Chickens not roosting in the coop

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by ncffp163, Nov 19, 2017.

  1. Giggles73

    Giggles73 In the Brooder

    Mar 7, 2017
    Hooper, Utah
    yes higher than nesting boxes, its about 3' high off the floor at its highest point. I'm putting in a new one that is longer and higher based on what I have read here and in other groups about it needing to be higher so their heads are 12-18" from the ceiling. my girls are quite large, my cochins don't fly at all. its all trial and error I guess, but like I said they were roosting just fine until it got cold, so I tend to think the boxes are just cozier to them for some reason. It's hard to get pic's of the inside because I am usually home after it is getting dark already. but I will try tonight.
    black_dove2 and aart like this.
  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    At a minimum.....but really, the lower the better.
    Roost only needs to be about 12" above bottom of nests,
    so they don't sleep in nests,
    no reason for roost to be higher than that.
    black_dove2 likes this.
  3. Hey there; didn't see an update from you; I've had 2 (now gone) and 2 present roosters that insisted on sleeping in a tree; now the dog pen with no shelter (was great when it was warm, but it's not anymore.) Most of my hens never did this, but when they did; I would just put them in the coop by hand. I made the mistake of letting them overnight w/o shelter in the beginning and lost my very first baby to a skunk. I'll let an ornery roo take his chances, but my gwils, no. And once they get into the habit (it's never taken me more than 3-4 days,) they automatically go 'home' at night. Hope you get them to comply… Maybe check for something spooking them at night. The light sounds like a good idea.
    shawthorne44 and black_dove2 like this.
  4. Toothpick

    Toothpick Songster

    Aug 15, 2016
    I have two sets of chickens. Roughly 8 months apart so I keep them separate for now. But for both I put them in the coop as chicks and locked them in for at least a week before I let them in to the run. I think this helped get them used to the coop and learn it as "home". So every night around dusk they all make their way inside the coop.

    I like the suggestion of gently forcing them in there. Or the light. Unless you are worried about predators there is also no harm in letting them do what they please.
    black_dove2 likes this.
  5. CoopersburgChick

    CoopersburgChick In the Brooder

    Nov 10, 2017
    My seven month old chickens have been roosting on a higher beam outside in the run. Now that it gets cold I have to go out, pick all 8 of them off one by one, put them in the hen house and lock the door. The light wasn’t enough to attract them. I’ll go through this for 3-4 days, they’ll get the message -for a while and when I think they’ve got it now, we’ll go through it again.
    black_dove2 likes this.
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    ..or you could lower, or remove, the beam outside.
  7. alexa009

    alexa009 Free Ranging

    Apr 6, 2017
    My Coop
    My chickens would never sleep in their coop when I first started raising them, then I bought a new batch of chicks last early spring and as they turned into pullets. I would start putting them on the roosting bar myself and This made the older chickens want to get on too. Now all 10 of the chickens try to get on the roosting bar which really only fits 6 and if the others ones beat them to it there is no room and the other hens are on the floor of the coop for the night. That is why I am thinking of fitting in another roosting bar. Maybe you can try putting them on. I know if they didn't have roosting bars as chicks or pullets, then they usually will not roost when they are older (Still possible though) Older chicks love roosting. Here is a pic of my girls though. 20171207_172918.jpg
    ChuSayBok and black_dove2 like this.
  8. RinzHens

    RinzHens Chirping

    Jul 6, 2017
    rowlett tx
    Went thru this last night with the silly girls. New coop. They go in it in the day and lay but last night in 26 degrees they roosted out in the cold. The new game bird still isn't part of the group so she has a dog kennel of her own. I'm going to try removing all roost bars that aren't in the coop and see if that encourages them to sleep in there. I don't know if I can close the door since the ducks go in and out as well and lay really early. One day ill have a big walk in coop but for now its a small coop in their pen. Thank God Texas doesn't get too cold. My fear is if I cram six sleeping hens and three awake ducks in there it wont be pretty! Plus what do I do with this game bird that's still on the run from the big hens? "Why you don't you just go HOME? That's your HOME! Are you too good for your HOME? ANSWER ME!"
    alexa009 and black_dove2 like this.
  9. GldnValleyHens

    GldnValleyHens Songster

    Apr 21, 2017
    The Driftless Area
    I've got a crazy EE rooster who insists on sleeping on the ground of the run, under the coop. This was fine all summer until now, being in the teens at night. I've started putting him in the coop, hopefully he sees that is is nice and warm in there and goes in by himself so I don't have to lug his flapping, 10 lb body in there. He was bunking with the ducks in their cozy coop, but I'd prefer he stay with his own kind. Haha I've got a hand painted sign that says Ducks only but chickens can't read I guess.....
    Amanita, alexa009 and black_dove2 like this.
  10. RodNTN

    RodNTN Hatchaolic

    May 22, 2013
    The Volunteer State
    My Coop
    black_dove2 likes this.

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