Nest boxes

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Jersey Boy, Aug 27, 2013.

  1. Jersey Boy

    Jersey Boy Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 14, 2013
    Hello I have 3 RIR and 3 Welsummers. They are all 16 weeks old. I blocked access to the nest boxes when they were younger to deter them from sleeping inside the boxes and also to entice them to start roosting. I have seen most of them on the roosts several times since I closed the nests but they all seem to still sleep together on the floor in the corner of the coop right next to the boxes. I recently opened the nest boxes to see what would happen and the next morning I found all three nest boxes covered in poop (which tells me they immediately went right back to sleeping inside of them). What can I do to solve this problem ? I have attempted to place them on the roosts after dark on several ocassions but they jump right down. If they havent learned over 10 weeks to stop sleeping in the boxes will blocking them again do any good ? Do I leave them open so they can get use to it ? If I leave them open will they figure it out on thier own and eventually stop ? I just don't want them to get acustim to pooping where they should be laying. Any info would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2013
  2. ChirpyChicks1

    ChirpyChicks1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 22, 2013
    You probably have at least a few more weeks before really needing the nesting boxes so I'd cover them back up. A few questions:

    How high are your roosting bars?
    Do the chickens have large red wattles and combs?
    Are any of them squatting?
     
  3. Jersey Boy

    Jersey Boy Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 14, 2013
    [​IMG]
     
  4. Jersey Boy

    Jersey Boy Out Of The Brooder

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    [​IMG]

    The roosts are approximately 6 inches in this picture. I left the front one at 6 but I moved the rear one up to 14 inches so it would be higher than the nest boxes. No squatting that I noticed.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2013
  5. ChirpyChicks1

    ChirpyChicks1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How big is your coop? And after looking at the first pic I'm going to say you have quite awhile before any of them are laying.
     
  6. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Those roosts look low to me; if the nest boxes are higher, the hens will sleep in them.

    I like to use 2 X 4 lumber for roost bars, turned with the wide flat side up, but I have heavy birds in my flock. The smaller birds are happy to roost in rafters and the smaller side of 2x3 lumber (not flat side up) which comprise the top of a Kindergarten pen built inside the coop. They roost there even though there is plenty of room on the wider roosts - the greater height is preferable to crowding or wider roost bars.
     
  7. Jersey Boy

    Jersey Boy Out Of The Brooder

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    [​IMG]

    The coop is 6 ft wide x 3.5 ft deep x 4 ft high
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2013
  8. ChirpyChicks1

    ChirpyChicks1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well I have no advice I guess, my coop is about 9ft tall so I've had no roosting issues. But continue to block off the nesting boxes and don't open them up until their wattles/combs are big and red and they are squatting. When you open them back up put a different bedding in the nesting boxes. I use pine shavings on the coop floor and straw in the boxes. I also put two golf balls in each box
     
  9. Jersey Boy

    Jersey Boy Out Of The Brooder

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    If my coop is 4 ft high what height would you recommend the roost be set at ? I put one at 6 inches and one at 14 inches. Should I raise them both or do they need a lower one to reach the higher one ? If you can see in the picture my best boxes are 2 inches off the floor.
     
  10. ChirpyChicks1

    ChirpyChicks1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm not sure, they have to have room to move around and "fly" up and down. You want roughly 1ft of bars per bird so you really need to keep both bars. I'd put the bars at 2.5ft and see what happens. Also can you create a top to the nesting boxes? They would get up on top of that but not poop into the boxes.
     

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