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Why did we even put roosts in the coop??

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Mommysongbird, Oct 20, 2011.

  1. Mommysongbird

    Mommysongbird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 17, 2011
    Small Town, Virginia
    We now have 2 pullets roosting in the nest boxes and 2 pullets on the roosts! Remind me of WHY there needs to be a roost in the coop???? [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Our EE has been roosting in the nests for a while, but now one of our black pullets is there?? And she doesn't even lay in the box, she lays on the edge (does the same thing when she is laying eggs) so the majority of her body is off the edge of the box.
     
  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    First, roosting is natural. If chickens don't have a coop, they roost in boughs of trees, evergreen trees being about their favorite.

    Second, a sleeping chicken POOPS an incredible amount. Having all the poop in one place, under the roost, makes cleaning up easier.

    Roosts should be higher than the nesting boxes. Chickens sleep up high because it feeds into their natural tendency to be up high, which they sense is safer.
    Nesting boxes should not be available to pullets until it is virtually Time To Lay. Experience with your pullets squatting, red combs/wattles will alert you to that time. Any earlier access to nesting boxes provides an opportunity to sleep them, a very bad habit. The boxes will get pooped in big time. I "train" young pullets with nesting boxes down quite low. Hope that helps.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2011
  3. Mommysongbird

    Mommysongbird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 17, 2011
    Small Town, Virginia
    Fred's Hens :

    First, roosting is natural. If chickens don't have a coop, they roost in boughs of trees, evergreen trees being about their favorite.

    Second, a sleeping chicken POOPS an incredible amount. Having all the poop in one place, under the roost, makes cleaning up easier.

    Roosts should be higher than the nesting boxes. Chickens sleep up high because it feeds into their natural tendency to be up high, which they sense is safer.
    Nesting boxes should not be available to pullets until it is virtually Time To Lay. Experience with your pullets squatting, red combs/wattles will alert you to that time. Any earlier access to nesting boxes provides an opportunity to sleep them, a very bad habit. The boxes will get pooped in big time. I "train" young pullets with nesting boxes down quite low. Hope that helps.

    All of our pullets are laying eggs and they have never slept in the boxes in the past, except for the EE, she has been doing it for a few weeks b/c our rooster when we had him would NOT let her on the roosts. Our girls are 27 weeks old.

    Now this other one is sleeping in the box as well. I don't get it?? They ALL use to sleep on the roosts. We have 3 roosts that are 1 foot, 2 foot and 3 foot off the ground (like a ladder) and are all 3 feet wide, enough room on 1 roost for all four of our girls really. The nest boxes are on the other side of the coop.​
     
  4. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    I suspect a bully. Or, at least some behavior that has driven them from the roosts? Roosting positions are part of the whole pecking order or chicken social order thing. Sooooooo....... it would seem someone has driven them from the roost. Hmmmm.... I might suggest another set of roosts, if you have room. I have two sets in the hen room just for this reason. Gotta have somewhere to go when they get bullied off the "main" roost.
     
  5. six_eclectic_chickens

    six_eclectic_chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    166
    4
    91
    Oct 2, 2011
    For us, the roosts represent the pecking order. If a chicken drops a place, then she will sit in the boxes. If they are going for a higher spot in the order they sit on the roosts.
     
  6. Aemelia

    Aemelia Chillin' With My Peeps

    244
    1
    99
    Mar 28, 2011
    Lincoln, Nebraska
    Mine won't roost and they won't lay in their nest boxes either. They sleep and lay eggs in the back corner of the coop under the nest boxes. I have given up. If they want to sleep cuddled up together in the corner who am I to complain. I clean the poop up in the morning before they lay eggs back there.
     

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