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How to get new hens to sleep in the roost?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by nsgibson, Dec 20, 2015.

  1. nsgibson

    nsgibson New Egg

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    Jul 4, 2013
    I have an A-frame coop with a bedded roost in a "second story" that has a ramp to get in the door, the lower level is just dirt (inside chicken wire). I had to replace 3 of my 4 hens in August due to a dog attack; they get along with the original hen but the three new ones do not go into the roost at night. Previously all 4 did. The 3 new ones do lay eggs in the roost so they do go in, just not to sleep. That was ok in warmer weather but now that my Ohio temps are going sub-freezing, I would like them to sleep in the roost. I do have a light in the outer part of the coop for warmth and egg laying, so that may be a contributor but like I said they were staying outside the roost even in warm temps before I turned the light on. Any suggestions for how to get them to go into the roost at night, or anything else I need to consider?
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

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    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    Your original hens all knew each other probably and were the same age, in my flock older ones and younger ones don't mix, and it can take a couple of years before roosting next to each other will happen, in such a small coop there's not enough space for them to get away from the older one so they sleep outside, there needs to be separate roosting spaces, and a means for there to be distance between them.
     
  3. Breamfishn

    Breamfishn New Egg

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    Nov 20, 2015
    (5) new Jubilee's (16) weeks old... moved from Tennessee to Georgia. They have their own house. They have a roost made new for them and 10" off floor. They all huddle together and don't go to roost. They have been in new surroundings for (2) weeks but will not roost. Roost pole is 1 1/2" wide but they have not set foot on it. Will they eventually? Is there something that I am missing.

    Mistyrider
     
  4. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

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    central Wisconsin
    At 4 months some will still huddle in a pile, most get up on the roost by 5 months, so I'm sure they will transition soon, two weeks is still a little early for them to be totally comfortable in their new surroundings. They will do it, thanks for clarifying.
     
  5. nsgibson

    nsgibson New Egg

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    Jul 4, 2013
    I should have been more clear; these are 1.5 year old hens...new to me but fully grown.
     
  6. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

    15,909
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    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    Did they previously live in a smaller coop, and why are you providing heat outside in Ohio, they could be there for the heat and light, try turning it off to see if they will go inside.
     

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