ARE THEY STUPID OR WHAT??!! They won't roost!


In the Brooder
11 Years
Jul 11, 2008
Shawnee, OK.
I have four 2 1/2 month old chickens and two 3 1/2 mo. old guineas. They are in a 11'x5' tractor and have been since 1 mo. old. I have a roost across the width of it only about a foot off the ground (I've lowered it over time) and I've never seen ANY of them on it!! Not enen the guineas and I thought they would roost anywhere. My kids have put them on it, so they know it's there. What's up?? Should I be worried?
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FOOL THEM! put up two seperate roost poles, one higher than the other. They normaly seek higher spots ( instinctive survival habit) but I've always thought it was more of a social ego trip thing.

They are creatures of habit. It may take 2 weeks or more of placing them by hand up on the roosts at night. What are you using for roosting poles?
I started with a shop broom handle and when they would'nt use that I thought maybe it was rolling or something so I replaced it with a board about 1 1/2 inches wide by 1/2 in. thick. I can't put one too much higher, the tractor's only 4 1/2 feet high. Thats why I lowered it, I thought maybe they couldn't FLY up to it.
I wouldnt worry too much. I have six 6 month old pullets that didnt start roosting until they were almost 4 months old. For the longest time they just slept on the floor. I had a huge coop for them to with a nice roost. I drove myself crazy at first trying to get my girls to roost. I would put them up on one and they would fly off as if it might kill them at any second. Finally I just gave up and said the hell with it!
Now they love it! Ive even put one out in the run for them to jump up on.

Edited to add:

They like to roost on flat boards. It keeps their feet warmer in the winter as well. Plus if you have the roost too small their feet will wrap around and the claws can poke their feet. I use a 2x4 in my coop. You might try a 2x2 or 2x3 since you have a smaller coop.
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We had RIRs that wouldn't roost at that age. We found out later , to our sorrow, that they were infected with Coryza and it was putting just enough physical strain on them they just wouldn't try to roost. Now I hope this is not your problem so the other thought is maybe its a defense reaction? Is something prowling around their sleeping area at night that makes them feel insecure sitting up on the roost?
Foxes and racoons will acctually reach into cages and grab a bird and pull it or parts of it through the wire!
Otherwise I hope someone else can help you. Sorry.
peeperkeeper, No I dont hink so. Its made w/ 2 inch chickenwire, we lost a guinea through that, so it's wrapped with a foot of 1 inch around that with an 8 inch skirt on the ground on all 4 sides. The tarp covers all but the bottom 2 feet for sun and circulation. If they would get up on it, they would be up under the tarp and I would think they would feel safe.
I heard somewhere that chickens are stupid, though mine are not for sure! There was another poster here that had to go in at night and put them on the roost for a few n ights and then they seemed to get it.
I had outstanding success after singing the "Please Be A Chicken Tonight" song to my pullets.

I think the text is under the "is it weird to sing to your chickens?" thread.

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