Chickens will not roost!! Tried everything!!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by urbanchicks76, Jun 25, 2010.

  1. urbanchicks76

    urbanchicks76 Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 14, 2010
    We have 5 chickens. They are almost 20 weeks and they just will not roost... and no none are silkies. At first all 5 started pilling themselves on top of a tiny ledge in the coop. I don't kow how they all fit but they jammed them selves up there. I closed off that area so they could not get up there. Then they started sleeping in the nesting boxes. I closed them off but now that they are almost 20 weeks I am afraid they might start laying soon so I took the hard wire cloth off and they are right back in the boxes. I raises the roost higher thinking it was not heigh enough still no luck. I changed the roost to a wider flat board thinking it would be easier for them to get on. I have gone out several times late at night and tried to place them on but they all freak out and jump right off. Is there anything else I can do to train these little buggers? Don't they know they are chickens? Seriously what should I be doing. I feel like giving up!!
  2. aubreynoramarie

    aubreynoramarie designated lawn flamingo

    May 27, 2010
    Reno, Nevada
    [​IMG] maybe just let them sleep where they want and let nature take its course eventually? although five of five chickens not roosting seems odd, but from what ive learned, if one chickens does something, the others will follow suit. lets hope one gets it!

    maybe they wont perch because they arent comfortable? perhaps you should let them sleep in the silly places until they feel comfortable anough to roam around and fine the perches? all in all id say let them be
    Outdoorlover likes this.
  3. acid_chipmunk

    acid_chipmunk Polish Silkies d'Uccles O my!

    Mar 29, 2010
    Do you have light in your coop for them to see to get on the roost? If I don't have the light on my my coops at night, mine can't see the roosts to get on and they end up sleeping on the floor. I wait until they are all up and then shut the light off for the night.

    Good luck!
    Outdoorlover likes this.
  4. Mervin

    Mervin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 25, 2010
    Central Pennsyltucky
    Quote:Interesting. I was wondering why half of my dozen don't get up on the roost. They all did a couple of times, but I've been putting them in later as of late. Maybe I'll try the light thing. Thanks.
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I'm usually a proponent of letting them sleep on the floor until they are instinctively ready to roost, but that is usually around 11 or 12 weeks, not 20. I think it is time for you to intervene.

    Light may be the key. They do need light to see to get on the roost. It doesn't take much, but they really can't see in the dark. If the coop is quite a bit darker than the outside, they may come in too late to see to get to the roosts.

    On the other hand, if they can see to get on the roosts, maybe you have too much light. If you are positioning them on the roosts and they can see to come off, they may want to go back to where they are comfortable. If you have enough light they can see after you put them on the roost, I suggest making it darker so that when you put them on the roosts, they cannot see to get down. And use as little light as possible when you put them on the roosts. Hopefully after just a few nights of positioning them on the roosts, they will get it figured out.

    Good luck!
    Outdoorlover likes this.
  6. urbanchicks76

    urbanchicks76 Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 14, 2010
    Thank you so much for the advice. Yes it is pretty dark in the coop. The small ledge they use to sleep on was the only place a small amount of light would come in so that would make sense. I will try it tonight. I knew there had to be something else I could try [​IMG]

    Does the size of the roosting bar matter. Will they still roost if its a flat piece of wood and not round for their feet to wrap around?
  7. flgardengirl

    flgardengirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 2, 2009
    Sunny side up :)
    I let them all sleep wherever they want. I have 5 huge Marans roosters that will not sleep on the perch at all. These are all the highest ranking roos too in the bachelor pad. You would think the higher rankers would want the perch but its backwards in that coop lol.
    Outdoorlover likes this.
  8. urbanchicks76

    urbanchicks76 Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 14, 2010
    is it true if they sleep in the nesting box they will not lay in there?
  9. BigBen

    BigBen Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 29, 2008
    I know that if the roost isn't higher than the nesting box they will roost there. They will always try to roost in the highest place.
  10. greathorse

    greathorse Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 1, 2008
    Northern Colorado
    Leave them alone I have never seen one that did not roost sooner or later. Some just start very late. I think the bigger meat birds are less likely to roost, but your egg layers will almost without exception

    Edited to admit to skimming your post. If they are roosting in the egg boxes I would block them off until they start laying. They are far more likely to quit laying in a corner and go to a nest box than they are to quit roosting in your egg boxes. I had a few that roosted in the egg boxes. I went out and fairly rudely rousted them out of there. It didnt take them too long to get on the roost.

    I would add that your roosts should for sure be the highest available point in the house. They will normally roost on the highest spot
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2010

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