q re: roosting bars, sleep and laying eggs in the corner

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by aim4balance, Oct 21, 2014.

  1. aim4balance

    aim4balance Out Of The Brooder

    32
    2
    36
    Jun 19, 2014
    Hello!
    I've got 5 chickens that are now 21 weeks old. One or two of them (not sure yet) started laying eggs at 20 weeks. I found the eggs not in the nesting boxes but in the corner of the coop nestled in straw, under their roosting bars. Question--should I move the nesting boxes there so if they are picking that spot (for privacy etc) at least it will be clean? To piggyback on this q, I noticed a chicken now sleeping in that spot last night, under the roosting bars and where the first 3 eggs were laid. I can't imagine that is good, since the coop is small (just enough space for 5 birds) and there is definitely poop on most of the floor of the coop. This morning when I went out to open the coop, I noticed 3 birds on on the ground. So to piggyback on this (again--haha)--I have not replaced the first 2 roosting bars I put in there originally. One is a tree branch, the other a broom handle. They are not big, as in thick/fat, but the birds have really grown, do I need to put fatter bars in there (maybe that is why they woudn't roost all night?) Can a roosting bar be too skinny for a full grown bird?

    Thank you for listening and your advice!
     
  2. vehve

    vehve The Token Finn

    Most people will suggest either a 3" round roost or a 2x4 flat side up for roosts. To encourage them to lay in the nesting boxes, place a couple of golf balls in there.
     
  3. KittyKat3756

    KittyKat3756 Chillin' With My Peeps

    135
    15
    79
    Aug 16, 2014
    Norfolk, UK
    The coop that I have came with 1×1 bars, which the chickens use quite happily, but I also added a 1 inch diameter branch which they are even happier with.

    I use rubber eggs to train the chickens to lay in the nest box. To untrain them from sleeping on the floor, just move them to the bars after dark.
     
  4. aim4balance

    aim4balance Out Of The Brooder

    32
    2
    36
    Jun 19, 2014
    I do have wooden eggs in the nesting boxes. I will measure the roosting bars, I think they are 1 ".
     
  5. vehve

    vehve The Token Finn

    I have 2" roosts at the moment, and I'm going to replace them for wider ones when I have the time as some of the birds seem to have a problem maintaining balance on them, in my opinion.
     
  6. iwiw60

    iwiw60 Overrun With Chickens

    5,291
    627
    318
    Jan 27, 2014
    Central Oregon
    Unless you have very small birds using a 1" bar for them to roost on is way too small, not to mention uncomfortable and hurtful to them. If you have standard-to-large breeds I would highly recommend using a 2" x 4" laying flat so the poor things have something to literally "sit" on during the night. I mean, have you ever really looked at the size of those feet?? [​IMG] Your birds will not only be more comfortable but during the colder winter months they will literally lay on their feet to keep warm. Here's my setup:
    [​IMG]

    Using a roost "bar" that small most likely is contributing to the fact that your girls are sleeping on the floor.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2014
  7. mortie

    mortie Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,145
    249
    181
    Feb 16, 2014
    The Frozen Tundra
    ^this
     
  8. iwiw60

    iwiw60 Overrun With Chickens

    5,291
    627
    318
    Jan 27, 2014
    Central Oregon
    [​IMG]
     
  9. KittyKat3756

    KittyKat3756 Chillin' With My Peeps

    135
    15
    79
    Aug 16, 2014
    Norfolk, UK
    Quote: Maybe I'm missing something, but why would it be hurtful? The only thing I can thing of, from looking at your photo, is that your perch has sharp edges which haven't been planed down on the corners so that they don't dig into the chickens' feet.
    Quote: I can understand the desire to help your chickens keep their feet warm if your winters are cold, but chickens are, like many other birds, perfectly capable of "holding" onto something while they sleep. Have you ever seen a chicken try to roost up a tree or on a fence because it hasn't learnt where the coop is? They quite happily do chose perches which they can grip onto rather than something flat to stand on. Of course, there is some variation in foot size between different breeds, so I doubt a huge brahma would be quite as happy on a 1" perch as a 3-4 pound egg layer.
     
  10. mortie

    mortie Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,145
    249
    181
    Feb 16, 2014
    The Frozen Tundra

    It means I agree with you
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by