I have all but given up---!! gettin the new 'kids' to roost, that is.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by cjatthefarm, Nov 10, 2011.

  1. cjatthefarm

    cjatthefarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 26, 2010
    I had 10 babies born over the past 14-16 weeks. They are NOT WILLING TO ROOST!

    Now, I understand this, sorta. I have watched my 15 'big girls' get settled at night. They are horrible! They peck and push and carry on something awful!! It is not a pretty sight.

    I have been going in and placing them on the roosts. There is always fighting--the older hens are mean. There is enough room for all the young ones to be in an area of roosts themselves, but some hen has got to come over & peck some of the time.

    Between the dust and the stress--to all of us---I gave up 3 nights ago. And yes, I had poop to clean out of 3 of the nest boxes. I blocked them, badly, a few nights. But I really didn't have the right stuff to stay in place. I believe I can have my handyman build me something that is just for this.

    But for now---is it the end of the world if they sleep in the nest boxes?? [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2011
  2. justafeedboy

    justafeedboy Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 8, 2011
    in my own little world
    My girls refused to roost for the longest time , maybe 10 weeks of getting put on the roost. After a few nights of me putting treats on the roost I noticed they could get them. any time i passed the coop i would place what ever was available as a treat. ie grapes, clover , grass, mellon seeds you would be suprised how fast they can get treats when they want them. All other hand outs of treats were withheld. In less than a week they were sleeping up there at night. I hope this gives you some inspiration to hang in there.
  3. azygous

    azygous Flock Master

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    Yours are exactly the same age as my four SS pullets. They've been living in the coop with the big girls since they were six weeks old, and for the most part, they have adjusted very well.

    However, all it takes is for a bully of the older bunch to roost down on the lower (pecking order) end, and I have to fish all four of the youngsters out of the nest boxes. And yes, you really should try to resolve this problem. It's a dirty habit for them to get into.

    The way I solve the problem, and this requires close supervision at roosting time, is to eject the bully from the lower end. Since it's getting too dim for them to see well by this time, I will place her on the roost at the upper end next to her peers.

    Then I fish the babies out of the nest boxes and place them on the roost. However, there are complicated roosting politics involved. I also have an EE hen, Flo, from last year's brood, who is next to lowest in the pecking order, and sometimes she gets pecked so badly at roosting time she ends up in a nest box, too. But if I place her next to the babies, she pecks them.

    I've solved this by learning which ones are lowest in the pecking order that will also not bully the babies. I have two Buff Brahma hens who very rarely, if at all, peck the youngsters, so I put Flo on the very end, then stick a Brahma next to her, and sandwich the four babies in between her and the other Brahma.

    Sometimes an older one will pick on the Brahma on the inside, but I will quickly switch out the trouble maker, and by this time it's so dark, no one cares enough any more to raise a fuss.

    What you need to do, if you really want to solve the problem, is observe your flock at roosting time. See which ones are the trouble makers. See which ones have benign feelings about your babies. Then supervise roosting until the babies get comfortable and trusting about their places on the perch.

    Whenever I get a new batch of chicks, I resign myself to this sometimes long process of teaching the young ones to roost. They really do want to do it. It's instinctive. But they are often too afraid of the bigger girls and take the easy way out. Two weeks ago, my four were all set to roost outside in the run rather than confront the bullies. They really do need our help sometimes.

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