northern ontario looking for advise

Discussion in 'Where am I? Where are you!' started by jimbo60, Aug 3, 2013.

  1. jimbo60

    jimbo60 Hatching

    Aug 3, 2013
    New to chickens my 13 week old columbia plymouth rock and reds started slepping in the nesting boxes what should i do
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    First, don’t panic. You’ve found out about the problem before you started getting poopy eggs. That’s why I like the nest boxes open before they start to lay. You can fix the problem before it is a problem.

    There are several different things that could cause this. Most important, is your roost noticeably higher than the nests. Chickens instinctively like to roost on the highest thing available to them.

    Mine normally transition from sleeping on the floor to sleeping in the roosts around 10 to 12 weeks, so yours may be in that process. They are about the right age. Have they been sleeping on the roosts and lately moved down to the nests? Is it all of them or just a few? How long have they been sleeping in the nests?

    If they are in this transition phase and your roosts are higher than your nests, block off the nests for a few days until they get in the habit of sleeping on the roosts. Then open the nests back up to see what happens. It may be that they just haven’t completed that transition. You can also physically remove any that are in the nests and put them on the roosts after it is too dark for them to see their way back to the nests. Sometimes they get that message.

    How much roost space do you have? Sometimes a chicken, usually a hen, will be a real brute on the roosts. Chickens lower in the pecking order will leave the roost and look for a safer place to sleep. Often that is a nest. I run into that a lot when I am integrating younger chickens with the flock. I even installed a new roost, lower than the main roosts and horizontally separated a bit, so those younger chicks have a safe place to go that is not in the nests. So make sure you have sufficient roost space.

    Do you have Silkies or something that can’t fly? Maybe the nests are as high as they can get. If so, you might need to provide a ladder or ramp so they can get to the roosts.

    It’s something you can manage but it may take a bit of thought and effort on your part. Good luck!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: