Silly pullets now sleeping on nest boxes - arrrgh!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by swordgeek, Aug 17, 2010.

  1. swordgeek

    swordgeek Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 23, 2010
    Westford, MA
    I'm going NUTS! I spent a long time this season putting up new perches in my coop to accommodate the new pullets we were getting. I made sure to build different perch levels, and in different parts of the coop, so the new birds wouldn't be shut out of prime real estate by the big bullies. Once the new girls were finally settled in with the existing birds, they perched just fine. They all crowded together on whichever perch the first one up had picked, generally well away from the older birds, but they perched.

    I don't know what changed - they seemed so happy up there before! But for the past few weeks, four of the five new girls have been ignoring the perches, and sleeping on top of the nest boxes, which are flat on top. (The fifth is a silkie bantam, who is a few months older than the others and generally a loner, and SHE still sleeps on her favorite perch. Usually.) So I'm faced with piles of poop on the top of the boxes, and have to scrape it all off every day and scrub it down. I don't like the idea of them sleeping in their own filth.

    The funny thing is, when they get bored in the run, they go into the coop, and THEN perch on the perches!

    Should I:

    a) wait till they're settled down and manually MOVE them back onto a perch every night, or
    b) build a sloped top for the next boxes to discourage perching there?

    Or will they all come to their senses?
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I'd probably build the sloping roof, depending on other factors, such as height. May be the simplest answer to the problem.

    They normally like to sleep on th highest safest thing they can get to. Possibly the top of the nest boxes are higher than the roosts? If the opening to the nest boxes is also higher than the roosts, they may start sleeping in there.

    They have come to their senses as their tiny bird brains have it figure out. Their logic just works different than ours.

    Good luck!

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