Sleeping in the nest boxes...

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by OrloffTom, Aug 2, 2010.

  1. OrloffTom

    OrloffTom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 27, 2010
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    My chickens are approaching 17wks. I have 7 pullets and 1 cockeral. At first I didn't cover the nesting boxes and they all slept up in them. About a month ago I finally covered them up so they couldn't get in them and they either slept on the floor or the roost bar. I removed the cover over the weekend and noticed that they are sleeping in the boxes again. It still may be a while before they lay but you never know if they may lay early. Should I put another roost bar up a little higher? Cover the nest boxes back up? I bought some wooden eggs today to put in the boxes. Any ideas of what I could do?
     
  2. ADozenGirlz

    ADozenGirlz The Chicken Chick[IMG]emojione/assets/png/00ae.png

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    Quote:I have a few chickens who will sleep in the nest boxes (to avoid conflict on the roost at bedtime I suppose) and I have to close the nest boxes off so nobody can get in there to sleep. As a special accommodation I have resorted to providing an upside down box on the floor (that's cut out like a dog house) for them to sleep in.
     
  3. chickendude

    chickendude Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dutchess County NY
    Is your roost bar higher than your nest boxes. It should be. They like to Roost as high as possible. Another thought might be the bar you used for their roost. Is it comfortable for them to use. Most people use a 2x4 as a roost. It should be placed wide side up. This way they can easily rest on top of the roost instead of having to grab onto and wrap their toes around a round bar roost.
     
  4. OrloffTom

    OrloffTom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No, the roost bar isn't higher than the boxes. It's probably about 6 inches or so lower than the lowest boxes. The roost bar is a 2x2 and the edges are rounded off. Here is a pic of the boxes. The roost bar is down below it and in the middle of the coop. I have moved the bar up some but I can move it up higher if that will help the problem. Or is it really a problem? Sorry for the questions, I'm still a newbie chicken owner lol.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 2, 2010
  5. dieselgrl48

    dieselgrl48 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 21, 2010
    Virginia
    I have 17 layers about 4 or so months old.They have 3 8 foot staggard roosting post.But so far they have been piling in the nest boxes.I think there are like 15 of those in that coop.I guess they find it more comfortable to roost in or on the box edge's.I would think those old style roost would be more comfy on their feet they are slightly rounded at top.My Jersey Giant's I used to have a lot of them loved to roost there at night.Maybe some will change later.
     
  6. chickendude

    chickendude Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Definitely a problem. chickens by nature roost high for protection from predators. So if your nest boxes are the highest place for them to sleep they will use them. As for the 2x2 consider swapping it out for a 2x4. They will be a whole lot more comfortable using the 2x4.
     
  7. OrloffTom

    OrloffTom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok, thanks for the help! I'll try to get a 2x4 asap. Do you think maybe if I attached some type of perch on the front of the boxes that maybe they wouldn't sleep in them? Or possibly put them on the opposite wall and put them up higher as well?
     
  8. chickendude

    chickendude Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A perch in front of the boxes will aid them in getting into the box, almost like a landing spot before they go in the box. I have my boxes about 8 inches off the floor and they only use them for laying eggs. If they continue to sleep in the boxes you will have poop all over your eggs. Opposite side of the wall may help but don't put them higher because they will be even more inviting for them to use as a roost.
     
  9. chickendude

    chickendude Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I also noticed your boxes have a very shallow lip to hold nesting material. I would make the lip a little higher so it will keep the material in the boxes and prevent the chickens from knocking the eggs out of their box.
     
  10. montyhp

    montyhp Out Of The Brooder

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    Out of 14 hens, I have 1 that roosts in the nest box and one that roosts on top of the food container. There is plenty of roost room, but there are two roosts on opposite side of the henhouse and only one is popular. The cool chickens all roost on the north side, including the rooster. The south roost is for the nerd chickens, I guess.

    Every night, I go out and move the two naughty chickens to the unpopular roost. They stay put after I move them.

    Montyhp
    SoTX
     

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