Hens won't perch at night?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by flockoffour, Aug 17, 2012.

  1. flockoffour

    flockoffour Chillin' With My Peeps

    176
    6
    96
    Jun 28, 2012
    West Coast
    My pullets are 16 weeks now and they still are crfam themselves into ONE nesting box! I don't even know how this is possible with their size! Their perch is about 6 inches off of the ground, and they show no interest in it. Should I let them figure it out on their own, or should i block the nesting boxes?
     
  2. moomoodiddy

    moomoodiddy Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,165
    268
    211
    Jun 7, 2012
    Union County, NC
    just let them do what they wont some chicken dont perch they may like the secruity of piling up in the nest box. my silkies do the same thing
     
  3. Lots A Cluckin

    Lots A Cluckin Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,830
    44
    178
    Feb 28, 2012
    I would say the perch/roost is too low.....we made a ladder type roost and the lowest one is twelve inches off of the floor and no one gets on it because it is too low the bars are 12 inches apart and we have 5 bars on the roost and they use only the top three never the bottom 2..and about them sleeping in the nesting boxes...it is not a good idea to let them sleep in it because they will poop in it and then who ever lays in there it will get the eggs dirty..and another reason to not let them sleep in there is because they will see it only as a place to sleep and not a place to lay their eggs.
     
  4. themadchicken

    themadchicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,159
    78
    163
    Feb 2, 2012
    Lehi Utah
    i agree. do not let them sleep in the nest box. if you have to block it for a couple days do it. i have read that roosts should be about 16" off of the floor. how tall is the coop and do they have room to fly? my roosts are about 36" off of the floor. i have seen chickens roosting 12 feet up in a tree and barn rafters. i had to go out and lift them up on the roost for a week or so before they got the hang of it.
     
  5. Mtn Laurel

    Mtn Laurel Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,534
    176
    186
    May 18, 2012
    Northern Virginia
    My Coop
    You do need to block them from the nesting box and raise your roost a bit, I think. I had a similar problem that was due to design flaw in our chicken tractor. The nesting boxes had a divider between the two boxes that was taller than the roost. So they perched on the divider and pooped in the nesting box. Or they would sleep in the nesting box and poop in it. Either way the nesting box was full of poo every morning. Ugh.

    I removed the divider and raised the roost. Not by a lot, just by two inches so that it was higher than the nesting boxes. Also blocked off the nesting boxes for a few days to make sure they wouldn't sleep in there. I blocked them by putting an empty gallon milk jug in each one.
    The girls are now sleeping on the roost and the nesting boxes are clean each morning! [​IMG]
     
  6. daniela

    daniela New Egg

    4
    0
    6
    Feb 1, 2010
    I have two hen's raised from pullets who use their perch which is a couple of feet from the ground with 2 levels (They both use the top level to sleep). I purchased 4 abused hen's from an egg farm who have been using a disused dog kennel in which to sleep for the past 5 months. Tonight I moved the 4 hen's into the chicken coop with the other 2 hen's (hoping they might learn to sit on a perch). To no avail. Threee hen's remain on the ground huddled next to each other and one is on the ground alone. As the weather is getting cooler and stormy here in Australia I made the decision to place the hen's in the coop with the perches. It is my intention to leave them be and hopefully they will figure it out for themselves though I have my doubts. I guess hen's sleep where they feel safe and comfortable!
     
  7. yyz0yyz0

    yyz0yyz0 Chillin' With My Peeps

    611
    84
    144
    May 2, 2012
    I kept my nest boxes blocked off till the hens started to lay so they would not be hanging out in there.

    To me as long as they are all in the coop at night I don't care if they use the roosts or not. I personally would not take the time to move them to the roost at night, but that's just me. I really don't see that it matters one way or the other, of course I might be missing some reason why they "should' always sleep on a roost.
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. ajonsie

    ajonsie Just Hatched

    5
    0
    13
    Apr 10, 2014
    D'Iberville, MS
    I have the same problem but it's the design of our coop. We live in the city so I can only have two. We don't have room for a large coop. There are two perching bars just inches from the nesting boxes but only an inch off the floor or "tray". My babies would much rather perch out on our back porch window sill but I can't let them do that either. Unless they've been disturbed in the night, they generally leave the other nesting box alone. I pray this means they will use it when the time comes. They hate to leave each other's side and prefer to snuggle under one another. I don't know if blocking the nesting boxes would do much for me. :(
     
  9. cordelegagirl

    cordelegagirl New Egg

    4
    0
    9
    Nov 2, 2015
    Hi I would like to know is it ok for them to sleep on top of the chicken coop cause mines wont roo at night on their poles that we have placed
     
  10. tsmith91

    tsmith91 Chillin' With My Peeps

    109
    5
    53
    Mar 17, 2015
    Woodlawn Virginia
    Mine won't sleep in their coop they roost in the run
     
    1 person likes this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by