New here and I have a question please..

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Doll Maker, Jan 6, 2009.

  1. Doll Maker

    Doll Maker Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 6, 2009
    NW Arkansas
    Hello, My husband and I have just completed a new chicken "condo" as he calls the coop and a nice yard. We have three hens that our neighbor gave us plus two hens and a rooster that we "rescued" from a very sad looking place.
    The hens and roo are doing fine, seem to be happy and are eating good.
    The question is. Hubby gave them four nest boxes, complete with nice soft hay badding and built them a roost opposite the nests. There is a wind break beside the roost and it is quite cozy inside the coop. The problem is, everyone wants to roost and bed down in the nests! They are making quite a mess and I'm unsure if there is some way to intice them to move from the nests to the roost to sleep.
    Any suggestions. As yet no one is laying, it's still quite cold here and the days aren't getting much longer. Plus I'm thinking if I were a hen I wouldn't want to lay an egg in thoseo nests either <g>
    Thanks a bunch, I sure am enjoying this forum!
    [​IMG] Dollmaker in Arkansas
     
  2. debilorrah

    debilorrah The Great Guru of Yap Premium Member

    Try taking them out of the nests at night and placing them on the roost. I have heard that works pretty well. Mine are well behaved, they either roost or pile under the roost.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. blueseal

    blueseal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 3, 2008
    WALDOBORO MAINE
    if your nestboxes are up higher then your roost they will roost there.they like to get as high as they can to roost. my roost and nestbox are about the same level and mine roost on both. just have to clean the poop out of the nestboxes reguarlly thats all hope i helped .
     
  4. miss_jayne

    miss_jayne Lady_Jayne

    Jun 26, 2008
    Columbiaville, MI
    welcome friend!

    did the 'sad place' have roosts or where they in cages? that may explain the behavior.

    also, if they are not of laying age yet, take the boxes back out if possible.

    closer to laying age, put some 'fake out eggs' in the nests. ie: golf balls, plastic eggs, ping pong balls etc.

    also, if you can, put the nest boxes up higher than the roosts. it'll keep the 'poop' out of the nests.

    best blessings for a successful flock!
     
  5. Doll Maker

    Doll Maker Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 6, 2009
    NW Arkansas
    Update!!
    First off thank you all for the suggestions. We went out last night after dark and moved the hens to the roosts. The Roo was having none of it and so hubby left him on the floor. Later he went back to check and the roo had climbed up with the girls and everyone spent the night sitting snuggled up on the roosts.
    We are going to clean the nesting boxes out and add some golf balls, perhaps the girls will get the idea.
    In answer to the question about the "sad place"...they had NO shelter at all with the exception of a beat up old dog crate to sleep in. I saw no food and no water and their pen was in bad shape. They are HAPPY in their new home!!
    Thanks again, you folks are great!!
    [​IMG]
    Doll Maker
     
  6. The Chicken Lady

    The Chicken Lady Moderator Staff Member

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    Apr 21, 2008
    West Michigan
    Just wanted to say [​IMG] and glad to have you here!

    As usual, the combined experience of our members has paid off! [​IMG]

    It sounds like your chickens are figuring things out. You may have to move them to the roosts several days in a row until they get the idea; chickens are creatures of habit and eventually, all should end up on the roost together to sleep on their own.

    I have the feeling those chickens are going to be enjoying a MUCH better life now that they're in your care.

    See you around the forum! [​IMG]
     
  7. Laskaland

    Laskaland ThE gRoOvY cHiCkEn

    Aug 2, 2008
    Nebraska
    Quote:First: [​IMG]

    So, here is an idea...can you put a hanging heat lamp over the roosts? The roost area must be too chilly for them at night. That's what I have, and it's been working well. they all pile up on the roosts and cuddle.
    Hugs
    Christina
     
  8. thedeacon

    thedeacon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 14, 2008
    Midwest
    I block the nest boxes so they can use them until they start laying. 1 egg on the ground at it's time to open up the boxes.
     
  9. CovenantCreek

    CovenantCreek Chicks Rule!

    Oct 19, 2007
    Franklin, TN
    As soon as I set up a roost on top of the nest boxes, my girls never again spent a night inside the nest boxes. There were still some problems with the poop landing on the boxes, but that was more manageable. I've since built a roost even higher, and away from the nests.
     
  10. crzychicken

    crzychicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 24, 2008
    [​IMG]
     

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