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Is it bad if chickens don't roost at night?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by chickenlady12, Jan 8, 2014.

  1. chickenlady12

    chickenlady12 Chirping

    Dec 9, 2013
    Hi everyone. My coop is a repurposed rabbit hutch, about five feet long, three and a half feet wide and two feet high, and it's on legs a couple of feet off the ground. After I got my chicks this past summer, I installed perches in the run and one in the coop. At the time, I had six birds (lost two to disease, gave another away when it turned out to be a rooster). Only the leghorns would use the perches in the run (the Orpington will sit on a tree branch I put in there) and NONE of them would use the perch in the coop, and in fact, it seemed very much in their way, so I took it out. The three remaining chickens snuggle together in a corner of the coop every night. I see posts about how to get chickens to use roosts. Why is this important? Thank you.

  2. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Crowing

    Dec 6, 2012
    New Brunswick,Canada

    I have a coop that has roost and regardless I still have the odd hen that sleeps in the nest box instead of the roost. As long as they feel secure and are predator safe I think is the main thing.
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2014
  3. BarredBuff

    BarredBuff Songster

    Dec 6, 2009
    Roosting is a natural bird behavior. Get up off the ground away from predators. If you want them to roost, I suggest picking them up and placing them on it yourself.

    Having them roost in a central place also makes cleanup a lot easier. My chickens roost on wooden branches. These cut down and then nailed to a frame, and they like them. They like to be high up, so the higher the roost is the more likely they are to use it. At the same time it has to be accessible so make sure they can either fly to it or walk up it (like steps).

    Hope this helps.
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    A 2 foot high coop doesn't afford the space needed to install a proper roost higher than the nests.
    I don't see a problem with them sleeping on the floor, but they'll likely have dirty butts from sleeping their own excrement.

    I have a roost 8" over a sand board, but some sleep on the edge of the board and have dirty butts.

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