davidbaggaley

In the Brooder
Aug 28, 2019
2
13
14
Hi everyone

This is my first post in the forum after being able to find plenty of advice on this forum over the past 2 years since owning chickens.

When I first purchased my hens, I had a simple coop where as the hens walked in, they effectively walked onto the perches which were just above ground level (which was a giant tray that could be pulled out and bedding cleaned). No jumping was required as they basically stepped onto the perches. At night, all the chickens slept on the perches and not in the nest box and all was good.

I've recently upgraded the coop to a larger on and the perches are now approx. 2ft off the ground. So as they walk in, it's just bedding and they can walk all around but have to hop up onto the perches.

The problem I have is that at night, all the chickens happily go into the new coop but all settle down to sleep on the floor.

For the past 2 weeks, I've gone out every night, and carefully picked each chicken up and placed them on the perch to encourage the right behaviour. I've gone out each morning and they are all still up on the perch so must be happy. They each hop down independently when the door is opened so again, this is no problem.

There are two roost bars at the same height and plenty of space.

Is it just a matter of time establishing the new routing or is there anything else I can try or has anyone else had a similar issue. I'm afraid that as we all know, chickens are creatures of habit, and they are now happy waiting for me to come out at night and lift them up which they see as their new routine. I clearly don't want to have diva chickens so anything I can do to encourage them up on their own would be advice greatly received.

Thanks

David
 

cavemanrich

Addict
Premium Feather Member
7 Years
Apr 6, 2014
17,653
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Melrose Park Illinois
Try to place a box or something like,, that would be a stepping stone area at half the height. Maybe your chickens are not up to flying up 2 feet. If you have an intermediate area 1 foot up, and then to the roost another 1 foot. You may get them to go on their own.
Give it a try and see. I know my chickens try to get as high as possible in their coop.
WISHING YOU BEST,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, and :welcome
 

21hens-incharge

Moderator
BYC Staff
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Mar 9, 2014
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:welcome

X2 the above suggestions.

Do they have roosts in the run that they have been on and off during the day?

If not adding something at a lower height than the roost in the coop might help them learn the jump up part.

Maybe adding a ladder they can use to get on the roost in the coop would help....but a box would certainly be easier.
 

TexasWineGuy

Songster
Jun 15, 2019
274
469
136
Magnolia, TX
I'm going to go with "give them time." They instinctively roost in high places (safer) so it my take a couple weeks.

One thing to consider, can you make the roost bar higher? Increasing the distance between the floor and roost bar may encourage them to "seek higher ground."

In my new coop, my roost bar is about 51" above ground. They went to that bar the very first night all by themselves.

TWG
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
27,850
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Southeast Louisiana
Welcome to the forum, glad you joined and can now give us the advantage of your experience.

They are not Silkies that can't fly, are they? You said the coop is larger, so I'll assume there is plenty of room for them to spread their wings and fly up and down. For some reason do they need a ramp or ladder? Do they have enough light to see by is a good question.

I don't see it as necessary that they sleep on the roosts. Some Silkies,young chicks before they start to roost, broody hens with chicks sleep on the floor and it doesn't hurt them. But if you feel that you need to get them to roost, I'd keep doing what you are, put them on the roost after dark. I don't know of any other way to give them the message.
 

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