Brahma refuses to perch

EmmaO

In the Brooder
Aug 29, 2020
9
5
12
Hi all - I'm looking for advice about roosting behavior or lack thereof. I have a Brahma hen (a little over a year old) who refuses to perch at night. Instead she mostly sleeps in the nesting box. She perched with the 3 other birds until a couple months ago, then he just stopped. She is not broody, she doesn't sit on the nest during the day. I've lowered one of the perches but she still won't hop up. The perches are probably about 10" and 14" off the ground and the other birds including another Brahma and a bantam Cochin can access the perches fine. If I place her on the perch she usually stays put. Closing off the nesting boxes doesn't help, she just sleeps on a ground in another part of the coop. She doesn't have bumble foot so I don't think it's painful to roost. Any thoughts as to what I can do? Is 10" still too high for some Brahmas to reach? She is not an especially fat bird so I would think she could manage it. Thanks for any advice!
 
Feb 1, 2021
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You can try closing access to the nesting boxes. I have some chickens that do that and that's my plan. Give them access to the nesting boxes in the morning and do that for about a week. Then maybe she'll want to go to go and roost.
 

All4Eggz

๐•๐•–๐•ค๐•ฆ๐•ค + โ„‚๐•™๐•š๐•”๐•œ๐•–๐•Ÿ๐•ค = ๐“๐“ต๐“ต ๐“˜ ๐“๐“ฎ๐“ฎ๐“ญ
Premium Feather Member
Apr 23, 2021
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Some birds like to sleep at ground level because if they are a heavy breed (like large silkies and brahmas) they prevent injuries from falling off the roost.

She might also be bullied by the other hens at night.
 

EmmaO

In the Brooder
Aug 29, 2020
9
5
12
Some birds like to sleep at ground level because if they are a heavy breed (like large silkies and brahmas) they prevent injuries from falling off the roost.

She might also be bullied by the other hens at night.
Thanks for your reply! I think bullying is definitely a possible cause. Sheโ€™s definitely bottom of the pecking order and if she was a school age child Iโ€™d probably describe her as sensitive ๐Ÿ˜‰.
Anything you think I can do to help the situation? Itโ€™s a smallish coop so Iโ€™m not sure how to make more room for perches. Should I just leave her be? When she quit roosting she also started getting poopy feathers and I just assumed it was because she wasnโ€™t perched on something at night. Thatโ€™s one reason I keep trying to make her perch!
 

EmmaO

In the Brooder
Aug 29, 2020
9
5
12
You can try closing access to the nesting boxes. I have some chickens that do that and that's my plan. Give them access to the nesting boxes in the morning and do that for about a week. Then maybe she'll want to go to go and roost.
Hi there - thanks for your reply! I tried that, but she just sleeps on the floor under the perches. Itโ€™s not a big coop so then that puts her in the poop firing line from the other birds who are perching - yuck!
 

Banana01

Songster
Feb 18, 2021
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San Martin, Peru
There is no harm in making her a seperate box to sleep in so she is covered. Chickens sleep fine on the ground too. I have a hen that was injured and stayed in her own box, now she is better but chose to stay in the box.
 

All4Eggz

๐•๐•–๐•ค๐•ฆ๐•ค + โ„‚๐•™๐•š๐•”๐•œ๐•–๐•Ÿ๐•ค = ๐“๐“ต๐“ต ๐“˜ ๐“๐“ฎ๐“ฎ๐“ญ
Premium Feather Member
Apr 23, 2021
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Massachusetts
Thanks for your reply! I think bullying is definitely a possible cause. Sheโ€™s definitely bottom of the pecking order and if she was a school age child Iโ€™d probably describe her as sensitive ๐Ÿ˜‰.
Anything you think I can do to help the situation? Itโ€™s a smallish coop so Iโ€™m not sure how to make more room for perches. Should I just leave her be? When she quit roosting she also started getting poopy feathers and I just assumed it was because she wasnโ€™t perched on something at night. Thatโ€™s one reason I keep trying to make her perch!
Close off the nest boxes during the night, as someone has mentioned already.

Pictures of your coop and roosting space?

If there is space, make another roost and see if she uses that one, away from the other hens.

If she sleeps under the roosts (when the nest boxes are closed off) and is getting pooped on, go into the coop at night and place her onto a roost (as far away from the other birds as possible), and she will likely stay there the whole night because chickens are almost blind in the dark, so she wouldn't know where she'd be going if she decided to get down.

Good luck โค๏ธ
 

All4Eggz

๐•๐•–๐•ค๐•ฆ๐•ค + โ„‚๐•™๐•š๐•”๐•œ๐•–๐•Ÿ๐•ค = ๐“๐“ต๐“ต ๐“˜ ๐“๐“ฎ๐“ฎ๐“ญ
Premium Feather Member
Apr 23, 2021
3,149
10,807
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Massachusetts
There is no harm in making her a seperate box to sleep in so she is covered. Chickens sleep fine on the ground too. I have a hen that was injured and stayed in her own box, now she is better but chose to stay in the box.
Good idea.

The OP could make a box under the roosts, after closing off the nest boxes, so the hen learns to use that box so she won't get pooped on.
 

EmmaO

In the Brooder
Aug 29, 2020
9
5
12
There is no harm in making her a seperate box to sleep in so she is covered. Chickens sleep fine on the ground too. I have a hen that was injured and stayed in her own box, now she is better but chose to stay in the box.
Thanks for the suggestion. I think it may be best to just let her sleep on the ground but I hadnโ€™t considered creating a designated spot for her. I like that idea - keeps her from getting pooped on and hopefully reduces stress.
 

EmmaO

In the Brooder
Aug 29, 2020
9
5
12
Good idea.

The OP could make a box under the roosts, after closing off the nest boxes, so the hen learns to use that box so she won't get pooped on.
Thanks for your reply - Iโ€™ve been trying to place her on the roost when I can, hoping sheโ€™ll get the hang of it again. I think Iโ€™ll block nesting boxes and try this a few more nights, then, if she still not choosing to roost I will make her a box so she has her own place to sleep without danger of being pooped on and away from nesting boxes
 

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