They keep overturning the nestboxes!

NatJ

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That's it....teenage chooks are just a-holes.
They are just being chickens. I would think the problem was the way you had things set up (which you are working on fixing), not the chickens themselves. Adult hens would be just as bad, except that by the time they are full adults you will have solved the problems.

This morning, before 8am, they managed to flip the crate again and I watched the eggs in the nest go flying on the camera!
Were they sitting on the side, maybe trying to get into it?

they started laying next to the milk crate instead of in it, ugh.
I don't see why that's a problem, as long as it's neatly in the corner so the eggs don't get stepped on :confused:

I also (finally) screwed the wood panel in place across the door, it's been propped there since August, lol. Just 2 screws, easily moved for deep cleaning, but keeps the deep litter from coming out the door!
Yes, that is a very good idea. I think every coop with deep litter needs something like this!

Added another milk crate (upside down) to prevent the ground laying.

You could put an upside down milk crate against the wall, about a foot away from the corner. Then let them lay eggs between the crate and the wall. There would be nothing for them to flip over. Yes, it would be on the ground, but as long as the eggs are clean and unbroken that should not matter.

If you do want them to lay inside a box or crate at ground level, I think you should have an opening in the front of it, instead of the top. I don't see any way they can get into that crate without sitting on the edge (which tips it over) or sitting on the upside down crate (which wasn't there yesterday.)
 

WhySayWhat

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They are just being chickens. I would think the problem was the way you had things set up (which you are working on fixing), not the chickens themselves. Adult hens would be just as bad, except that by the time they are full adults you will have solved the problems.


Were they sitting on the side, maybe trying to get into it?


I don't see why that's a problem, as long as it's neatly in the corner so the eggs don't get stepped on :confused:


Yes, that is a very good idea. I think every coop with deep litter needs something like this!



You could put an upside down milk crate against the wall, about a foot away from the corner. Then let them lay eggs between the crate and the wall. There would be nothing for them to flip over. Yes, it would be on the ground, but as long as the eggs are clean and unbroken that should not matter.

If you do want them to lay inside a box or crate at ground level, I think you should have an opening in the front of it, instead of the top. I don't see any way they can get into that crate without sitting on the edge (which tips it over) or sitting on the upside down crate (which wasn't there yesterday.)
Yes, there were about 4 of them that all jumped up at the same time (and I had already planned to go add a scrap brace today, just wasn't ready to go out in the rain to do it yet! :lol

As for laying on the ground, they've developed a love of playing "egg soccer" and broken several eggs while I'm redoing things. As soon as they get up, they start kicking the eggs around and trying to stand on them, they leave the ones alone that are in the nests. I tried having the front open, that seemed to make the soccer issue worse as they were going for the eggs in the open nest.

To make the morning just a little more frustrating, when I brought in the last egg (after adding the second crate to the corner), I dropped it and it broke, then went skidding under the fridge. Had to clean off the fridge, move it, have my husband tip it on it's side as the egg and a bunch of cat toys were trapped under the fridge still...it turned into a whole production! Also, I'm a T1 Diabetic and was in the middle of a very low blood sugar event and so that made everything harder on everyone involved. Life has calmed down now...looks like I'll even get a full 12 eggs today, minus the one that went under the fridge, of course. We usually get 8-10 a day now...butt checks show everyone except my scissor beak is laying...and an EE I swear has been laying brown eggs since September is suddenly laying blue eggs...I know that isn't possible, but I watched her lay it today! I need better cameras trained into the nests so I can see who is laying which eggs, lol.
 

WhySayWhat

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After all the back and forth the last few days (week?), I think the issues are coming up because the weather has changed drastically and the gals are "bored". Going to add a few "treats" in chicken toys tonight at bed time (they get about 30 minutes of light after the auto door shuts and I go put stragglers inside (and my scissor beak who refuses to go in unless she's carried in). They get about an hour of light before the door opens too, so we shall see if it makes it better or worse! Ha!

Need to add some indoor boredom busters for winter...I'm open to suggestions!
 

3KillerBs

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After all the back and forth the last few days (week?), I think the issues are coming up because the weather has changed drastically and the gals are "bored". Going to add a few "treats" in chicken toys tonight at bed time (they get about 30 minutes of light after the auto door shuts and I go put stragglers inside (and my scissor beak who refuses to go in unless she's carried in). They get about an hour of light before the door opens too, so we shall see if it makes it better or worse! Ha!

Need to add some indoor boredom busters for winter...I'm open to suggestions!

A straw bale with one tie cut is a great fun for the chickens as they tear it apart and spread it around.
 

NatJ

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they've developed a love of playing "egg soccer" and broken several eggs while I'm redoing things. As soon as they get up, they start kicking the eggs around and trying to stand on them, they leave the ones alone that are in the nests. I tried having the front open, that seemed to make the soccer issue worse as they were going for the eggs in the open nest.
Yes, that does sound like a good reason to want the fronts of the nests closed.

Need to add some indoor boredom busters for winter...I'm open to suggestions!
Maybe a pile of dry leaves? Everything you might otherwise put in a compost pile? Chickens really love to scratch through things and look for little tidbits to eat, but plain wood shavings are not especially interesting for them. If you put in every chicken-safe thing that could possibly be composted, the chickens can have fun picking through it all winter, and next spring you can move it all outside to get wetter and actually compost (you could move it to the run, or to a separate compost pile at that point.)

Or, if you only want wood shavings because of how they behave for cleaning purposes, you could sprinkle a small amount of scratch grains for them to hunt for. You could even sprinkle it at night while they are sleeping, and rake it in, so they have more work digging it out. (The point is for them to find occasional little bits of food as they scratch, not to make a large change in their diet.)
 

Ebony Rose

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A rubbermaid type tote, big enough for a few hens, that is half filled with construction grade sand (no dyes, not chemically washed) makes for an excellent bath. Bathing is often a social affair with chickens and offers a great diversion that helps them groom their skin and feathers.
 

CNJ

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I made a bucket nest box and they use to kick out the pine shavings, so I bought a cheap nesting pad from ebay and they like it. I put 2 pan head screws on each side of the pad loosely, so I can take it out to clean. It keeps the pad secured and I think the pad is better than a slippery bucket with pine shavings.
DSCN0338.JPG
 

CNJ

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Now...they're overturning the nest box that the majority of them use! What the heck?!
I think you have to secure it to the wall or screw it to a wooden frame. I use a piece of 2x4 under the front and back of my bucket and place a 2x4 across on both side and then I screw a 2x4 across the front 2x4. I also screw the bucket to the frame. They can't flip it........and they can't sit on top the bucket without sliding off, so they never do.
 
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WhySayWhat

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Yesterday, I wedged the white milk crate in to keep them from playing egg soccer with ground laid eggs...so, of course, they flipped it today and laid 6 eggs on the ground instead of in any of the 3 secured boxes. :lol: Back out with my drill, screws, and a few pieces of scrap wood to secure the white box to the wall. Probably need to still add a drop down "hook" piece, but was busy working on this and noticed one of my leghorns has a bloody head! So, now I'm off to do wound care (its totally dry, so just going to clean her up and put some hen healer on it...not looking forward to dying her purple with blukote, want to avoid that since it's on her head, if I can.
 

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