They'd rather cuddle in a nest than roost at night.

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by FlowerFarmer, May 23, 2011.

  1. FlowerFarmer

    FlowerFarmer Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 10, 2011
    My four 13 week old chickens are very happy backyard foragers. In the evening they all put themselves to bed.. all up in one of the four nesting boxes. They prefer to snuggle up and sleep in the hay, rather than use the roosts at night. They do often use a roosting stick/dowel I set up the the coops run during the day.
    Silly birds!
    Is there something I need to worry about ... or when it comes to egg laying time (a few more months away) ??
    (Maybe I should persuade them to use it more? or build it differently)
     
  2. ghillie

    ghillie Hen Pecked

    Nov 13, 2008
    Colorado Springs, Co
    We blocked off our nest boxes and they found their way to the roosts pretty quickly. When they started to lay we opened up the nest boxes and have not had any problems. If they sleep in the nest boxes they will poop in them and then lay the eggs in the poop the next day.....
     
  3. FlowerFarmer

    FlowerFarmer Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 10, 2011
    I heard something about it being BAD for the chickens if they sleep in the boxes... is poop on the eggs (mine are not laying yet) the only reason?
    THX
     
  4. YYZ

    YYZ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 16, 2010
    Maine
    A couple of my hens sleep in the nest box. I didnt realize what i read above. Guess they are to old to change now tho. I do have a roost. Next time i will block the nest box.
    Thanks.
    [​IMG]
     
  5. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Quote:It's the only reason I know of. But yours are old enough to start breaking the habit -- eggs are coming soon....

    You mentioned a dowel for a roost in the run. I wonder if this might be their problem. Chickens' feet don't really curl around a narrow round rod like a dowel, not the way most birds' feet do. I've often seen it recommended that the roost be at least as wide as the wide side of a 2x4. It gets debated on here whether a wide/fat branch is fine or whether they prefer a flat surface, but either way, narrow is not good.

    If you live where it gets below freezing, the wide side of a 2x4 or similar also allows them to get their whole body touching their feet which keeps their feet warmer -- no frostbitten toes.

    I would block off or remove the nest boxes for now if I were you.
     

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