hens won't roost!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Peavy, Oct 7, 2007.

  1. Peavy

    Peavy Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 29, 2007
    Reno, NV
    Hi
    My 5 1/2 month old Delaware hens won't roost on their perch at night, they sleep on the floor of their Rubbermaid shed. The roosting perch has been installed for about 10 days and is about 28 inches off the floor. Should I lower it? Its a single long perch running the length of the small shed. Should I try a ladder style one or maybe a couple going across the width? I worry that with the cold air coming in the door-hole they ought to be up off the floor. Any ideas? Thank you!
     
  2. Rafter 7 Paint Horses

    Rafter 7 Paint Horses Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 13, 2007
    East Texas
    Is the roost round or flat? It may not be strudy enough for your heavy hens. If it is round, it has to be big enough that they can sit on it. Chickens do not hang on like other birds, they sit on their feet. They either don't like it or they don't know they are supposed to be on it.

    If everything is fine about that, try putting them on the roost after they have gone to bed. If they stay, great, and if they don't, do it again the next night and the next and the next...get the idea. Kinda like teaching a child to sleep in their own bed. LOL

    Jean
     
  3. ChickieDee

    ChickieDee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 21, 2007
    North Central PA
    I agree, you'll have to teach them. Put them on it every night. They'll do it on their own after a few times. A ladder would be helpful.
     
  4. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

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    Feb 4, 2007
    Leesville, SC
    With your small coop, it's possible they dont have enough head room. They need about 18" overhead.

    I've used a ramp in the past. It seems they naturally try to climb up when ever the chance presents itself. They always figure it out in the end.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 7, 2007
  5. LittleChickenRacingTeam

    LittleChickenRacingTeam On vacation

    Jan 11, 2007
    Ontario, CANADA
    To this day, 2 white silkies I've had for over a year refuse to roost. I tried lowering the bar, raising the bar, changing the diameter of the bar, putting them on it at night, putting them on it during the day, hanging grapes from above the bar. The only thing I didn't try was putting crazy glue on the bar. NOTHING WORKED.

    They sleep on the shavings with their head tucked in the corner of their cage. So be it, I doubt they are going to change their sleeping habits at this point.
     
  6. Peavy

    Peavy Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 29, 2007
    Reno, NV
    Thank you!
    OK, here's the deal with the roost--it is a square 2"x2" and about 12" from the roof.
    I followed your advice and went out and moved them up on the roost this evening. Incidentally, how much fun is it to sneak up on unsuspecting chickens and move them in their sleep? Ok--I'm easily amused.[​IMG]
    Anyway--I went back out later and two are still on the roost, so that's encouraging.
    Since they are big girls and you mentioned the size of the roost, should I put in a bigger one? I didnt realize that they needed to sit on their feet rather than grasp.
    It would be fairly easy to put in a wider board and move it a little lower, how wide should their roost be, and should it be flat?
     
  7. greginshasta

    greginshasta Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 26, 2007
    Mount Shasta, CA
    I found an interesting material for perches. At the lumber yard they have what (at least around here) are called "stickers". These are disposable pieces of wood that are placed upon pallets so that material that is stacked on the pallet can be removed by a forklift.

    Most of these are 3' or 4' in length, and most are 2" x 3". Some feature square corners, but some have the edges rounded down, which would seem to be an ideal perch.
     
  8. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

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    Feb 4, 2007
    Leesville, SC
    Ok--I'm easily amused.

    Me too.

    The 2x2's are fine. Get some coarse sandpaper, a plane or whtever and round the edges so they aren't sharp. My roosts are 2x4's on edge - in other words a 2" roosting perch. Curtain rods, closet rods, stout hardwood branches - all are good if they are 1.5"-2" in diameter.

    They balance their bodies over their feet while roosting, but they do need to curl and grip their toes on the roost. This is why it is best made of wood. NEVER use metal, its wicked cold in the winter and hurts their feet.​
     
  9. Peavy

    Peavy Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 29, 2007
    Reno, NV
    They are roosting!!! I followed the instructions and went out every night, stuck them on the perch. Then I also followed the great suggestion to build a ramp. They march right up to the perch and all is well. THANKS!
     

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