One time Tom tried to pick the chicken up and put her over on the roost bar with the rest of the chickens. But, chickens go into a sort of stupor when they go to sleep, and he was unable to get her to catch hold of the bar with her feet. So, she kept falling off.
We found several ideas on the internet to thwart this roosting in the nest box behavior.....the simplest being this.
How, you ask, could milk jugs on strings keep chickens out of the nest boxes? Here's how.
Tying strings to the jugs was just a handy way to keep the jugs in easy reach. So, late in the afternoon, we simply stuck the jugs in the nests forcing the offending chicken to have to join the other girls on the roost bar at bedtime.
However, this brilliant idea caused another problem. Chickens wake up a lot earlier than we do and they are ready to get to get down to the day's business before we get over there in the morning. What's a girl to do if she is faced with a milk jug in her favorite nest box?
Well, where there's a will, there is a way! Tom arrived to open the coop several mornings to find one of the milk jug hanging on its string and an egg in the nest in its place. You're probably thinking the same thing we were.....how'd the chicken manage to get the jug out?
Once again, I used our wildlife camera to solve the riddle. What follows is the sequence of photos that document what happened.
Chicken gets on nest box bar.
Chicken enters nest box and maneuvers around the milk jug.
Chicken is in the nest box with the milk jug.
Chicken pushes milk jug out of nest.
Now, who said chickens were dumb! I suspect after another couple of weeks, we can get rid of the milk jugs. I think perhaps the reason the issue started in the first place is due to the cold weather we've had lately. We've had some snow and very cold temperatures, especially at night. I imagine sleeping in a warm nest box is more attractive than sleeping on a roost bar in an un-insulated coop.