Roosting in the nesting boxes . . . HELP!!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by dunham, Sep 2, 2009.

  1. dunham

    dunham New Egg

    Sep 2, 2009
    We are new to the chicken neighborhood. We have 14 Barred Rocks, they are about 17 weeks old. Surprisingly we had our first egg two days ago and our 2nd today.

    We have 4 nesting boxes and two roosts. The nesting boxes are two across and two high. My problem is that they are roosting at night in the nesting boxes!! Sometimes at night when we go to lock them in the coop there are six chickens in one nesting box.

    Not sure what to do, have read maybe the roost isn't high enough . . . someone said close off the nesting boxes at night . . . not sure what to do but I don't want them roosting in the boxes. Thanks.[​IMG]
  2. krazycow6

    krazycow6 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 26, 2009
    Zephyrhills, FL
    Roost should be a minimum of 12" above the top of the nesting boxes. Just a rule of thumb. [​IMG]
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I agree with you. You don't want them roosting in the nesting boxes. The roosts need to be noticable higher than the top of the nesting boxes. Chickens tend to roost in the highest spot possible. 12" minimum is a good height difference.

    You need between 9" and 12" of roost length for each chicken. If they do not move to the roosts once you get them higher, you can move them from wherever they are roosting and set them on the roosts with as little light and commotion as possible after they have gone to bed. After a few nights, they should get the message.

    You can block off the nesting boxes to keep them out, but many hens lay very early in the morning. I assume they are roosting in the higher boxes. Maybe you can block the higher nests and leave the lower ones open. You'd still need to open the higher ones as early as possible the next morning or, if your coop is dark enough, you could open them back up after they have gone to sleep on the roosts.

    I'd think if you get them into a new habit for about a week, they will have changed over.

    Good luck!
  4. dunham

    dunham New Egg

    Sep 2, 2009
    Well we added two additional roosts above the two we already had. So now there are four levels, the ladies didn't seem to mind and had no problem getting up there. Still have one roosting in the nesting boxes so I think we might try to close the top boxes off today. Thanks for the advice!!

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