Do They HAVE to Roost??

jenkassai

Songster
8 Years
Apr 28, 2011
279
2
111
My "flock" has a very nice roost built by my husband, but they seem to prefer to sleep on the floor! Twice I have moved them after dark. I really thought this would be it, after last night, they would go to roost on their roost! I could tell they stayed put last night after I moved them (by all the droppings under the roost) but when I just went out to check them tonight, there they were, on the floor, except for the one girl who has decided to roost on the container that I keep their bag of feed in!!! I think it is wide enough, wide side of a 2x4, and seems high enough, but not too high for the big girls to get off of. Is this something that I should be concerned about? I was thinking that in the winter it probably will be warmer for them to snuggle into the straw, piled together, than to sleep on the roost. I just didn't know if there was some specific reason that they HAD to sleep on the roost? Other than it if they don't use it it's a waste of my husband's time and some good lumber
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tarragon

Chirping
8 Years
Mar 3, 2011
149
0
99
Bothell, WA
How old are they? It seems common for them to pile up when they are still somewhat young. Mine did that when they first moved from the brooder to the coop, after a few weeks they started using the perch.
 

jenkassai

Songster
8 Years
Apr 28, 2011
279
2
111
Quote:
They range in age from 19 - 23 weeks. I think the problem is that when they moved outside from the brooder, their temporary coop was an XL Dogloo, where they slept in a group on the floor of the Dogloo. They've been in their coop for about a month. I'm wondering if it's too much of a habit now for them to break? They did have roosts in their run before their coop was done, and they would all sit on them in the morning after they'd roamed around and scratched around the run a bit. They also do occasionally sit on the roost in the coop, because I've found droppings on the roosts. I will try to get pics today. There is a low bar and a higher bar, so they can jump from one to the other, and plenty of space for everyone to fit on one.
 

TroutsChicks

Fluffy Stuffins
8 Years
Jun 5, 2011
506
0
99
baxter Tn
At 9 weeks old mine started to freak out and HAD to have roosts in the coop and no longer stayed on the floor. It was all of a sudden too. I went into the coop and they had one 2x4 in there that the water and feed hangs off of, and the next thing i know i have 16 chickens trying to climb up me and bouncing off the walls of the coop trying to get onto me. I yelled for the DH and he came in to find me with 6 chickens on me. I thought it was a snake or something..nope they wanted roosts and they wanted them now! so mine was a sudden thing..but some of mine started to lay at 19 weeks old. So i think yours doing it now is a habit of having to sleep on the floor . I have round roosts ( made out of a small tree about 4 inchs round ) and then i have some flat ones...maybe add some flat roosts too if you don't have any or round if you don't have any. If you coop is secure along the floor ..I don't think there would be a problem with it.
 

jenkassai

Songster
8 Years
Apr 28, 2011
279
2
111
Here are a couple pics of the roost. They DO hop up there during the day, they just don't sleep up there. And yes, my coop is secure along the floor and the floor is concrete.

89229_smigecrw1.jpg


89229_roost1.jpg
 

chickmashnoon

Songster
8 Years
Jun 3, 2011
449
23
129
Champaign County, Illinois
I think it's more of a comfort factor than a necessity. Wild chickens roost in trees and bushes and trees cause they are less likely to be found by predators than when they are on the ground. So if they are safely enclosed, it won't matter, but the typical little chicken brain likes to roost up high and the head chicken will usually have the top perch.
 

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