How do I get my chickens to use the perch?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by JayneD, Oct 24, 2011.

  1. JayneD

    JayneD New Egg

    Oct 17, 2011
    I've got 3 new chickens, have had them a week now. They are all 22 weeks old and are laying 2 - 3 eggs a day. I have built them 2 perches inside their house, with a ladder attached, but not one of them is using it. They all sleep in their nest boxes and so end up pooing in there, and laying eggs directly on top of the poo. The nest boxes that we have made are really just divisions and are not able to be closed off. Every day I pick them up and place them on the perches outside and they seem to enjoy being on them, staying there for a few minutes at a time, but again, they never use them through their own accord. How can I get them to use the perches by themselves?
  2. justbugged

    justbugged Head of the Night Crew for WA State

    Jan 27, 2009
    I have yet to get all of the birds on the roosts. You may try putting them on the roost after they are asleep. It may imprint at some point. I wish I had a better answer.
  3. 7L Farm

    7L Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 22, 2010
    Anderson, Texas
    Your question will probably get moved but anyway are your roost positioned so they are higher than your nest boxes. Chickens like to sleep as high up as possible they feel safer. Also, are your roost built like a ladder so they can hop up from one pole to the next to get to the top. Here's my set up. You will notice that my nest boxes are positioned away from the roost.[​IMG]
  4. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Good depiction from 7L. My setup is similar, except my laying boxes are even lower. It is a trade-off. Kneel down to gather eggs, but assured that the pullets do not sleep in them or mess them up, which I would find much more inconvenient. The last two rungs of the three rung roost must be higher than the laying boxes. The first rung isn't used, it is merely the "step" up the higher rungs

    The laying in the laying box is somewhat a training experience.
  5. 7L Farm

    7L Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 22, 2010
    Anderson, Texas
    The small ladder in the picture was used when they were just hatched they have been in this coop from day one. Too, this day they still use the little ladder.[​IMG][​IMG]
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2011
  6. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    Quote:Wow, the roosts were so fresh in this picture! [​IMG]
  7. MIKE555444

    MIKE555444 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 8, 2009
    Pliny, West Virgina
    Like others have said... make sure the roost is higher than the nest box.

    It is best to close off the nest box while they are young until they are ready to start laying. That way they are already trained BUT if they are laying aready your job becomes harder. Now you will probably have to cover the nest boxes in the late evening then take the cover off early of the next morning for a bout a week. This might be enough to get them started on the roost. If they decide to go to the floor you may have to sit them on the roost for a few days but they should learn.

    Good Luck
  8. turbodog

    turbodog Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 21, 2010
    Independence, La.
    Quote:This is what I did. Put them up after the settled into their usual pile in the evening. Eventually they all got it and started going up on their own. It helped that I made them a ramp rather than expecting them to fly up (which they do half the time now anyway).
  9. giggleboxfarm

    giggleboxfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 29, 2011
    Central KY
    My chicks just don't care. They refuse to use the roosts, which are much higher than the nestboxes with a ladder. I've moved them nightly for over a week and blocked off the nest boxes for longer than that. Everybody else uses the roosts, just not this one batch I got of australorps, easters, dominics, and wyandottes. They will pile up in the corner beside the nestboxes if they can't get in. They drive me nuts.
  10. JayneD

    JayneD New Egg

    Oct 17, 2011
    Thanks for all your replys [​IMG] The nest boxes are lower than the perches for sure. I have also just recently placed a ramp up to the lowest perch and went to see them late at night, and sure enough, they had not used the ramp to get to the perch - just were sleeping in their boxes. During the day i've been putting them on the perches to try and get them used to it. But I will have to try it during the night time. Naughty chickens!

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