New flock nesting in egg boxes apart from old flock on perches

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by tlharv, Jul 14, 2011.

  1. tlharv

    tlharv Out Of The Brooder

    I know I'm not the only owner to find hens spending the night in their egg boxes... so here's the story. Introduced eight new hens to the existing flock of five, and they share a henhouse. At night, the older flock uses the perches I built for everyone. The new hens like to cram themselves in the three egg boxes (each measure about 12"x12"x10", and "cram" means about four hens per box. None of them use the perches the older hens are on, and believe me -- there's room for everyone up there. On top of it, the older hens like to stuff themselves into one corner of the house, leaving tons of space on the perches.

    Options:
    1. Let it go, and clean all of the poop out of the egg boxes on a daily basis. Not what I want to do.
    2. During the night, block access to the egg boxes to force the new hens to use the perches
    3. Dismantle the existing perches and build something brand new for everyone so that nobody has "ownership"

    Which option is best?

    Thanks,
    Tom
     
  2. Ilovemyladies!

    Ilovemyladies! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My chickens perch in and on the boxes also. I'm not sure what to do either [​IMG]
     
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I've had that type of experience with fairly young, immature chickens. A broody raised some chickens with the flock and all were roosting on the roosts. But after Mama weaned them and went to roosting with her old buddies, a couple of hens went out of their way to make life miserable on the roosts for the immature birds. They would leave their normal roosting place with the established flock and go to the back corner where the younger birds were trying to stay out of the way of the mature chickens. The young birds quit roosting on the roosts and actually found a place outside the coop to roost. I ate them before they reached full maturity where they could have won their own place on the roosts.

    I've also had some young ones that were sleeping on the floor move to the nesting boxes for a few days while they were transitionaing from the floor to the roosts. After a few nights they moved on to the roosts without me doing anything. I don't know how old your new chickens are. Maybe it is something like this going on if they are still fairly young.

    I'd try blocking off the nesting boxes to see what happens. Maybe build a new roost a bit away from the existing ones, making sure they are all higher than the nesting boxes.

    I'll admit to being frustrated when mine stopped roosting on the roosts and moved outside the coop. And, yes, I put them inside on the roosts every night. Sometimes one or two would try roosting on the roosts in the coop for a night or two, but soon they were back outside.
     

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