How to stop chickens from sleeping in the nestbox??

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by chicken farmer, Jan 12, 2015.

  1. chicken farmer

    chicken farmer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a variety of chickens in my flock and silkies are some of them,I have a 10X10 coop that's 6 feet high and there's 4 roosts from the ceiling to the floor of the coop with the highest being about a foot and a half form the ceiling to about a foot and a half from the floor. And the roosts are from one wall to the middle of the coop so about 5 feet. And only the top 2 get used so there's plenty of room for them. I have 8 nestboxs against the wall of the coop(4 sit right on the floor and the other 4 on top those) and my silkie rooster and 3 silkie hens like to sit in the nestboxs and sleep and of course they poop in there[​IMG] But if I take them and put them on the roost than they'll preen themselves and stay there all night. But is there anything you know I can do to make them go to roosts instead of the nestboxs? Thanks
     
  2. song of joy

    song of joy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This can really be a pain! I've heard that people have had success when they've blocked off their nest boxes at night with some type of flap (e.g., plastic, cardboard, wire screen, etc). Usually egg laying is finished by late afternoon, so anytime after that the nest boxes can be "closed off". They'll have to be uncovered first thing in the morning if any of your hens are laying this time of year.

    I would try this for at least a week, so they become accustomed to roosting on the roost bars. After you open the nest boxes again, make sure they don't go back to using them again at night. If they do, cover the nest boxes for another week. They are creatures of habit, so as soon as roosting on the bar becomes habit, they should abandon roosting in the nest boxes.

    Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2015
  3. BonRae67

    BonRae67 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Have your silkies ever used the roosts? The ones on the farm I take care of sleep on the ground (with plenty of hay) I have never seen them roost on anything.
     
  4. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    If blocking off the boxes and putting them on the roosts etc doesn't work over time, with Silkies, you are sometimes fighting a losing battle (especially in the cold weather). Do the other hens use the floor level boxes to lay eggs? You might consider raising all the boxes and putting up an open sleeping box somewhere for the silkies at ground level, it maybe easier to train them to use that then keep them out of nesting boxes.
     
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  5. LittleRedCoop53

    LittleRedCoop53 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    GOOD QUESTION....My silkies can't jump very high, and with all the feathering on their feet it seems like it hurts to curl around a roost bar???? either way they always sleep in the nest boxes and i have to clean them daily :) MAYBE IF THE BAR WAS LOWER?
     
  6. BonRae67

    BonRae67 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Maybe. Like I said I have never seen silkies roost on anything. Good luck.
     
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  7. chicken farmer

    chicken farmer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I might have to try blocking the nestboxs off for a while,and I heard silkies like to sleep on the ground but in the day they like to stumps and outside ladder to jump on so I'm not sure. And yea my hens use almost all the nests top and bottom and I have the silkies,bantams,gold comet,rhode island red,and 3 roosters and I have 26 pullet chicks coming from Murray Mcmurray around February 2nd and I can't wait I ordered a big variety like barred rock,dark cornish,polish,easter eggers,and many other breeds. But anyway yes it's a pain to have poop in the nest and they can get up on the roosts easy like I was saying but I guess there more of a ground bird?
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop

    Quote:
    I hope you have plans for a bigger coop!
     
  9. chicken farmer

    chicken farmer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm only planning on keeping around 25 chickens all together and they have a big pen
     

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