Youngsters in nest boxes

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by jkg, Mar 1, 2009.

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  1. jkg

    jkg In the Brooder

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    Jan 26, 2009
    AZ
    I recently moved our youngsters - around 10 wks old- into the coop. The young ones head inside for the night first and go to the top perch, but as soon as the older birds come in for the night, they chase the littles off the perch. The littles are scared to get on even the lower perch then as the bigs get mad and knock them off that one too, so instead the littles sit on the edge of the nest boxes and crap in them. I've thought of covering the nest boxes at night, but then I'd have to get up at dawn with the birds to open the nests back up for the older birds to lay.

    Any ideas for something that would discourage the youngsters from sleeping in the nest boxes but that still leaves the boxes open for layers to jump in? Long term, I'm sure it will be solved when the bigs stop beating the tar out of the littles for using "their" perches, but I'd like to find a solution while waiting for that. What I'm doing now is going out at dark and forcibly moving the chicks to the lowest perch and smacking the old birds around if they try to knock the littles off again. I usually have to stick around a few minutes until the littles settle down as they're convinced the bigs will peck them again (they don't while I'm there). Design should be fine - even the lower perch is higher than the nest boxes.
     

  2. warhorse

    warhorse Songster

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    Jun 15, 2008
    Cibolo, TX
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 1, 2009
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