How to get chickens to use roost....

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Winter, Nov 20, 2014.

  1. Winter

    Winter In the Brooder

    Apr 2, 2008
    My chickens have an inside coop that is long and narrow, about 4 x8 with an attached, totally enclosed run with a roof. They have a cat flap door that allows them free access to the run on the one narrow end of the coop. There is a 'jungle gym' of roosts (old branches that we've rigged up) in the outside coop and all summer they roosted there at night and came inside to scratch around and eat. Now that is it very cold (I live in Canada) they are spending the nights inside but not using the roosts I made there!

    The coop is in the barn, and I have access to it through a regular screen door from inside my feed room. There is a peice of plywood about 2.5' high that covers the bottom of this door inside the coop so that they don't run into the feed room when I open the door but that I can step over to get into the coop.

    I thought a droppings board was the way to go so I initially built the iside layout with 4 nest boxes (2x2) in the corner facing the man door, with the board and a roost on top of that. The nest boxes are in the corner with the openings facing the man door , board and roost were all lengthwise on the back wall (8' long). I realised they wouldn't jump down from the board/roost since the coop was too narrow (they would hit the shared wall with the feed room), and they woudln't use the ramp I built, so I reconfigured it to have a wider board that is over their flap door to outside and put two 4' roots (one higher than the other) on top of that on the narrow end wall. The nest boxes stayed in the same place. There was a ramp that went down from the board to the base of the nest boxes along the back wall. The chickens have been roosting on the peice of plywood that is in front of the man door and the small perch in front of the nest boxes. One sometimes gets on top of the nest boxes. So I moved the ramp from the board so that it goes down to the level of the nest box perch so they could walk up from there and they still don't! I have 8 birds. The man door must be 3.5' wide? 4-5 birds squeeze onto there and the rest squeeze onto the 2'5' in front of the nest boxes. It's ridiculous. The plywood they're sitting on myst be 3/4" so it's can't be too comfortable for their feet....

    What should I do? Eliminate the board and add another lower perch below the existing two ladder style? Make a lower long perch that goes from the nest box perch all the way to the far wall with no board?
  2. bigmrg74

    bigmrg74 Songster

    Jan 28, 2014
    Clinton Michigan
    some pictures of your set up would help.

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