One girl left out in the cold

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by PDXChickGirl, Apr 30, 2008.

  1. PDXChickGirl

    PDXChickGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 12, 2007
    Portland, Oregon
    My 2 golden laced wyandotte pullets have started blocking the door to the roost box at night, leaving my poor australorp pullet (Lady Bird) out on the plank unable to get in. I've been going out each evening and putting her in myself, but don't want to always have to do that. It just started happening in the last couple of weeks. There has been no changes to their environment. LadyBird is also lowest on the pecking order. (which breaks my heart because she is sooo gentle). Anyone else experience this?
     
  2. Wolf-Kim

    Wolf-Kim Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 25, 2008
    It doesn't sound like they are intentionally doing this to keep the hen out, it sounds like they just decided to roost there and the other hen is just outta luck. Do you have roosts in your roost box? Are the roosts higher than the door? Is there enough space on the roosts for all the chickens? How old are they?

    -Kim
     
  3. PDXChickGirl

    PDXChickGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 12, 2007
    Portland, Oregon
    They are 8 months old. They have a roost bar about 4 ft long, but won't sleep on it. I've tried putting them up there at night. THey'll stay if I put them up there, otherwise they don't use it. (I don't think it's too high - 2 feet from the floor of the roost box.) I also have part of a ladder in their roost box, and they don't like that either. For whatever reason, they like to sleep on the pine shavings on the floor of the box. The roost box is about 4 feet off the ground. In the past, Lady Bird has always been able to shove her way in. Not sure what is happening now.[​IMG]
     
  4. Wolf-Kim

    Wolf-Kim Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 25, 2008
    If you have a spare step ladder laying around set it up in the coop for awhile. Also add one or two more roosts but lower. Maybe the first roost is just a bit too high for their first experience, your birds may just not be that adventureous. The roost isn't too high for normal situations, but since your's do not use it, try adding another one lower. At least for now, once they start roosting they'll go higher.

    Another theory that may be in play here, they may view the roost box itself(4 ft off the ground) as sufficient height. How large is your roost box? Is it large enough to lock them up for a couple days comfortably? It could be that spending all day 4 ft below the roost box and then going into the roost box(up 4 ft) they don't feel it necessary to perch. If this might be the case, try penning them up for a couple of days in the roost box. By penning them in the roost box, they'll stay on the roost box floor during the day and then the urge to roost will send them up that extra 2 ft to their perch. Make sense? This will probably only work if their is natural light inside the roost box or a light.

    Keep me posted, we will figure it out! Poor Ladybird will get in the house yet!

    -Kim
     
  5. PDXChickGirl

    PDXChickGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 12, 2007
    Portland, Oregon
    AHHH - your second theory makes a lot of sense. (too bad we learn so much about coops AFTER they are already built!). The roost box is too small for them to stay cooped up for a day. This weekend I'll try making a lower roost bar, though, and see if that helps.

    Thanks SO much for your help!!
     

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