Roosting and laying box questions

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by bluetrain, Jul 21, 2009.

  1. bluetrain

    bluetrain Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 23, 2009
    Western NC
    We have 9 White Rock hens (we think all hens) and 1 very large roo.....none of them seem to roost, they hang out near the door to the coop watching the goings on of our two dogs that are penned up......my question is how can you get them to roost? Part of my concern is they are all about 18 weeks, so laying should start in the next week or so and the next boxes are on the same level (height) as the roost....how will I get them to lay in the boxes?

    Thanks for any insight!!
     
  2. MIKE555444

    MIKE555444 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Pliny, West Virgina
    You really need one of the roost to be higher than the nest. Normally they go to the highest roost. You might try to shut them up in there coop for a few days to get them to explore the roost more.... Have the nest blocked off until they take to the roost better.
     
  3. bluetrain

    bluetrain Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 23, 2009
    Western NC
    Well none of them roost...that I have seen...the roo and a few of the hens have hopped up there while I am filling the feeder, but not really hanging out up there......
     
  4. MIKE555444

    MIKE555444 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Pliny, West Virgina
    You can wait until after dark and put them up on the roost so they wake there the next morning... It seems to help when they are slow to learn and have no older hen to follow after.
     
  5. bluetrain

    bluetrain Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 23, 2009
    Western NC
    LOL...haven't thought about that...we shall see.

    Thanks for the idea.
     
  6. MIKE555444

    MIKE555444 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 8, 2009
    Pliny, West Virgina
    No problem [​IMG]

    Good Luck!
     
  7. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

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    My Coop
    I put a golf ball in each nest box. That seemed to help.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  8. GwenDellAnno

    GwenDellAnno Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 18, 2009
    Water Valley, AB
    So.... my hens are 3 months old and all are sleeping in nest boxes. So I should be blocking off the nest boxes until they are old enough to lay... so they don't get used to sleeping in the next boxes?
     
  9. underground chickenman

    underground chickenman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 30, 2009
    Orlando, Florida
    Yep.

    Rule 1: provide roosts of suitable size and height from the get go (within two weeks of hatching) and move up in height and size as the chicks grow. All roosts should be comfortable, meaning flat side up (no round roosts) and a little wider than the feet are long from front to back, and easy to reach. They probably won't sleep on them until they are older, but they will get used to perching early on.

    Rule 2: block off nest boxes until they are reliably roosting for the night.

    Rule 3: put at least one roost suitable for all your chickens above the highest nest box and easily accessible, including steps or ladder, etc., to get to the top roost, if necessary.

    Rule 4: they should start roosting on their own, but if not, go in after they are asleep and quietly move them to the roost. This shouldn't take more than once or twice.

    Rule 5: If none of the above works, eat them.
     
  10. GwenDellAnno

    GwenDellAnno Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 18, 2009
    Water Valley, AB
    Thanks! I did have roosts from the get-go but they all seemed to want to cram into two nest boxes instead of on the roosts. (and yes.. the roosts are higher). So I would have four chickens in one box and four in the other with the rooster on the perch outside one of the boxes. Go figure. So yesterday I blocked off all the nest boxes so they can't get in. I didn't check last night (son closed up the coop) but I'll keep my eye on it to see what they're doing. Should be OK though!! Glad I caught this thread before they got too comfortable sleeping in there!! (and well before they started laying eggs).
     

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