I know that Gayle is with me on this one, because she has been struggling for ages to get her chickens to stay in the right coop. Somehow they keep escaping. Let me tell you: it is humiliating to be outsmarted by an animal with a brain the size of a lentil.
My chickens have come to believe that they should sleep atop the nest box*. I believe otherwise.
Here is the thing: chickens poop all night in their sleep. If their butts aren’t hanging out over a ledge, they will poop all over their feet, and then sleep like that, with poop all over their feet, all night long.
I personally do not feel that this is acceptable. It’s unhygienic, and probably bad for their skin. Wouldn’t you think?
I guess they really DON’T like the carrot bits.
“Just put something on top of the nest box,” everyone cheerfully advises. Easier said than done. It’s in a weird space, so it’s hard to wedge things up there. Plus, the chickens are very determined.
Martha (blonde) and Harriet (red) have pretty much given up, and sleep on their perch. But Dolly (black) is persistent. Basically what is happening is, I put something up there, it’s fine for a few days, then Dolly figures out a way to wriggle her way up there again.
So far we are up to: an empty black plastic 1-gallon plant pot, a two-foot length of plastic bird spikes, and an empty 1-gallon water jug. The water jug is the latest addition. Here’s hoping it does the trick!
* The nest box is one of many things I would change if I could do it all over again. I cut a hole in the side of a big plastic storage container and set it inside. Next time I would just build a cubby into the side of the coop, so that there was nowhere to stand atop.