Chickens won't use ladder


In the Brooder
5 Years
Aug 23, 2014
Perth, Australia
As the title states my chickens won't go up or down their ladder. I've tried putting their food at the bottom to try encourage them but they won't budge. We have placed them on the ladder and they can definitely climb it. Any suggestions would be helpful.

My experience is limited, but I find that my chickens prefer a solid plank (with cleats) to an open ladder. It wouldn't be much trouble to add a back to your ladder, and see if it helps. The back could me nothing more than a piece of 1/4" plywood fitted between the two side rails.
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It took my chickens a couple days to get the hang of it. If you tempt them with treats, such as a trail of mealworms they can definitely see, that will help give them incentive. You can pick them up and kind of "walk" them up the ladder too. It may seem hopeless, but don't worry! Patience is definitely key and they'll surprise you one day by using it all on their own!
We have tried several ladders. A couple with one main stringer and sticks running across that they will use but don't prefer. They may be too small or wobbly. I think they like something they can trust more. We did a 2x4 with some shingles on. I think they wanted something a little wider. Finally we just went with a piece of 1/2" plywood with shingles on and they seem to like it, it's 12" wide so it's like a mini freeway. The ones they didn't like they even opted for climbing the fencing that is sloped at about 60 deg leading to the coop door. Had to do something better than letting them resort to that, felt bad for them. They seem happy now.
Thanks for the suggestions :)

This afternoon i placed each chicken near the bottom of the ladder and they all walked up fine. Left them for a while and came back to one of the chickens sitting half way down the ladder. Woohoo! We have made progress.

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