Huddling but not on the roosting poles

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by leslielbk, Jul 13, 2018.

  1. leslielbk

    leslielbk Chirping

    I Have 19 2 1/2 month old chicks in a coop. They aren't using the roosting poles at night, but sleeping in a big giant pile. How can I get them to use the poles?
    Thanks, all!!
     
  2. Latestarter

    Latestarter Free Ranging

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    OK, some chickens just like to be all together in a pile... I think silkies are one breed that likes it. Some bantams as well. Can you go in the coop after dark and physically place them up on the roost(s)? That's about the only real way I know to help train them where to go at night. It may take a week or two to get them to finally comply. Some simply may never... :confused:
     
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  3. Latestarter

    Latestarter Free Ranging

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    Ohj, and you need to make sure they can physically get up there by themselves... Don't know how high the roosts are from "ground" level. You may need to place an intermediate level "step" or ramp for them to use, especially if they aren't good flyers.
     
  4. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Making Coffee

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    They generally start when they are ready. How high are your roosts? How's the ventilation? Pictures may help. Sometimes a batch takes a while to get a hang of roosting, and others get up there pretty young.
     
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  5. leslielbk

    leslielbk Chirping

    There's really good ventilation and the poles are boards kind of a ladder style of various thickness so they can choose. WP_20180713_21_53_52_Rich.jpg
     
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  6. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Crowing

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    Have you tried going in at dusk, picking them up and putting them on the roost? Try that for a few days and see if they get the hint. The roost is definitely low enough for them to get up on, but they need to have someone show them how to do it.
     
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  7. leslielbk

    leslielbk Chirping

    They had baby roosting poles in the brooder and really loved them. They'd all be up there in a big row - it was so cute!! When I go in there at night they go hysterical. I tried to set few up there tonight but I broke up the clump and they were very upset. That's why I posted, because I'm at a loss. My previous flock refused to sleep on the fabulous roosting poles I built for them and slept in a pile in the corner. Is it ME??!!??
     
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  8. Latestarter

    Latestarter Free Ranging

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    Typical chickens, being prey/dinner items for many, typically prefer to roost as high as they can go. But they don't really "perch" like a bird, but rather stand rather flat footed with toes curled down and fwd so they can rest on their keel bone and cover their feet with feathers. The roosts that you show above seem somewhat narrow and may be uncomfortable for their feet. You may have better luck with a more substantial roost such as a 2x4 with the wide side on the flat.
     
  9. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Making Coffee

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    Mine like 2x4's with the 2 up despite being offer wider 4 up.
     
  10. leslielbk

    leslielbk Chirping

    what great ideas!! 2x4's it is!!!!
     
    oldhenlikesdogs likes this.

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