Getting pullets & cockerels to use new roosts

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by QChickieMama, Oct 6, 2016.

  1. QChickieMama

    QChickieMama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My 2 cockerels & 12 pullets have been roosting on top of the nest box, a 2'x3' wood surface. I do not know how they cram all on there. I've installed 3 awesome roosts for them, but when I peeked at them last night, they were all back on top of the nest box. Duh.

    I carried 5 pullets over to a roost and left them there--it was dark.

    Will waiting make them transition or should I move the nest box to make them find the roosts?
     
  2. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

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    How old are they? If they have not approached laying age, and it's not too difficult to take the box out, that would be an easy solution. You could then put it back when they are approaching laying age. Otherwise, you will have to remove them from the top of box every night and put them on the roosts. Are the roosts HIGHER than the top of box? If not, you may need to re-assess. Since chickens will ALMOST ALWAYS choose to roost on highest surface, putting the roosts higher than nest box top may solve the problem. A bit of info about your coop, perches and dimensions of both would be helpful. How many birds? How long are perches, what are they made of, how high are they mounted off floor? How close to the wall? How tall is the inside of your coop? How many birds?
     
  3. QChickieMama

    QChickieMama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The pullets have been laying for about a month now, or just some of them. The roosts are higher than the nest box.

    The pen is a 10x10 chain-link dog run with one wall being a wood tack room wall. The 4th chain-link wall is the room, plus some metal siding panels and some chicken wire & tarps.

    The highest perch is 4" wide wood trim and 3' long, hung at 15" from ceiling. The next roost is a 10' tree trunk that's about 3" diameter. The lowest roost is a 2x6 that's maybe 13' long and 2' from ceiling. The birds can hop from a dust bath bin that's 2' high to the first roost that's 5 or 6' from ground. I've seen a few of them hop up there during the day.

    All 3 roosts are hung in a corner that has a tarp hung on the outside to protect from weather.
     
  4. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

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    Your issue MAY be that the perches are TOO high. While chickens like to roost high, many LF birds are heavy set and find it difficult to manage the high flights both up and down. I wonder what would happen if you put a perch in there that was about 3' off the ground?
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Can you post some pics of your roosts and 'coop'?
    The roosts are 'hung'.....like from ropes or chains?

    Ditto on the 'might be too high' especially if coop has a smaller footprint, there might not be room to fly down and land safely.
     

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