Chickens will not use roost

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by eggspletive!, Dec 19, 2009.

  1. eggspletive!

    eggspletive! Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 9, 2009
    My chickens will not use their roost, and instead huddle together in the wood shavings in the corner of their coop right in front of the window, presumably the coldest, draftiest part of the coop. I cleaned out the coop today and discovered that that while the rest of the shavings were nice and dry, that corner was totally soaked through to the wood floor.

    They have a 2x4 roost just a few inches away, wide part up. It is painted white, if that matters, and is about a foot off the ground. We've tried placing them on the roost repeatedly but they hop right off. I think this must be our fault for taking so long to build the roost. We didn't build it until they were about 2 months old.

    What can we do to convince them to get up off the cold, wet, drafty floor and onto their nice, warm, dry roost?
  2. beerman

    beerman Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 7, 2008
    Smithville, il
    My chickens will not roost on a 2x4 so I use a old wood ladder and they love it.
  3. cook_kaka_ook

    cook_kaka_ook Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 29, 2009
    My silkie doesn't roost at all. But the rest of the flock do. What type of breed are yours?
  4. eggspletive!

    eggspletive! Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 9, 2009
    Well they were a Welsummer, an Araucana, and a Buff Orp, but we lost the Welsummer and haven't gotten a replacement yet. However this behavior has been consistent the whole time we've had them.
  5. ReiMiraa

    ReiMiraa Chillin' With My Peeps

    for a long time my chicks (later hens) wouldn't roost. they would go in the doghouse (in a specific order) and 'dogpile' each other. it was cute while it lasted...
  6. chookchick

    chookchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 18, 2008
    Olympia WA
    How old are they? They may not roost until they are mature, just keep the corner clean and they'll be fine.
  7. SquirrelGirl

    SquirrelGirl Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 9, 2009
    Maybe use something skinnier than a 2x4? I personally think they like to wrap their little toes around the wood like they would in a tree [​IMG]
  8. australorpchick

    australorpchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 18, 2009
    Canyon Lake, TX
    I have 8 full size chickens dogpiling on the 2' x 3' top of the nest box, in front of the window. The 8'+ roosting pole is occupied by 3 silkies and the CM. [​IMG]
  9. shallowbranch

    shallowbranch Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 17, 2009
    I think it has to do with the size. I use 2 x 2's I think they would rather grab something like a branch than stand on something like a shelf.
  10. fargosmom

    fargosmom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 27, 2008
    Pasadena, CA
    Au contraire mon frer. Our hens are comfy on a 2x4 with the wide side up, edges nicely rounded off. If you scout around the forum you'll find that hens appreciate a wide perch that allows them to cover their toes with their feathers, keeping the toes warm and preventing frostbite in freezing weather. I suspect if OP continues to place the girls on the roost for the next few nights they'll get the idea - that's what it took with our chooks. All in all they'd much prefer to sleep in an elevated spot than huddled on the ground.

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