Need Help - Not sure were to ask....

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by mommto3kiddos, Dec 26, 2011.

  1. mommto3kiddos

    mommto3kiddos Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 9, 2011
    I have integrated my 6 10 week old chicks in with my older hens. Everything is going great, but 1 thing.... The chicks are wanting to roost in and on the sides of the nesting boxes.. I just can't get them to roost with mom and the older hens and its making the nest boxes beyond nasty!!! [​IMG] I have to change out hay everyday and its starting to get a little annoying (to say it nicely).. I have tried everything I can think of, even going out about 10pm and physically pushing them off!! My eggs are COVERED in poo by the time I get them (mid morning), and I can't take the nest boxes out because of my laying girls and I can't stick the chicks anywere else...

    UGH anyone have any ideas.. I was giving it time in hopes they would "learn" to roost with the others, but its been 3 weeks and NOTHING.. HELP [​IMG]
  2. Hot2Pot

    Hot2Pot Fox Hollow Rabbitry

    Feb 1, 2010
    West TN
    Make the roosts higher up than the nest boxes.
  3. mommto3kiddos

    mommto3kiddos Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 9, 2011
    Quote:The roost are already 3 feet higher than the boxes.. And they are made into the coop and can't go any higher!! [​IMG]
  4. they'reHISchickens

    they'reHISchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 31, 2008
    In my experience with chicks in the henhouse, the young ones normally bunch together rather than roost on the roost. We don't have that much problem with messy nests, but it does have to be cleaned up regularly. ours often don't roost with the others until they are almost POL. It's almost an initiation to be allowed on the roost.
    Have you tried covering the nestboxes with cloth at night and removing it first thing in the morning?
  5. Ole rooster

    Ole rooster Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 25, 2011
    Milner, Georgia
    If it were me and they were going somewhere I didn't want them, I would do whatever I had to do to block them from roosting there. Put some edges like a picket fence so they can't rest in whatever area you don't want them. [​IMG]
  6. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    I had the same problem before. My nest boxes are big enough that I have put milk crates in them and have put wire in front of them. I just go out early am and either take the milk crates out or the wire down and put it back at night. I may have to do this for a while. When I was working I was working the graveyard shift (I'm retired now) and in the mornings when I got home from work I would take the milk crates out or the wire down and before I went to work at night I would put the milk crates in the nest boxes or the wire back up.
  7. Gypsy07

    Gypsy07 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 4, 2010
    Glasgow, Scotland
    Absolutely ALL of my chicks go through that sleeping-in-the-nest-boxes phase for a while before they get the hang of the roosting thing. I use wood shavings instead of hay in my coop and although the eggs still get a bit poopy they're not really too bad. I go out with a torch at night and physically lift the chicks on to the roost. Then I stand outside in the dark and wait for the little 'thump' that tells me they've hopped back down again. Then I lift them back up on to the roost. And wait some more. Etc etc. If you can't block off the nest boxes at night cause of time/work reasons, just try to be patient and remind yourself that they WILL all get there in the end.

    I've never tried it, but I actually think that making a temporary lower-down roost might help, as birds want to roost high according to pecking order. If you have a bunch of roosts at different heights, they'll all squabble to get highest up, and the birds at the top of the pecking order will win. The lower ranking birds will have to roost lower down. So maybe the older birds are shoving the chicks off the roost and telling them they're not allowed to sleep with the big girls yet. It's just a guess, but I think a lower-down roost might be worth trying out...
  8. skycladfaerielady

    skycladfaerielady Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 20, 2011
    Coatesville, Indiana
    Like somebody mentioned... close off the best boxes at night for a week or so. Just make sure to get out to open them up early, so the hens don't start laying elsewhere.

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