Newcomers and Roosting

RauM37

Hatching
Dec 2, 2018
2
2
4
Hi we have some one year old chickens and we've introduced some 18 week old new chickens...no roosters. At night, the first batch roosts fine as always but the new girls huddle in a heap in one of the nesting box. I am inclined to just let it go and work itself out but is there something else that should be done. During the day in the enclosed run, the new ones mostly stay separate from the existing...some posturing between them and such but no real physical bullying.

Thanks!
 

RauM37

Hatching
Dec 2, 2018
2
2
4
Hi we have some one year old chickens and we've introduced some 18 week old new chickens...no roosters. At night, the first batch roosts fine as always but the new girls huddle in a heap in one of the nesting box. I am inclined to just let it go and work itself out but is there something else that should be done. During the day in the enclosed run, the new ones mostly stay separate from the existing...some posturing between them and such but no real physical bullying.

Thanks!
I forgot to mention, there seems to be plenty of adequate perch/roost space, in fact there is even at least one unoccupied perch.
 

Criticalicious

Crowing
Feb 25, 2017
915
1,693
262
New Market, VA
It's possible the roosts are too high OR the existing flock is scaring them off at roost time. There's no reason why you can't go in at roost time, wait until the existing flock gets comfortable and then gently put the newbies on the roosts. If anyone scrabbles, I tap them gently on the head to stop. The darker it is, the less they'll fuss. Once it's dark, everybody goes to sleep.
 

Melky

Spring has sprung!
Premium Feather Member
Jul 23, 2018
4,154
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Edgewood, KY
You could also block nesting boxes at night and open during the day to train them for proper use. They will at this point join the others on the roost. Make sure roosts are accessible and comfortable. No higher than 30 inches. 18 inches from back wall and each other for room to roost move and not poop on each other and back walls. Ten inches of roost space per bird should be adequate.
 

Melky

Spring has sprung!
Premium Feather Member
Jul 23, 2018
4,154
20,246
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Edgewood, KY
Mine all roost on one bar outside in run huddled together and inside on two equal height but have been together since birth so get along well. Much is training in young birds as they may not know what they are supposed to do even with older chickens around.
 

Chullicken

Crowing
5 Years
Apr 10, 2016
973
3,507
372
Dorchester, NH
Pretty common in flocks with new members, think everyone has the bunch that doesn't roost. Just give it some time, chickens are very dynamic with their hierarchy so once that is established should all work itself out. I had a small flock from two separate breeders and they each kept to themselves for a month or so. They stick with what is familiar. I honestly don't give to pennies if mine roost or don't, they have the abundance of options I make sure I provide (Minimum 12" per bird on the roost all around for my set up). As long as they sleep and get settled, wherever that happens to be on the roost or in a box.
 

GC-Raptor

Free Ranging
Jul 26, 2016
5,031
9,238
621
Connecticut, USA
we've introduced some 18 week old new chickens...no roosters. At night, the first batch roosts fine as always but the new girls huddle in a heap in one of the nesting box.
If they never had a chance to roost beforehand. They need to learn.
I introduced my chicks to a branch in the brooder around 2 weeks and they learned to perch on it. 20180828_145517.jpg . I also put perches in their pen. 20180920_180837-2.jpg .
They easily took to roosting in their own coop. 20181018_182955.jpg .
Add some roosts in the pen if you can, so they can practice.
Make sure you have a long roost inside the coop or multiple roosts, so they can roost away from the older hens.
I think you may have to block the nests before sunset and place them on the roosts till they get the hang of it. GC
ETA; poop in the nest boxes is nasty.
 
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Criticalicious

Crowing
Feb 25, 2017
915
1,693
262
New Market, VA
Since it's been really cold here I like to double check that everybody's able to get on a roost at night. This lets them hunch down and cover their feet to keep warm. Plus I want to avoid poop in the nest box as much as possible. Chickens are creatures of habit.

2x offering chicks a roost to practice on. Mine learned to roost in their brooders. It's adorbs!
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
95,262
126,415
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
Hi we have some one year old chickens and we've introduced some 18 week old new chickens...no roosters. At night, the first batch roosts fine as always but the new girls huddle in a heap in one of the nesting box. I am inclined to just let it go and work itself out but is there something else that should be done. During the day in the enclosed run, the new ones mostly stay separate from the existing...some posturing between them and such but no real physical bullying.Thanks!

I forgot to mention, there seems to be plenty of adequate perch/roost space, in fact there is even at least one unoccupied perch.
How long have new birds been in residence?
The separation is normal, they won't work their way into the pecking order until they start laying.
Have you seen new birds up on roosts at all,
like during the day(just to ensure they can get up there)?
Any chance you can sit and watch the scenario as they go to roost?
That might offer some clues.
You could try going in after dark and putting them on the roosts.

Oh, and, Welcome to BYC!
 

whit246

In the Brooder
Nov 18, 2018
38
48
49
Since it's been really cold here I like to double check that everybody's able to get on a roost at night. This lets them hunch down and cover their feet to keep warm. Plus I want to avoid poop in the nest box as much as possible. Chickens are creatures of habit.

2x offering chicks a roost to practice on. Mine learned to roost in their brooders. It's adorbs!
yes.since my hen has no roost except board outside of nest box, she poops where she lays egg, but I always clean it up before egglaying time.
 

MANNA-PRO

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