Perching or roosting at night?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Kanga77510, May 31, 2010.

  1. Kanga77510

    Kanga77510 Songster

    Oct 10, 2009
    Santa Fe, TX
    They weren't roosting up until now, because they didn't have a proper perch/roost. The girls had been sleeping up on some selves with milk crates on top-they liked it OK. Last night I made them a proper roost/perch. It's a ladder style, probably four or five feet tall, with horizontal spots every 18 inches or so. I used 2x2s for the verticals and 1x2 for horizontals.

    Do I need to show them how to roost up for the night or will they figure it out themselves? They didn't figure it out tonight. [​IMG]
  2. Miss Red

    Miss Red Songster

    Apr 26, 2010
    Trinity, Texas
    I wish I knew. I can't get my youngsters to roost to save my life. They did decide to sleep on my coop chair last night. My other birds like tall roosts, though, and if they can will get to the tallest possible area.
  3. wanttobefarmer

    wanttobefarmer Songster

    May 29, 2010
    Elgin, TX
    I think after they get used to it and start playing on it they will start thinking that sleeping on it will be a good idea. We didn't put roosts in our coop until they were probably 2 months old and everytime we put something new in the coop or the run they act like we are very untrustworthy and must be cautious.[​IMG] I do know that the limbs or wood that you use needs to be 3 inches wide.
  4. acid_chipmunk

    acid_chipmunk Polish Silkies d'Uccles O my!

    Mar 29, 2010
    Mine are almost 3 months old and have had roosts since they were put in their coop at 6 weeks. Some of them still pile on the floor at night, even though I have seen all of them on the roost at one time or another. I am not worried about it. I think it is just like humans, some people can sleep anywhere, some can't. If they are more comfy on the floor, who am I to make them roost?
  5. apdan

    apdan Songster

    May 10, 2010
    My poor chickens had to adjust to a new coop and everything when they were about 9 months old! It took them a week to get adjusted to the new coop and then about another week to start using the roosting sticks. But since then they use the roosts every night! So just give them some time to get used to them! [​IMG]
  6. trooper

    trooper Songster

    Apr 26, 2010
    I'm new with my chickens and I really enjoy watching their behavior.I wouldn't worry about their roosting as I found out with mine in their own time they adjust to roosting on roosts.It is new to them and once they get use to it mother nature seems to take over.
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    Is the roost you want them to go to the highest thing they can roost on? They will usually instinctively roost as high as they can. They are creatures of habit though and may resist a change. I'd suggest giving them a couple of nights to make the change on their own. If they don't, then after they are asleep, move them to the roosts with as little light and commotion as you can manage. They should catch on pretty quickly.

    How old are they? It sounds like they are probably fairly old, but mine don't usually start to roost until they are 9 to 11 weeks old. My current brood play on the roosts during the day and I have seen all of them on the roosts at the same time, but they still sleep on the floor. They are almost 9 weeks old, so I expect them to start roosting at night pretty soon, but they are not mature enough yet.

    If your 1x2 horizontals are arranged so the thin side is what they are roosting on, it may be a bit thin. It would be better if the wider side of those were what they are roosting on. A lot of people believe that chickens need very wide flat things to roost on. There may be some advantages in very cold climates for the roosts to be wider so the feathers cover the feet better and help prevent frostbite but I'm not entirely convinced of that. I have tree branches as roosts, about three inches thick at one end and about 1-1/2" thick at the other. One group roosts at the thick end while another group roosts at the thin end. And when they are snuggled in for the night with their toes wrapped around the roost, their feet are all covered by their feathers. You can get too thin, and a finished 1x2 is probably only 3/4" thick, so I would suggest having the flat side up and I recommend rounding the corners. Sanding that sharp edge off does make it more comfortable as they wrap their claws around it and I think it helps prevent splinters which could lead to bumblefoot.

    Good luck! As long as they are not putting droppings while roosting where you don't want them too, this is probably one of the things to not get too stressed out about.
  8. KathyK

    KathyK Songster

    Dec 10, 2009
    Liberty Hill, TX
    Mine are 17 weeks old and still sleep on the coop floor. They get up on the roosts during the day. They are 2x4's. Someone suggested I put them on the roosts at bedtime, but the coop door is very large and they sleep right up against it. I don't want them falling out when I open the door. It's not really a problem, I would just like to keep the shavings cleaner by them using the poop board.

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