Help, hens & roo not roosting

KLC321

Chirping
Dec 2, 2017
30
37
64
I have 6 elderly chickens and recently added 3 new hens and a roo. They are almost 5 months old. The new hens and roo were in a smaller, adjoining coop and run for a month before moving in. My problem is that the new birds won't roost with the other hens and roost in the laying boxes. The laying boxes get chicken manure in them from the new hens and roo and are impossible to keep clean. I have 2x4 roosts about 2' off the floor of the hen house. There is plenty of room for all the chickens. I tried going out after dark and placing them on the roost. They jumped right off and went back to the nesting boxes. I've never had this problem with young hens. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

CluckerFamily

Crowing
Feb 14, 2016
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Wisconsin
How long have they been fully integrated? They are at the bottom of the pecking order and still need to figure out and be excepted. Are you up before the first egg is layed in the morning? You could block the nesting boxes at night. If you have the room, you could add an additional roost farther away from the others.
I have EEs, when I first started, all the chickens were different colors and I had two that were white/blonde. At night all the ladies would roost scrunched together away from the blonde ones but eventually, they figured things out an now everyone roosts together.
 

KLC321

Chirping
Dec 2, 2017
30
37
64
Thanks for your help. They have been in the larger coop for about a month, maybe a bit longer. I can try to block off the nesting boxes and see about another roost.
 

KLC321

Chirping
Dec 2, 2017
30
37
64
Lengthwise roost is 6 ' long, widthwise roost is 3'9" long. Yes roost is higher than the nesting boxes 20200926_075957.jpg
 

rosemarythyme

Crossing the Road
Jul 3, 2016
12,248
22,644
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WA, Pac NW
My Coop
Older birds are hogging the roosts. You could try putting a temporary roost that's a bit lower, to train the younger group to at least use it, then when they're feeling more confident they'll try moving up to the regular roosts.

Nest boxes can be covered just before the chickens head in for the night, and then uncovered once it's completely dark and birds are settled (so you don't have to worry about rushing out to uncover them in the morning for early layers).
 

One Lucky Momma

Chicken Kisser
Premium Feather Member
Apr 25, 2020
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Madison Co, NC
Are the older birds truly unwelcoming to the younger ones and discouraging them from using the roosts? Or the younger birds just not comfortable yet?

They used roosts in their first coop?
 

KLC321

Chirping
Dec 2, 2017
30
37
64
They were using the roosts in their other coop. The roosts were bamboo poles and fit their small feet. The new roosts are 2x4s. I can try and put up some bamboo poles for them to transition to the bigger roosts. I don't see a lot of older hens picking on the younger ones, but I don't see what goes on at night when they go into the coop. I can try covering up the nesting boxes but I'm afraid they will hang out on the floor and get manure on their backs and heads from the roosting hens.
 

CluckerFamily

Crowing
Feb 14, 2016
1,936
4,370
301
Wisconsin
Chickens can't see very well or at all at night. Do you have lights on inside? Chickens will get situated at dusk and they won't move again until they can see at dawn. You may want to just put them on the roosts when it is dark out, wear a head lamp so they don't resituate with a coop light.
 

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