Their roosting bars are built over a fenced-in box with a sliding drawer I can pull out from an external trap door and dump into my chicken compost pile. The problem we found with it was that the fencing was too narrow to allow most of the poop to fall through so it collected in moist, smelly piles. Perhaps as a result of that, the chickens avoided the roost and instead lined up on a flat ledge over the nesting boxes and collected a whole other pile of waste there.
So, with great effort today we dismantled the fencing under the roosts and replaced it with a much more practical version. We also put an angled board over the nesting box ledge to discourage sitting there anymore. Of course this required a thorough cleaning and airing-out of the coop. Add to that the need to lay on my back on the floor to nail the new fencing in place (yuck!) and I was a filthy mess.
Tonight after dinner I snuck out to peek into the coop and see if they had adapted to the new design. All the hens were huddled together on the roosting bars, just as they should. Cooper, however, was stubbornly balancing himself on the sloping ledge where he felt his throne should be. You’d thing he would want to be in the center of his harem, but maybe he’ll figure out what to do if he falls asleep and slides off tonight.