Overcrowding problem

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by moodlymoo, Oct 13, 2011.

  1. moodlymoo

    moodlymoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    729
    1
    121
    Aug 23, 2011
    Portland OR
    I have 17 pullets total. 3 bantam millie fleur cochins who are about 20 weeks, 2 BLRW's who are living in my garage because of growth problems, and 12 other chickens who range from8-12 weeks. The 15 chickens live in a 10x10 coop with 4 nesting boxes and a 10ft 2x4 roosting pole. The 3 bannys sleep on top of one of the nest boxes and the other 12 cram into 1 nest box together. I have scooted them out at night, put a basket ball in the nest box, and even gone out late at night and moved everyone to the roost pole. Problem is...no sooner do I get one onto the roost they jump right back off and run to the nest box. Sometimes they all "pig pile" on top of each other in a corner. I am worried some of the littler ones will get hurt by the bigger ones.

    How long is it going to take to teach these girls to sleep on the roost and not the box? What else can I do to stop this behavior?

    [​IMG]
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

    22,370
    3,604
    506
    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    Try putting some of the older girls on the roost after dark. Use a flashlight or feel your way. They won't move if it's pitch dark.
    If a couple start roosting the rest will follow soon enough.
     
  3. moodlymoo

    moodlymoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    729
    1
    121
    Aug 23, 2011
    Portland OR
    It is pitch black in there. I used my cell phone for light last night. No one would stay on the roost. I have to put up some plywood at an angle over the nest boxes to keep my bannys from sleeping there but Im very worried about the 12 sleeping in 1 nest box. They sleep in the same one every night and I have to clean it daily because its a poopie mess every morning
     
  4. Batty about Banties

    Batty about Banties Chillin' With My Peeps

    545
    1
    123
    Feb 12, 2011
    Gorge
    I had this problem too. I just went out every night and put them on the roosts until eventually they figured it out. Good Luck
     
  5. darin367

    darin367 Chillin' With My Peeps

    315
    12
    111
    Dec 1, 2010
    Shelton, Wa.
    could be that your using a 2x4 for a roosting pole..... go to the hardware store or lumber yard and get a 10 ft., 1 inch round dowell... you might need to put a brace in at 5 ft, making a great big "T"....... 2X4 NOT GOOD FOR ROOSTING POLE...
     
  6. moodlymoo

    moodlymoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    729
    1
    121
    Aug 23, 2011
    Portland OR
    Quote:Ive been told by tons of people to use the 2x4. Its turned sideways and they love it during the day. I had a 1in dowel and they rarely would get on it plus their little feet were touching which I was told was a nono because their toes wouldnt stay warm tat way
     
  7. welasharon

    welasharon Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,949
    76
    236
    Jun 28, 2010
    North Florida
    The 2x4 is fine for a roost. How high is it? You can close up the front of the nest box so they can't get in it with cardboard if needed.
    sharon
     
  8. moodlymoo

    moodlymoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    729
    1
    121
    Aug 23, 2011
    Portland OR
    Quote:Id say its about 2ft off the bedding.
     
  9. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    31,451
    3,565
    538
    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    So, no one's laying right now, am I right? Then block off the entrance to the nest boxes and keep it blocked off all the time. They might not roost, but maybe they won't crowd so much. They'll roost when they're ready. I've never heard of a year old chicken that still sleeps on the ground. *opens floodgates for folks to tell me of their chicken that does just that, just to prove me wrong*
     
  10. Queen of the chickens

    Queen of the chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    234
    4
    93
    Oct 7, 2011
    Unionville, MO
    Try using a red light when moving your chickens onto the roost. It doesn't seem to disturb them as much. Many animals can not see the red light.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by