Is my roost too low?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by BrookesChooks, Sep 19, 2012.

  1. BrookesChooks

    BrookesChooks Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 19, 2012
    VIC, Australia
    I have had 6 chooks for just over a week. Youngest about 16 weeks, oldest about 24 weeks. The roost inside the coop is only about 8 inches off the floor and above the nest boxes. One of the older chooks roosts on it every night, but the other 5 chooks squeeze into 2 nest boxes!
    There's poo everywhere and every night we try to put them on the roost they jump straight off and head to the nest box.
    There is about 12 inches of roost per chook, so plenty of space.

    I'm thinking that the roost isn't high enough and maybe I should move it to the higher side of the coop?
    Have a look at the photo and see what you think.


    [​IMG]

    The photo is taken from under the nest boxes lid.
     
  2. Mahlzeit

    Mahlzeit Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You could try raising it a bit but for the time being maybe try closing off the nest boxes at night so they have to get used to using the roost.
     
  3. BrookesChooks

    BrookesChooks Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 19, 2012
    VIC, Australia
    I have tried blocking the nest boxes off a couple of times, but then they sleep on the hay on the floor, leaning up against the nest boxes. I will keep blocking it off and see what happens.
     
  4. Red Barn Farms

    Red Barn Farms ~Friendly Fowl~

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    Looks as if it's about all you will be able to do in such a small space. It might be your hens do not like roosting on the small branch. Maybe try changing it out with a pine 2x4?
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2012
  5. KPenley

    KPenley Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Newbie question...why can't they sleep in a nest?
     
  6. JackE

    JackE Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Because like the original poster said. The chickens will LOAD the nestboxes with crap. If you do not want to retrieve your eggs from piles of poop, Then the birds must be supplied with proper roosts, HIGHER than the nestboxes.
    Jack.
     
  7. wayne hulgan

    wayne hulgan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    chicks will roost at the highest spot they can find. also your roost doesn't look quite big enough, try a 2x4. first round the corners off so it has no sharp edgeses. I did this with a 4 inch side grinder. worked pretty well.. it also looks like you might need to move the roost from over the nest boxes. in your pix it looks like it is over the nest. any way try a larger roost, and put it as high as you can. you may need a lower roost just as a step to the top roost. keep trying.
     
  8. Red Barn Farms

    Red Barn Farms ~Friendly Fowl~

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    If the chickens slept in the nesting boxes you would run into a major problem of poop being built up which wouldn't make for a very clean egg. [​IMG] Chickens seem to 'poop' a lot during the night. Chickens generally look for the highest levels possible at night for roosting time so all roosts should be kept at a higher level than the nesting boxes to discourage them from getting into the boxes. Luckily, my flock has always used their roosts to sleep on and nesting boxes only for egg laying time.
     
  9. Red Barn Farms

    Red Barn Farms ~Friendly Fowl~

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    Also BrookesChooks. I noticed you have a lean-to design coop. Maybe if you attached the roost to the high side of the coop that would allow for a higher roost height. That might help them to stay out of the nests. Might be worth a try.
     
  10. BrookesChooks

    BrookesChooks Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 19, 2012
    VIC, Australia
    Thanks for your advice. The nest boxes are at the end of the coop , where the photo was taken from. Here's a photo.

    [​IMG]

    So I am going to keep blocking off the nest boxes. Last night there was at least 3 on the roost.
    If that doesn't work we will move the roost to the higher side, replace it with a bigger stick (maybe straighter too) and remove the wire "poo box" that is currently underneath the roost, as it would be on the wrong side (and didn't work too well anyway).

    Any other suggestions, keep them coming.
    Thanks again for your help!
     

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