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My new chickens refuse to use roost?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by riverrat1203, Apr 14, 2011.

  1. riverrat1203

    riverrat1203 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 5, 2011
    So i picked up my four red sex linked hens on monday and introduced them to the recently finished coop. However it is becoming apparent to me that they prefer to sleep on the floor and not on any of the roost. I assumed that they didn't know where they were the first night so i picked them up and moved them to the roost. I have been doing this the past 3 nights and throughout the day trying to familiarize them with the roost. I also added a few lower roost also thinking that they weren't able to reach the high one since it is 6' off the ground. But i have seen them jump from the top of the laying boxes to that roost. Why is it that my floor is so much more appealing to sleep on?
     
  2. aggie9296

    aggie9296 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Most people will tell you to keep putting them on the roost for a couple of weeks until they get the hang of it. Yeah, right! My 3 month old Red Stars slept on the floor of the coop for almost 2 months. They just started laying a couple of weeks ago and at 5 months now, have started roosting on their own. I also changed my roost from a round branch to a flat 2x4.

    Maybe they are just used to the brooder floor. Maybe that is a quirk of Red Stars. Maybe they like to huddle in a group rather than line up. Maybe it is the type of roost.

    I didn't see any need to "make" them use a roost if they didn't want to. Now they do it on their own. Who knows?
     
  3. kittycooks

    kittycooks Chillin' With My Peeps

    How old are these chickens? My current flock didn't choose a roost until they were 4-5 months old. I have three different places with 2X4 roosts (wide side up). When they first spent the night out in the coop I had a couple of logs on the ground and they sometimes slept there and sometimes in a corner of the coop in the hay. Once they were about five months old they choose a roost. One bird sleeps by itself in what I consider to be the prime spot in the coop while the rest of the flock sleeps on the roost in the run and often the silkies sleep on the poop tray below. Provide choices and let their instinct guide them.

    I notice when they first started roosting they leaned on each other, but as they matured, they learned to balance themselves. Maybe it is a weight/balance thing and they need time to mature.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2011
  4. Zaxby's2

    Zaxby's2 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 10, 2011
    a place
    When we first got chickens they always slept on the floor. We had had one rectangular roost with a plank leading up to it. After a while we decided to change the roost, so we got three tree branches, smoothed them and removed the twigs, and put them in the coop each one higher than the other, the lowest being 6 inches off the ground. We had a plank going past each of them. That's just my chickens though. Good luck with getting them to roost![​IMG]
     
  5. riverrat1203

    riverrat1203 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 5, 2011
    According to the guy at the co-op where I got the hens, they are about 3-4 months old. I'm going to try adding a few more roost, but I guess I can't make them roost if they don't want to. The funny thing is my chicks are barely getting feathers and they are already using the roost I set up in there brooder. Kind of makes it that much more frustrating.[​IMG]
     
  6. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    Roosting is funny business. I have old hens that never learned to roost and I have younger birds that have roosted since they were 8 weeks old. I would strongly recommend you encourage them to roost because if they do not their butt feathers get matted with poop and nasty looking. Keep putting them on the roost every night until they get the idea on their own. Pain in the neck? Yes. Worth it? Oh, yeah! Giving chickens a bath is even more of a pain. Trust me.

    Good luck.
     
  7. Egg Rookie 2010

    Egg Rookie 2010 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 21, 2010
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    My coop building helpers made the top of the nest boxes flat and not slanted like my plans. My birds decided this was a great place to mob together to sleep. 16 of them. Lots of poo to scrape. So a few days ago I decided to put a slanted wire thingy to keep them of the nest boxes. It was the most psychotic thing I have ever seen. You know how sometimes a sparrow might get in the house and keep banging against a window trying to get out? Well the chickens kept flying up on that wire, grabbing desperately, flapping wings, legs through wire holes, again and again...such a racket. I was in an Alfred Hitcocks "The Birds" remake. I thought they may tear up their feet. So I get out a tarp and fold it in half and use zip ties to try to keep them from getting hurt. The crazies try to fly up there to the top and grab the tarp and hang on for dear life. It is nearly dark. I close all the vent flaps so they cant see what they are doing and finally they settle down. I put each on the roost one by one. This was 2 nights ago. When I went out this morning they were all on the roost. They are 11 weeks old. CRAZIES! I hope they continue to stay on that roost.
     
  8. shesell

    shesell Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 24, 2009
    Deland, FL
    Well, for a while I just thought my chickens were stupid. The new ones refused to even go in the coop at night and slept huddled together like puppies on the steps. Night after night, I went out and popped them through the coop door and yet next night, there they were. Plenty of food, friendly chickens inside and even with temperatures of 20* they slept outside. Then, one night our outside light went out. It's pretty big and shined into their run, though dimly. I went to check on them and voila, everybody inside! For whatever reason, they really wanted to be in the light even though there wasn't very much. So, I put a small, dim nightlight in the coop, kept the big light off for about a week and have had no problems since. Who knew?
     
  9. riverrat1203

    riverrat1203 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 5, 2011
    I've only had them a few days so they very might not be used to being out of a little cage. Although I have questioned there intelligence I think they are still just ignorant. I hope they will figure it out soon though.
     
  10. aggie9296

    aggie9296 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 28, 2011
    Panama City, FL
    Give them some time. They do learn new things and new routines.
     

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