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What goes in the nesting box vs. what does on the roosting perch?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by jmbinfo, Nov 15, 2010.

  1. jmbinfo

    jmbinfo Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 10, 2010
    I'm not sure if I am saying this properly but you have nesting boxes ( like 3 ) that the birds will hopefully go to lay eggs and then you have these "roosting areas" that they go to...uh...hmmm....sit down? So, do you put something in the nesting box that makes it so they know to go "nest" in there and then something different on the roosting area? So confused. I looked at pics in the Coop Design pages but can't get a real good picture as so many are different. Some I saw no roosting area.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Gallo del Cielo

    Gallo del Cielo La Gallina Resort & Spa

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    May 6, 2010
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    My Coop
    People use all sorts of material in their nest boxes, I use pine shavings. The roost is the area where the chickens sleep at night. They often won't use it until they are a few months old (mine waited until they were almost 5 mo.). Lots of folks use a 2X4 or a 2X6 laid flat on the broad side for their roots. Here's a pic showing my nest boxes and one end of my roost:

    [​IMG]
     
  3. TigerLilly

    TigerLilly I failed Chicken Math

    Jul 18, 2010
    Central Florida
    You can use hay or pine shavings in the nest boxes. As for the roosting area, I don't have a floor in my 'coop,' just the ground with pine shavings in part & sand under the roosts. The roost is where they sleep (& poop, a LOT) at night, though a couple of my hens sleep on the ground. Since I changed my nesting 'boxes' to buckets, I don't seem to have any of the hens wanting to sleep in there anymore.
    You can also put fake eggs or golf balls in the nest boxes to give them the idea to lay their eggs there.
     
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    The roost is for sleeping on.

    CHickens instinctually prefer to sleep in the highest spot available. So as long as you put your roost higher than any other "competing attractions", and as long as there is nothing actively repellant about your roosts (too thin, too slippery, right next to cold wind in winter, insufficient room for chickens to get up there) they will naturally gravitate to the right place to sleep. Er, once you have trained them to roost at least (some chickens do not initially figure it out on their own).

    Since the roost is some sort of 2x4 or wide-ish tree branch, there is no issue of putting anything on it. It's just *there*, for them to sit on and snooze [​IMG]

    Nestboxes are for egglaying. You want something cushy inside so that when a hen lays an egg and then stomps around getting out of the box, or another hen comes in to lay *her* egg and stomps all around the nestbox, there is sufficient padding that the egg doesn't get broken. Fluffy wood shavings like you might use as litter on the coop floor will work well; as will straw, or hay, or various other things. You have to pick out poo periodically (chickens occasionally evacuate the wrong thing from their cloaca when they *meant* it to be an egg [​IMG]) and occasionally replace all of it.

    Chickens will often seek out your nestboxes on their own, when they want to lay, just because they like somewhere secluded and cushy for the event; but it can help to put unbreakable fake eggs in there ("nest eggs") to give chickens the idea of what the nestbox is for. Since chickens have a natural tendency to want to add to an existing clutch rather than go lay their egg somewhere else, this really does help quite a lot of the time. Once the chickens are well-confirmed in using the box, you can remove the nestegg as it will have done its job.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  5. jmbinfo

    jmbinfo Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 10, 2010
    Quote:I like that idea. Thanks!
     
  6. TigerLilly

    TigerLilly I failed Chicken Math

    Jul 18, 2010
    Central Florida
    Don't thank me...thank the more knowlegeable people on BYC that I learned it from! This place really IS a great source of info.
     
  7. jmbinfo

    jmbinfo Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 10, 2010
    Quote:Thanks for the pic! That really helped!
     
  8. jmbinfo

    jmbinfo Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 10, 2010
    Quote:Great info Pat! Thanks!
     

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