Chicken won't get on perch at night

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by overthelimit, Feb 28, 2016.

  1. overthelimit

    overthelimit Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 23, 2016
    One of my RIRs, Big Red, 8 months old and at the bottom of the pecking order, refuses to get on the perch at night.

    Big Red and the roo pal around during the day ... I think she's his regular girlfriend, but he roosts with the older hens on the front perch to maintain his status, I assume. Big Red's sister sleeps on the back perch. There is no one to keep BR from getting up there.

    I generally go out at dark and put her on the back perch next to her sister, and she stays. If I go out a little later than dark, I find her sleeping in the hay, under the birds on the front perch. I don't like her to sleep there because the other birds poop on her.

    The advice I've read says be consistent and eventually she'll start roosting on the perch on her own, but she hasn't. She's capable of getting up there ... any other ideas?
  2. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 20, 2015
    Southern N.C. Mountains
    Has she ever roosted at some point and this is new behavior or has she always slept on the floor?
    Can you post a picture of your roost setup?
    How are her feet? Any sign of bumblefoot?
    Any signs of mite/lice?
  3. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    Good questions. Additional thoughts include physical roost space per bird, height of the roosts, access to a "soft landing" when alighting.

    1 person likes this.
  4. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

    Feb 25, 2014
    Northwestern Wyoming
    My Coop
    If she is low on the totem pole, she's probably staying off the roost for self-protection. Roosting time can get pretty cutthroat.....even now it takes mine a bit to get settled while the birds higher in the pecking order object to those lower sharing the prime spots on the roost. It can get a little rough sometimes! She's most likely given up on roosting just because she's always being bullied from spot to spot. She feels safe on the floor. If it was me, I'd leave her alone. Sleeping on the floor shouldn't hurt her, and as long as she's safe and protected why force her to get up there?
  5. overthelimit

    overthelimit Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 23, 2016
    I know I posted this ages ago; I'm sorry I dropped off my own question!

    In the end, we decided it's a pecking-order issue and we've elected to stay out of it. We are, however, considering removing the two perches and installing one long one.

    Thank you for your responses!
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2016
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Better late than never! :D

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by