My chickens won't roost!

aceintoledo

Songster
8 Years
Apr 25, 2011
81
19
104
Ohio
I've been keeping hens since 2006 and have never had a batch of girls not roost. Well, that's not entirely true. When they're out in the run they go right up on the outdoor roosts and enjoy the day but at night they come inside their cozy clean coop and plop down on the floor. I totally don't get it!!! I've tried putting them up there myself and they jump right back down, what the hecks their problem!
 

EggWalrus

Free Ranging
Aug 14, 2017
2,241
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577
Southeast Alabama
It's a wonder they will go in the coop to roost on bars 4 foot of the ground at all, that's if there is anything higher they can roost on outside. Most all birds will take the highest possible roosting place they can get to.
Get rid of any roosting bars in the run, and then they will go for the next highest they can get to, the ones in the coop.
 

aceintoledo

Songster
8 Years
Apr 25, 2011
81
19
104
Ohio
According to this very site, 4 square feet per bird. I don't think they have a squabble problem or they wouldn't be sleeping on top of each other on the floor. They seem to like huddling together on the floor, I'll try adjusting the height of the bar and see if it triggers a response from them. Starting to get cold out there, you would think that would be incentive to get off of the floor! Will take a pic and post tomorrow.
 

ChickNanny13

Crossing the Road
7 Years
Jun 23, 2013
8,992
12,768
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The Big Island/Hawaii
4 sq ft per bird & 10 sq ft per bird in the run is the bare minimum & we all know the more space the better. I'm thinking they roost on the outside as the roost is higher, they do prefer "higher the better". If they're "huddling" they maybe chilled?

The 4BO I have now drove me crazy ... They would roost on the lower & not the higher that has the poop board under it :barnie It was weeks of me going out in the dark & rain to put them up, then it was pointed out that the higher roost was "short" & probably crowded. Well they solved the issue themselves, 3 roost & 1 on the top of the nest box (large plastic dog house).
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
95,043
125,768
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
According to this very site, 4 square feet per bird. I don't think they have a squabble problem or they wouldn't be sleeping on top of each other on the floor. They seem to like huddling together on the floor, I'll try adjusting the height of the bar and see if it triggers a response from them. Starting to get cold out there, you would think that would be incentive to get off of the floor! Will take a pic and post tomorrow.
That 'rule of thumb' has changed over the years. Another rule of thumb, which is pretty accurate, is to have 12" of roost length per bird. That can change depending on if they have to fly up to roost.
If they are choosing to sleep on the coop floor, I would guess there's not enough room on the roost to navigate. They may be able to sleep on less length, but getting up there and getting settled takes some extra space.
Have you always used this coop for that number of birds?

Lowering the coop roost might help..just keep it above the nests.
 

aceintoledo

Songster
8 Years
Apr 25, 2011
81
19
104
Ohio
That 'rule of thumb' has changed over the years. Another rule of thumb, which is pretty accurate, is to have 12" of roost length per bird. That can change depending on if they have to fly up to roost.
If they are choosing to sleep on the coop floor, I would guess there's not enough room on the roost to navigate. They may be able to sleep on less length, but getting up there and getting settled takes some extra space.
Have you always used this coop for that number of birds?

Lowering the coop roost might help..just keep it above the nests.

They get to run the backyard almost every day, and when they don't they have 5x10 with roosts which are not much higher than what's in the coop. They aren't cold at night because they have a heated coop with fresh food, water, and bedding. 4 batches of six hens have been using the same coop/setup over the past 14 years and NEVER has there been an issue.
 

MANNA-PRO

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