Nesting box vs Roosting bar

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by ADChickens, May 14, 2016.

  1. ADChickens

    ADChickens Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 12, 2016
    I have two 9 week old Barred Rock hens and noticed when they go up to the hen house at night they both seem to settle down in the same nesting box instead of the roosting bar. Is this normal and ok for them to do? I thought they would only use the nesting box for laying. I've tried to encourage them to move to the bars but to no avail, they just move right back and lay down. Thank in advance.
  2. Chicken Girl1

    Chicken Girl1 Queen of the Coop

    Mar 3, 2015
    My hens tend to do that, the problem with it is they poop in it so then you have to clean it out daily or get poopy eggs. What I do is block the nesting boxes of at night and then open it up during the day.
    Last edited: May 14, 2016
  3. frog3toad

    frog3toad Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 5, 2015
    I block the nesting boxes after 4 or 5 in the evening. Then after they roost, I go and remove the block so they can lay as early as they please in the morning. Once they are settled in around 8 or 9 pm, I have not had any instances of moving down from the roosting bar to the nest box.
    1 person likes this.
  4. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    With only two birds, and with them being young, they feel safer in the confines of the nest box, most likely. I'd probably block the nest boxes (just shove a wide piece of cardboard across the opening) for the next few weeks, since they won't need them for a while yet. Hopefully that will get them use to roosting so that when you unblock them they will stay on their roosts. Is the nest box at least a little lower than their roosts??? You do want it to be lower, as most adult chickens prefer the highest spot available for nighttime roosting....
    Last edited: May 14, 2016
  5. dlaplume2

    dlaplume2 Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 12, 2016
    Is there a reason they should sleep on the roosting bar? I never thought to try to convince them. Mine sleep all together on the top of their boxes.
  6. amynrichie

    amynrichie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 29, 2013
    Nebraska Panhandle
    The biggest reason is to keep poop out of your nesting boxes. It makes for cleaner eggs.
    1 person likes this.
  7. ADChickens

    ADChickens Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 12, 2016
    Yes, nesting box is really bad but they go in the same one every night. I'll see how it goes when they get a little older. This is great site for us newbies. Thanks everyone!
  8. realsis

    realsis Crazy for Silkies

    Jan 17, 2013
    Mine are 5 weeks old and still in my large dog cage brooder as my husband finishes up our bigger hen house. The girls are looking quite large and I thought they might want to roost to sleep so I put a roosting bar into their cage (I have 10 standard size girls) I peeked in at night to see who was roosting on the bar. NOT ONE BIRD was using the roost! They were actually laying around the roosting bar! I removed the bar and came to the conclusion that maybe they are too young yet to feel safe sleeping that way?? The breeds I have include 7 Barred rocks, 1 buff Orpington, 1 laced Wyandotte, 1 Silver penciled rock. Some, like the penciled rock are really large birds already! I guess when they are ready, they will roost!
  9. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Yeah...pretty much! Leave it in there though, as they will probably play on it during the day - good training for "real" roosting [​IMG]

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