First time chicken owner, first time poster, seasoned post reader and researcher.
My 4 girls are ~26 weeks old, all are laying daily. I have one Barred Rock and three Red Sexlinks.
My coop is 4x4x4 with a sand flood over linoleum and plenty of ventilation. It has a 4'x2"x4" roost 18" off the ground. I have two 1'x1'x1' nest boxes with curtains (I needed curtains to stop egg eaters), these are 4" off the floor. Now that the sunlight is waning, I have a LED light in the coop to provide ~14 hours of light, turning on at 3 AM and off at 9 AM, I'm letting the sun do the rest.
Here is a picture for reference:
One of my Red Sexlinks has always slept on the ground.
When I got the birds at 16 weeks, the owner told me all were roosting. I trust him.
As a 16 week pullet, she would occasionally try to fly up, but lacked to coordination, gumption or both to get up there. For the first three weeks I put her up on the roost at night; I got tired of that and called her a dummy. She reinforced that thought with sleeping in the yard on the ground one night while I was at the hardware store-while all the others had walked into the coop and roosted.
Its begun to get cold in Wisconsin. With that, the other birds huddle together more up on the roost. The Dummy has now taken to sleeping in the nest box. Putting her on the roost every night is not an option.
She is not the lowest in the pecking order.
I do not want to block and unblock the nesting boxes every night and morning, as I want fresh eggs for breakfast at 5AM and blocking the nest boxes will result in coop eggs and egg eaters.
Help me out smart the chickens again. What can I try?