Not using roost poles

AK Chickens

In the Brooder
5 Years
Mar 26, 2014
11
2
24
Palmer,Alaska
Anyone have suggestions for keeping chickens from spending the night in nesting boxes. I have roost poles for them and there easily accessible but they choose not to use use them. I have physically put them on the roost poles, any suggestions would be appreciated
 

Judy

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Feb 5, 2009
34,024
580
448
South Georgia
A wide roost is helpful because it lets them use their body heat to keep their feet warm, I would say at least the wide side of a 2x4. where you live, mabe wider. If your nests are higher than your roosts, that will encourage them to use the nests as they like to nest high. You may have to cover the nest boxes at night and uncover them in the morning for a while. Be sure there is no draft on the roost area.
 

familyfarm1

Crowing
6 Years
Jun 9, 2013
6,322
306
317
Northern Virginia
A wide roost is helpful because it lets them use their body heat to keep their feet warm, I would say at least the wide side of a 2x4. where you live, mabe wider. If your nests are higher than your roosts, that will encourage them to use the nests as they like to nest high. You may have to cover the nest boxes at night and uncover them in the morning for a while. Be sure there is no draft on the roost area.
x2
 

Mrs. K

Free Ranging
11 Years
Nov 12, 2009
8,891
11,129
636
western South Dakota
Young birds do like a flatter surface to roost on, my older birds prefer a round roost. I have both available.

But the clicker of the deal is make your nests lower than your roosts.

A wide roost is helpful because it lets them use their body heat to keep their feet warm, I would say at least the wide side of a 2x4. where you live, mabe wider. If your nests are higher than your roosts, that will encourage them to use the nests as they like to nest high. You may have to cover the nest boxes at night and uncover them in the morning for a while. Be sure there is no draft on the roost area.

x 3
 

AK Chickens

In the Brooder
5 Years
Mar 26, 2014
11
2
24
Palmer,Alaska
I have the roost higher than the nest boxes with 2x4 layed sideways. I notice them using the roost but they like to dogpile in 1 box at night, but they do lay eggs in the same spot everyday on the floor. Will they eventually figure out that the boxes are for laying eggs?
 

cafarmgirl

Crowing
10 Years
Mar 24, 2009
5,521
610
327
California, central valley
How old are these birds? It often takes a while for youngsters to decide they would rather roost then sleep in a huddle. For that reason I do not install nest boxes until chickens are nearing point of lay. But even then youngsters will often choose to sleep in a pile on the floor because that's what they are used to. They grow out of it eventually. Just block off the opening to your nest boxes and they'll start roosting when they are ready.
 

Massey

Chirping
5 Years
May 1, 2014
101
4
78
I'm having similar issues,

10 chickens, nest boxes lower then the roost, roost is a 4x2 on its side with steps up to it, about 5 chickens use the roost and the other 5 use one corner of a nest box. The way only thing I can think of is it might be a bit drafty so I'll rule out over the next coupleoof days and get back to ye.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
95,108
125,952
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
Take them out of the nests and put them on the roost after full dark.

My experience was that I had some pullets that the older birds wouldn't let roost with them so the pullets wanted to roost in the nests.
I put up another roost just a couple inches lower than the main roost and began removing the pullets from the nests after dark and putting them on their roost.
Did that for a couple nights, then started going in at dusk and poking them in butt if they got into the nests(I have 'outside the coop' access to my nests boxes so this was easy). Pretty soon all I had to do was walk in and they would leave the nest and go to the roost so they didn't get poked in the butt. Took about 3 weeks total before they got in the habit of roosting on the roosts instead of in then nests.
 

Massey

Chirping
5 Years
May 1, 2014
101
4
78
I may have to give that try but then I also have the question is it a big deal if they don't roost???
 

MANNA-PRO

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