Finding the roost in new coop(tractor)

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by jboc, Jan 30, 2017.

  1. jboc

    jboc New Egg

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    Jan 10, 2017
    New to chickens. Moved my first tenants into my freshly built tractor Saturday and so far they are just sleeping huddled in a corner.

    The roost is 2 feet up and has a ladder/stairs for access. 4 feet wide and only four hens.

    Should I assume they just need a little more time to explore to find the way up? I've read of people putting them up a few times to show them to use it, but there isn't really room for me to get in and do that. Plus, I'm more of a non-interventionist.

    Thanks for any thoughts.

    Jbo
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    My Coop
    Welcome!
    How old are the birds you moved into the new setup? The sleeping huddle is a common "issue" that folks with young birds will see - birds that are not raised in a flock situation with older birds/mother hen to show them to go to roost can take longer to get the idea.
    How were they housed prior to the move (ie in your brooder, in the previous owner's coop, etc)? If they were previously accustomed to roosting, this is likely more a matter of a reaction to the change.
    Have you noticed if they have explored the roosts at all outside of sleeping hours - ie during the day?
    What is the construction of the roost itself - round/flat, size, etc?
    What breed(s) are you housing?
    I did notice there does not appear to be any way for outside light to get into the coop from this photo - are there openings or windows in the sides that are not shown? A dark coop that is unfamiliar can delay exploration of the roosts at night as the birds do not have sufficient light to get properly situated and settle for the huddle instead.
     
  3. jboc

    jboc New Egg

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    Jan 10, 2017
    The birds are 14 weeks and were part of a large flock kept in a large barn with multiple coop areas.

    The roost is a smooth tree branch about 2" in diameter.

    The coop does not have light openings. I didn't read about that being helpful before the build. I suppose I could retrofit. It is mostly open at the bottom, so it's not dark by any means during daylight hours.

    I've not noticed them exploring it during the day, but obviously I could have missed it.

    I've been leaning toward it just being "move stress." Just want to make sure I'm not missing anything. I suppose there's nothing wrong with the huddle, but it would be polite of them to use the roost since I made it for them. :)

    Thanks for the quick reply.

    Jbo
     
  4. jboc

    jboc New Egg

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    Jan 10, 2017
    Mix of breeds: buff Orpington, barred rock, black australorp, and an Easter egger.
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Windows for light, and especially ventilation, are important.
    It might be bright enough during the day, but not necessarily near dusk/roosting time
    What does the inside look like...how do they get up into coop??
     
  6. jboc

    jboc New Egg

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    Jan 10, 2017
    I have ventilation openings on the peak not visible in the pic, but it's narrow and won't let in much light.

    Saw one of the girls on my ladder yesterday and she was struggling with balance. I think the rungs are too narrow for them to grip. I'm going to make them a new ladder this evening using a solid board and strips instead. I'm guessing that will resolve the "problem".

    Jbo
     
  7. jboc

    jboc New Egg

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    Jan 10, 2017
    When I got home yesterday one of my girls was on the roost. I made and installed a new ladder anyway just to make it easier for them.

    In any case, 'problem' solved.

    Thanks.

    Jbo
     

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