Chooks won't roost

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Chooks won't roost

Post  Blossom on Fri Aug 15, 2008 10:18 am

The chooks we got from the child care centre were used to sleeping in the calf pen in boxes. Consequently, despite a 5* resort with roosts, they insist on sleeping ( and pooping) in the nesting boxes at the rear of the hut. I never had any problem with the girls on the farm, they all roosted and the nesting boxes stayed relatively clean for weeks. I am having to shovel the poop out of the nesting boxes every day so the eggs aren't covered in it Evil or Very Mad How important is it for hens to actually perch on the roost. I understood it was healthy that they do. Any suggestions how to train them onto the perches? My other alternative is to put some nesting boxes outside, separate from the perches. What do you think?

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Re: Chooks won't roost

Post  guzzigirl on Fri Aug 15, 2008 2:46 pm

I'm not sure about how necessary it is, except for the poop on the shell thing. Mine do the same (sleep in the nesting area) and I don't worry about it too much. They rarely use the provided nest area for eggs anyway! In my old coop they had a choice of shelf and perch and they preferred the shelf. But I do know that some people go to the effort of removing them from the nest box every evening and putting them on the perch until the chooks comply.
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Re: Chooks won't roost

Post  Mad Gnome on Fri Aug 15, 2008 3:06 pm

Our current lot of ex-battery hens are/were divided into those that did, and those that did not. When we first got them we put them on the perch every night (we even built a little ladder for them to get to the perch easier). Some liked it up there, some preferred the nesting boxes (either inside or on top). These boxes usually have plenty of fresh straw in them, so we didn't get too many dirty eggs.

The hens that slept inside the boxes didn't seem to mess them up too much. Those that slept on top of them, made an awful mess.
We just let them be. They don't seem the worse for it.

We had a really old chook once that took to sleeping inside the nesting box when she was too old to get up (and stay) on the perch. Couldn't blame her. It's tough when your bones get older.

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Re: Chooks won't roost

Post  Blossom on Sat Aug 16, 2008 4:51 am

Thanks muchly. I've given them an 'outside nesting box for laying eggs, then they can do what they like for sleeping arrangements. I used an old lawn mover catcher, which is deep and has enough cover for them to feel OK laying their eggs, lined it with plenty straw and hopefully they are not so set in their ways that they won't take to it. They had been laying on a hay bale, so I don;t think they'll have too much adapting to do.

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