Nesting Box maintenance

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by ChickenKen, Dec 19, 2010.

  1. ChickenKen

    ChickenKen New Egg

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    Dec 9, 2010
    Roanoke, VA
    I've got 1 RR Rooster and 5 Black Sex-Linked hens (they've really got to come up with a more attractive name) Anyway ... I'm going to try the deep litter method for the house.

    I'm wondering what I can do to help with poo in the nesting boxes? Is there any way to reduce how manytimes i need to clean them out?

    I never dreamed chickens pooped so much!
     
  2. chicks4kids

    chicks4kids Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2009
    Northern Indiana
    If you're getting so much poo in the nest boxes, I would guess that they're sleeping in them, which they should not be doing. If that's the case, you should maybe put a board on a hinge and block off those nest boxes at night for a few days to teach them that they are not to sleep in there. That they should be roosting on the roost.
     
  3. ChickenKen

    ChickenKen New Egg

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    Dec 9, 2010
    Roanoke, VA
    Ok. I wondered about that. I've always heard that they prefer to roost but mine seemed fine to sleep in the boxes.
    I figured they kept warmer that way so I didn't mess with it.
    Maybe I need to install more roosts.

    Thanks.
     
  4. chicks4kids

    chicks4kids Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2009
    Northern Indiana
    It may not be so much that you need to install more roost space...generally you want a linear foot per bird. So with 6 birds, you really just need 6 ft. of roost. You really shouldn't ever have poopy nest boxes when it comes down to it.

    Yeah, every once in a great while you'll find a poo or two, but it really should be a rare occassion. When you get them roosting, you'll love it so much more. Nice clean eggs! Just go out after they go to bed and put them on the roost...you may have to do this for a couple of nights, but they'll learn eventually. But you really want to do it after it's dark so that they have no choice but to stay there and they'll wake up there in the morning and eventually it will become their routine.
     
  5. swimmer

    swimmer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 17, 2010
    Utah
    Agree. Block off those nest boxes at night. Mine used to sleep in them also. I hardly ever notice poop in the boxes. When they first started to lay I did, but now they keep it pretty tidy.
     
  6. K8tieCat

    K8tieCat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Northern California
    Make sure your roosts are higher than your nests. Chickens like to get as high as possible to sleep. If you do this, they won't go back to the nests except to lay eggs. Good idea to keep the nest closed off until they get the message.
     
  7. ScotianChick

    ScotianChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 27, 2010
    My girls and my rooster were all squishing into one nesting box when they were older! I didn't make a fuss about it when they were young and I knew they weren't laying eggs... however once they got to laying age, I figured it was time to roost. So every night for about four nights, I would open the nest box, take the chickens out and put them on the roost and shut up the coop again. They didn't get it the first night after. The second night after half of them were on the roost, so I put the rest on. The night after that almost all of them were but one stubborn girl and my roo. I put them both on and away I went [​IMG] I didn't have to block anything, just keep putting them on their roost and they'll get used to it.
     
  8. Pequena Bandada

    Pequena Bandada Small Flock

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    Jun 13, 2010
    You really shouldn't have poo in the nest box except on a very rare occasion. If you do, they're sleeping it it, like all the other people said. So make sure you have enough roost space, and that the roosts are higher than the nest boxes (but not directly above... or else the poo will fall into the nest box). Then every night take the sleeping chickens out of the box and put them on the roost. It will take a few nights, but they learn pretty quick where they're supposed to sleep.
     
  9. enggass

    enggass Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 8, 2010
    Mid-Coast Maine
    I have 5 birds... all 8 months old.
    The 3 RIRs are all finally using the roosts, but my 2 BRs still prefer the nest boxes.
    I had been blocking them off - and I thought they had stopped, but they are doing it again... [​IMG]
     

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