Help teaching my chickies to roost!!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by e_roehm23, Dec 4, 2010.

  1. e_roehm23

    e_roehm23 New Egg

    Nov 5, 2010
    We recently inherited some chickens- 3 silkies, 1 Japanese Banty, and 2 Ameraucanas. Our coop was very make-shift, and today we FINALLY got the new hen house out and and fencing expanded:))

    So, now that they have actual roosts inside their hen houses, how do I get them to use the roosts?? Tonight the Ameraucanas were sleeping in the nesting box together. The three silkies were sleeping all together in one nesting box, and the Jap Banty was in her usual spot- roosting on top the nesting boxes:( This is quite strange because I think she is at the bottom of the pecking order.

    Can someone tell me how to get them to use the roosts? The roosts are higher than the boxes at about 3.5 -4.5 ft up, with no ladders. It is near freezing tonight, so maybe they're cold?? We don't have insulation in the coops or heat lamps.

  2. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    First, I've never had any of these breeds, but have read on here that silkies basically can't fly, so will roost on a low roost or else not roost at all. You'll have to close off the nest boxes at night. I hope you have pine shavings or hay or something like that on the floor, because that is probably the next place they will sleep. That may be a little high for the others to get up to without a ladder, or they may do fine getting up there, I don't know. You can normally train chickens to roost simply by placing them on the roosts, or they will go themselves if they are old enough. How old are they?

    If it's only near freezing tonight where you are, you shouldn't need heat or insulation. Chickens come with good natural insulation. They do need a comfortable palce to roost, though, which something like a broomstick is not. The wide side of a 2x4 is often recommended.

    You do need ventilation at a high point in the coop to let their humid air and ammonia out. One of the most common mistakes people not real familiar with chickens are likely to make is too little ventilation. Here is some good reading on the subject:
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 4, 2010
  3. spartacus_63

    spartacus_63 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 21, 2009
    Central Iowa
    They will figure it out. The Japanese are good fliers and mine tend to roosT on high spots where the LF can't get to.

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