Laying boxes

redlaite

In the Brooder
May 10, 2016
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My chickens will not get into there own laying box they all huddle together in one spot at night when they go into there sleeping container. I have put hay or shavings in each box but they will not use them I have 8 chickens born in March. Will they eventually seek there own laying box when they are ready to lay?
 

Pyxis

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By "sleeping container" do you mean coop? Chickens are not supposed to sleep in nesting boxes. In fact, you really really do not want them to - they poop when they sleep and then you end up with a bunch of poop covered eggs and a great big mess to clean every day. They are supposed to sleep on roosts, so if yours don't have a roost, you should supply one for them. The general rule of thumb is to supply 8" of roost space per bird, although they will usually all huddle together on the roost when they sleep. The extra space allows for them to move away from each other if one is getting bullied, for example.

You only need one nesting box for every three to four hens. They usually have a favorite and they all want to lay in the same one anyway.
 
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redlaite

In the Brooder
May 10, 2016
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They do have roosts. We put shavings in each one but they still only congregate to one roost, where the door is. We have to put them in a closed roosting box because of the wildlife at night. So they have the coop and the yard during the day to run around then at night they go into their night house that has 8 individual divided platforms.
 

Pyxis

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They do have roosts. We put shavings in each one but they still only congregate to one roost, where the door is. We have to put them in a closed roosting box because of the wildlife at night. So they have the coop and the yard during the day to run around then at night they go into their night house that has 8 individual divided platforms.


That's your problem, you don't want eight separate roosts. They want to roost together since they're flock animals and they'll always continue to try to cram together in one roost area. I would rethink the design and make only one long roost.

I'm not sure if you have real nesting boxes that are separate from these for them to lay eggs in but you're going to want to or you'll face the poop and mess problem I mentioned above.

What is your coop like? It should be secure enough on its own that you don't need to also lock them into a box at night to sleep. You probably don't get out there at dawn every day to let them out and keeping them crammed together like that is a recipe for ending up with chickens bullying each other.
 

Gramma Chick

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What is your coop like? It should be secure enough on its own that you don't need to also lock them into a box at night to sleep. You probably don't get out there at dawn every day to let them out and keeping them crammed together like that is a recipe for ending up with chickens bullying each other.

it is also a recipe for frost bite in the winter ..if you live in a cold area ..if it has no place to vent .
Also Younger chickens huddle ..as they get older they will all want to roost ...
One roost is enough for a small amount of chickens
 

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