2. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member

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    What type roosts do you have and how are they located in the coop - location, height? Can you post a pic of interior of the coop?
     
  3. Ol Grey Mare

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

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    You mention that the birds don't seem to like your roosts - can you tell us a bit more about the roosts (or, even better, photograph your setup so we can see for ourselves) so that we can sort through where the aversion is coming from? You say "now" they are sleeping in the boxes, had they previously used the roosts and have stopped or were they simply sleeping elsewhere in the coop, not on the roosts, and have now moved to the nest boxes? What are your roosts made of, where are they located in the coop, what is their height relative to the height of your nest boxes, etc.? A simple solution for now is to go out at dusk, when they have settled in, and physically move anyone that is in a nest box out of the box and to a desired sleeping place (ie the roost), but that is where making sure the roosts are desirable roosts for chickens will come into play - because if there is an issue with the roosts you'll want to correct that too.
     
  4. bman0023

    bman0023 New Egg

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    The roosts are about 2 inches off the ground. I bought one online and this is how it was built. It is nearly level with the nest boxes. I suppose I could raise it a few inches. They've always preferred the nest boxes to sleep. In the run I have a roost bar and they like that.
     
  5. jtn42248

    jtn42248 Overrun With Chickens

    That is odd to have roosts so close to the ground. Typically nest boxes should be 12 inches or so off the floor level and roosts should always be higher than the nest boxes.
     
  6. Ol Grey Mare

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

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    Is your coop one of the little jobs that is only a couple of feet tall on the inside?
     
  7. Just sayin

    Just sayin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, we learned right away that they like the roosts to be as high as they can get... and not too skinny. They like a nice fat branch or a flat 2x4. Skinny bars aren't comfortable for them, and they like to be up high. Our current roosts are all about a foot from the ceiling in the coop, which is... at least five feet up.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. bman0023

    bman0023 New Egg

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    It is about 5" long including the nest boxes by 3" wide and about 3.5" tall. 2 x 2's are for the roosts. It is pretty well built and quite spacious for them.

    I'll try to raise it up a little for them.
     

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