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Two questions regarding nest boxes and roosts?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by coalroadcabin, Sep 27, 2011.

  1. coalroadcabin

    coalroadcabin Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 5, 2008
    I had read that if you put nest boxes in the coop too early the chickens could get in the habit of sleeping in them and that could cause problems later on when they start laying. So I have not put nest boxes in my coop since my chickens are still young (7/18/11 birthdate). My question is, when should I put the nest boxes in? Do I wait until they start laying? Or do I put them in just before they get old enough to lay so they have a chance to get used to them?

    Also, my chickens don't seem to like their roost. They prefer to sleep on the floor. I know at least one of them investigated the roosts because I've found a couple of droppings up there but I'm pretty sure it was Gabby who is my smallest and most curious bird. I have heavy breeds (Buff Orpington, Wyandotte & Australorp) so should I add a ramp up to the roost so they don't have to fly up or just let them sleep on the floor and take the roost out of the coop?
     
  2. TinyChickenLady

    TinyChickenLady Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have nest boxes in my coop and my chickens haven't touched them yet (they're too young to lay yet) so I don't think it matters when you put them in. Although the average age to start laying is 20 weeks so I'd make sure the boxes are in there at least at 17 weeks.
    As far as the roosts go, I would encourage them to roost so they aren't sleeping in their poo so maybe the ramp or a little ladder would be helpful (I'm also adding a couple of ladders for my silkies). It may not work and they will always prefer the floor but at least you can say you tried [​IMG]
     
  3. Lollipop

    Lollipop Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:First, when a pullet is nearing laying, her face turns from pale to dark pink, or red. That`s the time to make a nest available to them. Second, It takes a while for some youngsters to get the roosting idea. They`ll get it someday, just don`t stress out about it. Now, you didn`t say how high your roost is. Ideal roost hight is one of two things. Either make the roost low enough for them to just hop on or off, or make it high enough to require at least one wing flap to safely land when coming off. These arrangements are intended to protect their feet. Hope this helps.......Pop
     
  4. coalroadcabin

    coalroadcabin Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 5, 2008
    Thanks for the info!

    lollipop - my roost is 24" high do you think I should lower it any? I can't raise it because my coop is not very tall (only 4 feet from floor to ceiling). I'd really like for them to sleep on the roost because I have a pooh tray under it - it would make cleaning up the pooh easier plus they love to sleep right next to the pop door so all of their nighttime pooh gets stepped in when they run in and out during the day.

    tinychickenlady - I think I will go ahead and add a ramp to see if they show any interest. And I think I might go ahead and add the nest boxes in a few weeks too.
     
  5. Lollipop

    Lollipop Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:I think that 1 ft would suit your birds and your coop arrangement just fine. Have fun.........Pop
     

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