Roosting in the Nest Boxes: How do I stop these crazy brds?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by hillbillygreen, Dec 22, 2013.

  1. hillbillygreen

    hillbillygreen Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi, I have a little purchased coop for 4 hens attached to a large outdoor chicken run. There are two roosts they used to use at night, but lately they have been taking to spending the night in the next boxes. I don't know if it's because I have a thermostatically controlled red light shining on their water line to keep it from freezing or if it's just warmer to huddle into a hole, but it's giving me poopy eggs because I can't keep it clean enough!

    Also, they've started to lay eggs down in the deep litter which often gets covered up! How do I get them to straighten up? Remedial chicken school?
     
  2. TOP KNOT

    TOP KNOT Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The roosts should be higher than the nest boxes. Chickens like to roost as high as they can get.
     
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  3. 432bullet

    432bullet Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 18, 2013
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    Go out at night and take them out of the nest box and set them on the roost, They have really poor night vision they will stay there. After a few nights they should start roosting again.
     
    2 people like this.
  4. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    You may have to close off the nest boxes at night and open them in the morning, hopefully not for too long. Then put fake eggs (golf balls, etc) in the nests during the day. You could also try simply placing them on the roosts after dark, til they start going there on their own; usually they won't move at night.
     
    2 people like this.
  5. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Overrun With Chickens

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    I stuffed a feed bag with another feed bag or with pine shavings hay what ever handy and make a sort of pillow to fill the nest boxes and then remove it in the day time.
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    With a 'small purchased' coop, the light may be making the coop too warm for them, it may actually be cooler in the nests?

    or they might just not be used to the light and feel safer in the nests?
     
  7. hillbillygreen

    hillbillygreen Out Of The Brooder

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    Central Illinois
    Another good possibility. I thought about a tank heater in my watering system (bucket with a gravity fed bowl and water line) but my husband thought the water line itself could freeze even if the top water is kept from freezing.
     
  8. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Overrun With Chickens

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    Watering
    For along time I used heater tape around a bucket with chicken watering nipples. It worked excellent. However me being me I neglected to change the water as often as I should. This is what it looks like and it thermostatically controlled to come on at just above the freezing temperature. You would have to wrap it to suit your particular application if it is viable for your set up. It is available at Home Depot in Canada.

    [​IMG]


    Last year I switched to white rubber contains the wife found somewhere. The freeze solid every night but the ice just pops out of them in the morning and I replenish them with fresh warm water. They have black ones at the feed store that are similar but large than mine.

    The chickens congregate around them like people having their morning coffee. The only draw back is my yard is pepper with small ice bergs the size of the buckets.

    April looks after that however..
     
  9. chicknmom

    chicknmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This problem is driving me nuts! My babes have a nice big coop, with plenty of roosting perches, but they INSIST on squeezing into their nest boxes and pooping mountains there all night long!
    I have spent weeks removing them in the dark and putting them back on the roosts, I have blocked access to the next boxes, I have stuffed the boxes with various things, but nothing has worked consistently. And they're not even just roosting in the highest boxes - they even use boxes that are lower than the roosts. These girls are determined!
    Any other ideas?
     
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    I would suggest that you start a new thread with the details of the size of the roost, age of birds etc. etc.etc.
     
    1 person likes this.

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