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Have roost but hens won't use - HELP

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Canarygirl, Mar 22, 2007.

  1. Canarygirl

    Canarygirl Out Of The Brooder

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    Does anyone else have this problem? Have a very nice roost, made with multi tiers, 2" round like I read here, but the girls insist on huddling in a corner instead. What should I do? [​IMG]
     
  2. Canarygirl

    Canarygirl Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 17, 2007
    Also should the rungs be round or square?
     
  3. eggchel

    eggchel Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    You didnt mention what breed and age your girls are. If they are silkies, they most likely will never roost. Silkies sleep in piles. LOL If they are frizzles, you will need to put the roost very low for them, since they have trouble flying. And, if they are very young, they just dont know they are supposed to roost,[​IMG].

    So, if they are frizzled or silkies, put a very very low roost in place that they can hop up and down from easily, or put in a ladder or ramp to a higher roost, or just make them a nice pile of bedding in the corner. Dont let them sleep in the nest boxes.... they will poop them up.

    If they are regular chickens who should be able to roost, just go in the coop each night, in the dark or with a dim flashlight, and move them up to the roost. If the light is on, they may just jump back down, but if it is dark, they will stay where you place them. After a few nights they will start to get the idea.

    Note, if your roost is really really high and your coop is too narrow for them to fly up or is without any midway point to jump up and down from, they may have trouble getting up there, and worse yet, they may break an egg internally if they hit the floor too hard on the way down.

    chel

    PS, I tried moving some of mine when it was still light and it turned into a real circus with them jumping back down as fast as I could pick them up and place them on the roosts. I even had one use my bent over back as a step for hopping back to the floor. LOL That was in the pen that I call The Rascals.
     
  4. eggchel

    eggchel Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Sorry, forgot the part about the rungs. Round in easier on their feet, but if you live in a severe winter weather area, use a 2x4 with the 4 inch surface for them to roost on. That way they squat down and can keep their toes warm and avoid frostbite.


    chel
     
  5. bigzio

    bigzio Overrun With Chickens

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    Alot of younger birds prefer to be together at night.
    Leaving a light on at night prevents piling also.

    Once your birds become older they will like being off the ground floor at night. Sometimes it takes quite a while before they move to the roost, pretty normal and nothing to worry about....

    bigzio
     
  6. Canarygirl

    Canarygirl Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks all for your replys. Yes they are only 17 weeks and I tried roosting them myself for a few nights and it seems to be working. They are Buff orpingtons. Thanks again
     
  7. nguyenkinhphuc2

    nguyenkinhphuc2 Out Of The Brooder

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    Question: my chicken run with attached chicken coop is pretty moisture during spring time. Is there any way to train young chickens to stay away from ground at night?
     
  8. ClockRoach

    ClockRoach New Egg

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    We've got two buff orpingtons and a barred rock, and for the longest time they'd always huddle in the corner or in the nesting box. They're finally starting to sleep on the roost now that they're a good four or five months old and one of them has just started laying.

    If your roost is suitable, just be patient.
     
  9. countrygirl86

    countrygirl86 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My chicks slept on the floor for the first week that they were in the coop. Then one night I went out after dark and placed all of them on the roost bars. After that they 'got' it and have been sleeping on the bars every night since. They are now nearly a year old.
     
  10. PapaChaz

    PapaChaz Overrun With Chickens

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    their nature is to sleep as high as they can, protection from ground dwelling night time predators. Eventually they'll go up to the roosts, if they aren't using them yet, they just aren't ready to
     

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