Chickens are roosting backwards!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by lhousesoccer, Jul 7, 2010.

  1. lhousesoccer

    lhousesoccer In the Brooder

    Feb 26, 2010
    This is my first coop and chickens, so excuse me if this is a stupid question:p

    My chickens are now 8 weeks old and wanting to roost up high instead of sleep on the floor in the wood shavings. So, I built a roost, 4 feet long, 4 feet off the floor. They have no trouble flying up there. I also built a ladder they can climb.

    The roost is a 2" x 3" on it's side, and it is 10.75 inches from the wall on center. I hung a poop board that is 10 inches wide and the length of the roost, 6 inches under the roost.

    However, I've noticed that about half my chickens (I have 12) roost facing the wall. That in itself wouldn't bother me except for the fact that my poop board doesn't catch their poop! It's all over the floor. I can't extend the board beyond the edge of the roost, because then they'd just land on the edge of the poop board and roost there.

    Any ideas why they are doing this and how to get them to stop?


  2. Beth G.

    Beth G. Gaetano Family Farm

    My Chickens all roost in different directions. I can't say there really is a solution. I just put a think layer of shavings on the floor and scrap it out once a week. Maybe someone else will post and know how. Good Luck![​IMG]
  3. woodmort

    woodmort Songster

    Jul 6, 2010
    Oxford NY
    The short answer is" You can't". On my rows of 20 birds half will roost facing one way half the other unless one finds enough room to roost sideways. Extend the poop board and if they roost on it they'll be pooped on--they'll move. In truth, it's easier to clean chicken droppings off the floor--most of it will be there anyway--than a poop board so you might want to reconsider that. If you can't train your chickens,let them train you.[​IMG]
  4. CoyoteMagic

    CoyoteMagic RIP ?-2014

    Quote:What he said! [​IMG]
  5. woodguy

    woodguy In the Brooder

    May 2, 2010
    Quote:They are supposed to want to roost up high... It's instinct to them. Also your roost 2X3 should be turned the other way so they have the wider span to set on. It's easier on their feet and they can comfortably rest there covering their feet with their feathers in the cold seasons. Maybe make the poop board a little lower and then extend it out. They will no boubt want to go up to the roost pole that will be higher. They like it up high.
  6. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:They do it; they won't stop; there is nothing you can do but accept that's how chickens are [​IMG]

    Put a wider poop board on. I find that 16", centered under the roost, catches the vast majority of droppings (of course wider would also be ok).

    Yes, they will *land* and *walk* on the edge of the poop board, but I think you will find that they do not ROOST there when the higher actual roost is available. If you do get them roosting on the edge of the poop board instead, then it is telling you there is something wrong with your actual roost (too little of it, too close to wall, whatever) that should be fixed.

    Good luck, have fun,

  7. Reinbeau

    Reinbeau The Teapot Underground Premium Member

    Lower and widen the poop board. Chickens do what chickens do, it's much like herding cats - although cats are smarter! [​IMG] The chickens will go to the highest roost they can find, so if you keep the poop board low they won't bother with it much.
  8. Mak

    Mak Songster

    Dec 12, 2009
    Londonderry, NH
    We're new to this chicken stuff, too, but following advice from reading these forums and other places, we built our poop board wide enough to catch the poop from two roosts, whichever way the chickens decide to face. They do seem to randomly decide to sleep facing front or back. But they always end up on the roosts, since they are higher than the poop boards.
  9. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Songster

    Apr 15, 2010
    Forest Grove, OR
    Poop board are great, and they catch a lot, but let's face it, chickens poop everywhere! Mine roost forwards, backwards and sideways!

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