Not roosting


In the Brooder
Jul 15, 2016
Hello, I know that there have been previous posts on this topic but I saw that they are a few years old and I was hoping to get some insight from other chicken owners. I have 5 hens and a rooster and they are all about 2 1/2 to 3 months old and they have no interest in sleeping on the roost. They want to sleep on the floor, usually close to the coop door. Any advice?
Welcome to BYC! Please make yourself at home and we are here to help.

Since your birds are still quite young, they either don't know how to roost or aren't ready to do so in the big coop. When I moved my pullets out to the chicken coop from the brooder, they slept on the ground for about two weeks or so because it was what they were used to. Once they matured and got bigger, they used the roosts and haven't stopped.

You might try placing your birds on the roosts at night, every night for a week or so to get them in the routine of it and, if you're lucky, they'll continue it on their own eventually.

Good luck and welcome to the community!
I'm new to chickens myself. So don't take my advice like I know whats going on. As of what I can see in the picture, the roosts are difficult to get to. Also I don't know what is outside of your coop, but inside there isn't anything natural like. Could it be they are at the door because outside is life, and inside is a box. Also the light may be to warm for them. It gets about 50 degrees where I am at night and when my chickens were about your age, they bundled up together in there roosts. No light, just each other. I had 15 at that time and they roosted in 2-3 groups on shelves. Maybe they were a bit cold, but they survived the cold. I personally would try putting a few climbing boards to your roosts, then possible a large flat near the underneath of your roosts. Something simple and not permanent to try and understand what they are or aren't communicating to you. Like this.

---l roosts
-------- board underneath roosts

--- mid way up

--- near ground

It's easier for them to hop flight in there perceived small spaces, than it is to full flight.
If that is your roost on the left hand side of the picture, I have some suggestions. First, you birds will roost one of these days if you just leave them alone. You could place them on the roost to encourage them as Mountain Peeps said. Otherwise, I wonder first if your roost is too close to the wall for them to comfortably roost. Second, your roost is really narrow. Chickens don't grip onto a perch like some birds. They need something wide. Most people around here seem to use a 2x4 with the wide side up or a very large fat branch. The wide roost helps if you live in a cold climate. When it's wide the hens can cover their whole foot and keep them warm. It looks to me that you are using a 1x2 with the narrow side up and that is way too narrow for comfort.
Mine didn't start roosting until a week before they started laying.. And this might be a doubt question but can someone inform me please how to create a new thread from the mobile app!! I must be straight doo doo!! TIA
Last edited:
wamtazlady spelled it out. Chickens like a wide roost, they lay their heads on their feet. they also like enough room from a wall so they can turn fully around without bumping into things. You can start by placing them on the roost and then closing the coop for the night. Most birds stay put in the dark.
Thanks for all the input. Since that photo I have put in a ramp with some boards for them to walk up. The roost itself is 15 inches from the wall and it's made of 2x4s. You can kind of see the ramp from this picture.

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