Ameraucanas not perching (in run, they DO perch in their roost)

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by peacechikn, Jan 18, 2017.

  1. peacechikn

    peacechikn Out Of The Brooder

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    Brief context: I have 5 rescued Ameraucanas, we've had them since November and this is my first foray into having chickens.

    I thought they all loved perching in trees, etc. but mine will NOT perch outside their roost. I've tried various branches (we live in the forest), different heights, etc. and they show zero interest. We have one of those swings-- nada. I've picked them up and gently set them on the perches but they'd only put one foot on it and immediately want to run away.

    Are there some chickens that just don't have that "jungle fowl" instinct or am I doing something wrong?

    Also, do perches have to be level or would a slanted one potentially be interesting?
     
  2. ChickenGoesRuff

    ChickenGoesRuff Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Chickens do like to perch sometimes, but if there are treats, bugs, or anything interesting, they're not gonna want to sit on a boring (or not) branch or perch. However, all chickens have different preferences and personalities (I have a hen, Louisa, who insisted upon sleeping in a dog crate in the garage for 3 months and wouldn't go in the coop at all...) but if they perch at night, it might just be a boredom issue or they would just rather run around. Slanted ones could get interesting.[​IMG]
    I had an accidental slanted perch in my broody coop run. It was purely there to hold the fence up, but the babies started to have fun with it from about week two onward. Good luck with perches and all, it sounds like your ameraucanas have found a great home.
     
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  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    What do you mean by "outside their roost"?

    I have 2x2(1.5 x 1.5") roosts(perches) out in the run, some are on them frequently, others don't seem to care much for them. Also have some branches about the same size, they will clamber on the slanted parts but most likely to settle on the level parts. The smoother and more slanted, the less likely they can get a grip to navigate them.

    Chickens are basically ground dwelling birds, only taking to the trees to roost at night for 'safety'.

    Hard to say why your birds don't care for the perches you've installed.
    Have you left them in place for several weeks, or do you change them frequently?
    Chickens often don't like change, some's curiosity cannot overcome their fear.
    Maybe your birds are older and not so nimble, maybe they have feet problems, maybe they are just content being on the ground.
    Pics of what you've got might help with brainstorming an answer.
     
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  4. peacechikn

    peacechikn Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 23, 2016
    San Juan Island, WA
    Thank you for your replies!

    Figures, the day after I post this (been meaning to ask for a while now), they finally perch outside! On a slanted perch, which also answers that question.

    Here's my video proof: https://video.nest.com/clip/367ba021bdc04efb966b64a2765cc6a7.mp4

    So it just took some trial and error to figure out what they prefer. Turns out these girls like obnoxiously large, leaning branches. :D
     
  5. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    Pretty Easter Eggers!
     
  6. peacechikn

    peacechikn Out Of The Brooder

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    I guess my semantics are off. I thought "roost" specifically referred to their sleeping area, "perch" was the thing being stood upon, and "run" is the entire area outside their coop..?

    The current ones have only been in place for about a week, so yes it would make sense if they were hesitant because of them being new. I won't be changing them now that I have a few variations in place, so I can see which one(s) they like best.
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Haha!! Yep, Murphy's Law!
    Once they get used to having you install perches....mine jump right up on any new ones.

    You're semantics are correct I just wanted to double check.

    Keep the 'perches' lower than the 'roosts' so they don't sleep where you don't want them to, they like the highest to sleep on.

    Agrees with junbuggena, EE not Ameraucana.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2017
  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    Your semantics are correct. They roost at night, normally on perches we call roosts. During the day they may perch on things up in the air, sometimes that is the roosts they sleep on or it could be about anything else. I have a separate “isolation coop” in my run with a flat roof (Mistake, it should slope enough so rainwater runs off). Sometimes mine “perch” on that. That isolation coop has a 3/8” thick door they often try to perch on when it is open. Usually they don’t last long perching on something that thick. But they try.

    A “run” can be a bit nebulous. It is generally an enclosed area, usually with fencing, outside the coop. But with some set-ups, like a Wichita style coop and run inside another run but where the chickens always have access to that run portion of the Wichita but not the bigger run, the coop run area is more of a part of the coop.

    I keep a short perch in my brooder. Some chicks perch on it, some don’t. Some perch on things in my run, some don’t. A couple of days ago I pruned a plum tree in my run, removed a lot of little branches. Before long some chickens were perching up in it, some on level branches, some on sloped. But most did not go up there at all.

    Chickens are different. Many people on here rave about how much their chickens like cabbage. If I toss cabbage leaves in my run the chickens will eventually eat them, but they would much rather have broccoli, cauliflower, kale, or chard leaves. We can tell you what our chickens do or what we expect yours to do. But no matter what someone says about chicken behavior, someone else can come up with an exception. I can often come up with exceptions to what mine “normally” do. It’s a fun experience but the only thing consistent about chicken behaviors is inconsistency. Patience is usually a good friend.
     

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