chickens not really using roost

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Be a chicken, Jul 12, 2015.

  1. Be a chicken

    Be a chicken New Egg

    Jul 12, 2015
    My chicken are growing but not laying yet. They all like to sleep in a big pile in the nesting box instead of on the roost and im worried they will continue to do this and end up with really dirty eggs. I tried bocking off the box to force the issue and they seemed miserable and spilled all their water. Will they start to roost naturally?
  2. luvchickens1

    luvchickens1 New Egg

    Jul 12, 2015
    I appreciate your question. My 21 week old jersey giants are doing the same thing. There is plenty of room in the coop but they all huddle to one double nesting box. I have it closed off right now and they are all huddled in the space I would expect 3 of them to roost in. Some on the floor.
  3. Be a chicken

    Be a chicken New Egg

    Jul 12, 2015
    So you think keeping it closed off is the right move?
  4. luvchickens1

    luvchickens1 New Egg

    Jul 12, 2015
    I read on another forum to keep it closed until right before they start to lay eggs. I had the nesting boxes open, then closed them after reading about someone else with this problem. Another forum said to place the chicken on the roosts if you can. My coop is too small for me to move the chickens without disturbing all of them. My husband is making me a bigger coop. Not sure what I will do in the mean time if they start laying. Hopefully if they sleep in one double nesting box they will use the other one for laying eggs. They are probably 3 weeks from laying eggs. I have 13 chickens and this is my first time with chickens. All I know I have read on these forums.
  5. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

    Mar 9, 2014
    My Coop
    How old are your birds in weeks? Knowing a bit more about your coop and how it is setup inside will go a long way in offering the best advice for your situation - there are many reasons that birds may choose to sleep in a place other than on the roost you want them to use. The best scenario would include you posting some photos so that we can actually see what you are describing.
  6. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

    Feb 18, 2011
    Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC! X2 pictures might give an idea of why your girls don't want to roost.
    Keeping nesting boxes closed off until they lay is a good idea, you don't want them to get in the habit of sleeping in the boxes and making them dirty like you said.
    Roosting is an age thing to some extent and younger bigger birds often prefer the floor... make sure your roosts are higher than your nesting boxes, easy to get on/off of for the birds (ladder or roosts of multiple heights) (do they use the roosts during the day at all?) and wide enough so the birds are comfortable on them (2x4 wide side up is popular)
  7. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO. Premium Member

    Jun 15, 2012
    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC! I'm glad you joined us! :)
  8. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    What breed are your chickens ?. Silkies for instance don't fly but are good jumpers. They prefer to pile UP in a corner, etc. and don't use roosts. With their big crests and beards obscuring their vision they don't see as well as other breeds.
  9. Chook Newby

    Chook Newby Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 1, 2016
    Wagga Wagga

    I know this post is a little old but I am having a similar problem. I have 4, 5 moth old chickens and they didn't seem to have a clue how to roost. They are not laying and most probably wont until Spring (we are just coming into Winter here).

    I admit they didn't have high roosts to start with (just low ones) so they just huddle all squsihed in the nesting boxes at night. About 2 weeks ago I placed a tree branch high in their coop. After another week one of my girls gave it a go, but only one. They do not have their mother around to teach them so maybe its just a matter of time before they work it out themselves. Although they do get up on things in the back year so maybe thats their way of roosting. Funny little things!

    I'd love to hear how your girls are going with their roosting [​IMG]

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