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Rescue hens don't roost

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Jules6hens, Feb 7, 2015.

  1. Jules6hens

    Jules6hens In the Brooder

    I brought home 6 rescue hens and we have a great set up in our backyard. At night they all go up into the coop which is great but they don't like the roost. They prefer to cuddle in together on the floor, which is covered in clean shavings (I clean out poo each day). ive now taken the roost out to give them more room, but now wondering...as they are rescue chickens they would not know how to roost. How important is it for them to learn how to do this? Should I just allow them to sleep on the floor (is elvated, next to nesting boxes) or should I train them to use a roost?
     
  2. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Bird is the Word Staff Member Premium Member 7 Years

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    Hello there and welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    It will take them time to learn everything having never had the chance to be real chickens yet. You can help them learn by going up at dusk or just after dark and getting them up on the roost bars. Put them up and then turn out the lights quick. Keep doing this for a week or so and they will get the hang of it.

    It is best that they do learn as sitting on the floor can cause a lot of dirty butts since the poop isn't falling away from them. You don't want them sitting all night in the poop. So just keep getting them up there and eventually they will learn.

    Also, make sure your roost bars are accessible and not too high off the floor so they can jump up on them. If they are higher than this, make sure the ladder is easy to use.

    Enjoy your new rescue birds!! What a wonderful thing to give them a second chance at life.

    Great to have you aboard and we do welcome you to our flock!
     
    2 people like this.
  3. Twistedfeather

    Twistedfeather Songster

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    Are these battery hens or were they in a different situation. I can see where the battery hens probably don't know how to roost saying they were put in batteries. Or since with any rescue animal we can't just ask them what happened before so it's possible that something tied into the roost at night. You can try teaching them by setting them there each night until they willingly do it themselves, you might even for awhile put a light in your coop so they can see the roosts. The only thing I could really see going wrong with them on the ground is that is an easier catch for a predator to come in and harm them.

    Welcome to BYC!
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2015
    1 person likes this.
  4. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Crowing 5 Years

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    [​IMG] I'm glad you joined us!

    X2 on Two Crows' advice. Some chickens just don't roost, especially if they aren't used to it. I expose all of my chickens to roosts from a very early age, but some of them still prefer sleeping on the ground or on other elevated, non-roost places.
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Crowing 5 Years

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    Welcome to BYC![​IMG]I'm glad you joined us.

    You've received some good advice already from TwoCrows. Roosting isn't essential- many of my chickens are happy to nestle down together on the ground or on shelves, instead of sitting up on a roost with my other birds. Some birds just don't feel comfortable roosting or aren't very good at flying. Ideally, you'd want to train them how to roost, but if you can't, they should be fine.
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC! Please make yourself at home and we are here to help.

    In my opinion, chickens need to be able to roost. Sleeping on the floor is not natural or very healthy. Defiantly provide them the ability to roost.
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Crowing 5 Years

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    They'll figure it out. I'd give them a training roost. Just a branch or board 10 cm off the ground that they can jump up and down off of.
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. simpleigh

    simpleigh Hatching

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    Hello from Sugar Tree Tennessee,

    I hope I am doing the introduction correctly?

    I am new to Tennessee as well as my Fiancé Cliff we are building our little piece of heaven! New to farming. Interested in organic non gmo's in our garden and critters. Looking forward to getting our chicks soon. And learning all we can.

    Thank you,
    Leigh:highfive:
     
  9. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 Free Ranging Premium Member

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    Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC!
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member 9 Years

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    Welcome to the flock, hope you enjoy BYC as much as we do
     
    1 person likes this.

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