Roosting in nesting boxes!! Help!!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by J. Jamison, Sep 3, 2008.

  1. J. Jamison

    J. Jamison Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 2, 2008
    NE Arkansas
    I have some 3-4 month old pullets that roost in the nesting boxes every night. I have built four really nice roosts and all of my chickens use them eccept several young pullets. I have went out there at night and put them on the roost and I have blocked the nesting boxes off at night, but nothing works. When I block the nesting boxes off they will just huddle up in the corner on the ground. I am sooo tired of cleaning poop out of the boxes EVERYDAY!! The boxes stay filthy!! Any advice on how to get them to use the roost? I am open to any suggestions.

  2. havi

    havi [IMG]emojione/assets/png/2665.png?v=2.2.7[/IMG] Si

    Mar 23, 2008
    Waco, Texas
    For the longest time my 6 girls wouldnt use the roost. They would climb on top of each other and sleep by the door. I just waited it out and they finally got the idea. I do have one that has a deformed wing and I had to build her a little ramp to be able to walk up and get to the roost. Im sorry but I dont know what to tell you about the nest. The only thing I could think is to just wait it out.

    Sorry I couldnt be of more help. Maybe someone with more experience could help you out with this.

    Edited to add:
    It wasnt until my girls where around 4 1/2-5 months old before they really got the hang of what the roost was for and how to use it.
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2008
  3. HSmamma

    HSmamma Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 29, 2008
    My girls are almost 8 weeks old and were nesting in the boxes too despite some great roosts. I literally took a board and completely blocked off the boxes. We also installed a higher roost right up next to the rafters. They liked that a lot. There are several lower roosts that they use to "climb" to the higher roost.

    My silkie also uses the highest roost. She is now the first one there in the evening to get her spot before the bigger girls come in.

    You might want to try a higher roost with a way for them to get up there.

  4. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    I agree with these posts. I had some, one in particular that wanted to sleep and poop in the nest boxes. There were times in the winter that I would find several birds in one nest box before they started laying. My nests are large enough for a milk crate so I put milk crates in the nest boxes at night, the bottom of the crate towards the opening of the nest box, and took them out in the morning. They finally got the idea. After the milk crates the one was good for awhile then decided to sleep in the nests again, that is when I started putting bricks in, and they wouldn't sleep in a nest with a brick in it either. they don't even try any more. Once in awhile I would find an egg in one of the nest boxes with the bricks, but whenever I went out to check on them they were on the roosts. The roosts are a little higher then the nest boxes. I had to be persistant. Once in awhile I would push one out of a nest box. I also put golf balls in the nests and I think that also helped and gave them the idea that the nests were for laying eggs not sleeping in.
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2008
  5. scooter147

    scooter147 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 30, 2008
    Keep doing what you are doing, especially the blocking them out of the nest boxes.

    What I have found is that the younger chickens generally get bullied by the older ones, hence, the old saying, "ruler of the roost". They then try to find alternate spots to roost. I am having the same issue now. They eventually with age will get the nerve to fight back and will roost with the rest, it just takes a while.
  6. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Make sure the roosts are WELL higher than the nest boxes (not just a few inches).

    And, make sure they can easily get to the roosts if they are more than 2-3" off the floor... as others have suggested, a stepping stone type arrangement or ramp may help.

    Good luck,


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