Not using the roost to sleep

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by ardagh23, Jan 13, 2015.

  1. ardagh23

    ardagh23 Out Of The Brooder

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    I have 1 hen of 11 chickens (10 hens | 1 rooster) that will not use the roost to sleep. She uses the nesting box to sleep. The problem with using the nesting boxes is that she poops a lot in them and then I have to clean more often. How do I break her of using the nesting box to sleep?
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2015
  2. WthrLady

    WthrLady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Pick her up after she falls to sleep and put her on the roost. It may take several nights for her to get it.

    Is your roost wide enough for all to get on?

    Are they laying yet? If not block off the nest boxes.
     
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  3. ardagh23

    ardagh23 Out Of The Brooder

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    They are all of laying age. Some are laying right now while others are not laying. The one that sleeps in the nesting box is not laying. Unfortunately I can't block the nesting boxes. I'll have to try to put her in the roost I guess. The roost is big enough for all the chickens; 2 bars stretching 5 feet across each.
     
  4. bigbuddha09

    bigbuddha09 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i would like to ask if she knows how to get up to the roost? some birds kind of forget they can fly a little bit and just dont jump up to roost. I had this problem with some birds and had to build a little ramp and lead them up it just as the sun set so they knew that was where to go to get to sleep. sometimes they are stubborn and just want to sleep on the floor especially if they are on the bottom of the pecking order. what breed of chicken are they?
     
  5. ardagh23

    ardagh23 Out Of The Brooder

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    I think that is the real issue, pecking order. She is bottom of the it. I have a mix of breeds, from Cuckoo Marans to Barred Rocks, to Rhode Island Reds, Brahmas. She is a salmon faverolle and is always hiding. She is the smallest and doesn't seem to have any buddies. The rooster used to over mate her until I increased the size of my flock. In fact I rarely see her outside of a nesting box. She definitely can fly. One of her hiding spots is only accessible through flight.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2015
  6. bigbuddha09

    bigbuddha09 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    sometimes birds have to be reintroduced to stop that behavior but when shes the smallest it can be hard as well, she may always distance herself if there are a lot of birds. This also can be a space and boredom issue since its winter and they cannot always leave the coop. is there a lot of space for her to roost with the others? I had one bird that never learned to get on the roost but still put her up there every night hoping she would get the hang of it. Usually a rooster will take care of the hens and stop fights but there are cases where they get shunned forever from a certain roost. i can think of a few suggestions that may or may not help though giving her more hiding places either in a coop or run where others cant get to her may help a bit, also another lower roost where usually the chickens lower on the pecking order will stay. If she is stressed the hiding places may help her feel safer and more confident but really thats all i can think of at the moment. i would defer any other suggestions to someone else with some more experience in the problem.
     
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  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    10 feet for 11 birds might be just a little less than is optimal, especially if there's no poop board underneath the roosts.
    They can and often do use much less space but they can also need alot more space to get settled.
    Every night is a pecking party even in my long established flock, alot of squawking and shuffling and pecking until everyone gets close to sleep.

    You might want to add another roost to accommodate the shuffling and provide more room to sleep farther apart when it gets hot during summertime.
     
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  8. ardagh23

    ardagh23 Out Of The Brooder

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    I tried putting her on the roost. It worked the first night. The next night the rooster jumped down and attacked me. He can do some serious damage and doesn't like someone sneaking inside at night and making his hens squawk. I'm done with that idea.
     
  9. WthrLady

    WthrLady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Training roost down low and move it up every 3/4 days?
     
  10. ardagh23

    ardagh23 Out Of The Brooder

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    Next plan is to try and give her her own roost, higher than the nesting boxes.
     

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