Roosting important?

jojam

Hatching
5 Years
Apr 27, 2014
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0
7
I've been reading a lot about how to get the birds to roost at night instead of sleeping in nesting boxes but I haven't been able to find a lot of why? We are just starting out, have 3 hens and a roo (Buff Orps, all around a year old, laying well) and they jam into a box all together. Just wondering why it's important to break the habit and get them on the roosts? Thanks, this forum has been a great help for a newbie like me
 

chad-o

Chirping
6 Years
Nov 4, 2013
365
36
93
Make sure the roost is higher than the nest. Close off the nest at night reopen in the early morning.
 

Blooie

Team Spina Bifida
Premium member
6 Years
Feb 25, 2014
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Northwestern Wyoming
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I've been reading a lot about how to get the birds to roost at night instead of sleeping in nesting boxes but I haven't been able to find a lot of why? We are just starting out, have 3 hens and a roo (Buff Orps, all around a year old, laying well) and they jam into a box all together. Just wondering why it's important to break the habit and get them on the roosts? Thanks, this forum has been a great help for a newbie like me
There are several reasons why roosting is a good idea. First of all, it follows their natural instincts of sleeping high up to avoid predators. For lack of a way to put this delicately, they poop more at night when they sleep, so having them all together on a roost concentrates the majority of the mess in one spot - under the roost - so coop cleaning is easier, especially with the addition of a "poop board" under the roost.

It prevents the habit of sleeping in the nest boxes. You want the eggs they produce to be as clean as possible, and in a nest full of chicken droppings that's impossible. It stands to reason that if they are laying in a poop-free zone (or as poop free as any spot ever is with chickens!) the eggs remain clean. If they aren't sleeping in the nest boxes, it also prevents them from breaking the eggs by walking all over them. Broken eggs in the nest means there's not only a big mess in the nest box but it can often lead to the very bad habit of egg eating....they'll go from eating the ones they accidentally break to deliberately breaking and eating them.

Hope that answered your questions. And welcome to BYC!
 
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