How to Keep Chickens From Roosting in the Laying Box

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The laying box is not the ideal place for a chicken to sleep. It is also difficult to get eggs from underneath a sleeping chicken. Since chickens are such sound sleepers, they will find the most secure place to sleep. Chickens instinctively sleep on an elevated perch to protect themselves from predators. In the wild, a chicken roosts on a tree limb. If your chickens are roosting in the laying, you have failed to provide them with a safer place to sleep or failed to place the roosting perch high enough.

Things You'll Need

  • Wood bar or poles
  • Nails or screws
  • Golf balls, wooden eggs, plastic eggs or chicken wire

Obtain a round, wood bar or pole that is 1.5 to 3 inches in diameter. Make sure the bar is long enough to allow 6 to 10 inches of space widthwise on the bar for each chicken.

Find a place to attach the roosting bar that is at least two inches off the ground, and 18 inches from the nearest wall. The roosting bar should be placed higher than the laying box; chickens will instinctively roost on the highest perch, but the bar must be within reach.

Attach the bar to or above the laying box with screws or nails.

Stagger and attach additional poles horizontally, underneath the roosting bar. The chickens will use these poles as stairs and will climb to the highest bar to roost.

Put a manure box underneath the roosting bar. If you don't have a manure box, place newspaper underneath the roosting bar to catch any chicken droppings.

Put a golf ball, wooden egg, plastic egg, or chicken wire, in the nesting box to discourage the chickens from entering the area when they are not laying eggs. The chickens will stop roosting in the laying box.

Tips & Warnings

  • Golf balls work well for many, but not all chickens. Try wooden eggs or plastic eggs as an alternative if golf balls don't work.

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