Roo stopped roosting in house...and is taking flock with him...

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by cmary, Nov 29, 2009.

  1. cmary

    cmary Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 7, 2009
    Hello! I am pretty new here and you all have been wonderfully helpful so far! I have a dilemma. My chickens (4 RIRS, one rooster) are all 2-3 years old but have only been with me a little less than a month. I built them a little house with a roost and 2 nesting boxes that I thought should be plenty big enough for them - it's 6x4 - as I let them range during the day. It was fine at first - they all came back to the coop at night (I kept them in the first few days) but unfortunately did not use the roost and all pack themselves on top of the nesting boxes, which are the highest thing in the coop. It's a small space for 5 of them. In the past few days, I have found the rooster (Henry!) roosting outside the coop in a lean-to that's next to the chicken house. He roosts on top of a stack of hay, high up, above my head. I've been putting him back but tonight I found one of my ladies with him. Obviously I don't want this to become a pattern - it's very open and not safe from predators. And now it looks like he's going to start taking the flock with him! I'm planning on building a new roost in the coop that's as high as the top of the nesting boxes to give them more room high up - do you think this will solve the problem? Any other suggestions??

    I have a picture of the inside of the coop to show you the nesting boxes and roost but can't figure out how to add it! Can anyone tell me how?
  2. alicefelldown

    alicefelldown Looking for a broody

    Aug 18, 2008
    The roosts should be the highest thing in your coop, above, not equal to the nesting boxes.
  3. There is good info about how to put a pic. up in the Frequently Asked Questions.

  4. tulie13

    tulie13 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 12, 2009
    NW Florida
    I'm not good with "how to post pics", but I can say one thing you might want to do is to make sure the roost that they will be using is the highest point in the coop, where they would WANT to be. If you don't want them roosting on top of the nesting boxes, you can block that area off. If you know where they are roosting and it's not where you want, assuming you can reach it, you can physically MOVE them at night - just pick them off of what they are sitting on and put them where you want them to be. This should help, but it won't work if there's something wrong with your target roost, such as being too low, or if it's too high for them to get up on easily by themselves, etc.

    Block off the hay area and see if you can lure them back into the coop area before it starts getting dark and close them in. Once they are in there, they will seek out the highest place to go to roost, which, hopefully, is where you want them to go! They will get used to it over time. They've only been with you a month, they are still getting used to the area and routine.
  5. patman75

    patman75 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Raise the roost and lock them inside for a few days.
  6. Attack Chicken

    Attack Chicken [IMG]emojione/assets/png/2665.png?v=2.2.7[/IMG] Hu

    Sep 25, 2008
    Indianapolis, IN
    I had a problem when they started roosting on the nestboxes because my coop isn't that big.. I build a steep platform to put up on it so they couldn't rooster up there and it worked!
  7. cmary

    cmary Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 7, 2009

    Here's a picture of the inside of the coop (thanks Matthew!)

    This all sounds like awesome advice - I'll block off the top of the nesting boxes and build them a better roost and try and block off the hay too... thank you!!!!!
  8. Attack Chicken

    Attack Chicken [IMG]emojione/assets/png/2665.png?v=2.2.7[/IMG] Hu

    Sep 25, 2008
    Indianapolis, IN
    I love your roo! very pretty Silver Spangled Hamburg [​IMG]
  9. lauralou

    lauralou Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 10, 2007
    Central Virginia
    Your coop looks very similar to a couple of my smaller coops.

    I agree that you need to raise the roost. Buy a 2X4. The branch that you have in there now is too small in diameter. So take the 2X4, turn it so the wide side is up, attach it to the front edge of the nestbox at one end, and the far wall at the other. That should make it a bit over a foot from the back wall. Which is enough room. My nestboxes are about 16 inches deep, and that works for my girls. You might also take a scrap of 2X4 and run it down to the floor if the roost doesn't seem sturdy enough. Not sure exactly what your nest box is built out of.

    I can't see how high that your roof is there, but if it seems that you don't have much headroom, lower the roost a bit and block off the area over the nestbox. Or better yet, convert it into another nestbox. [​IMG]

    If any of that didn't make sense, just ask. It all makes perfect sense in my head, but sometimes something gets lost in the translation!
  10. chickenshagg

    chickenshagg THE ALPHA ROO

    Apr 18, 2009
    St. Charles, MO
    Like most have said you need to have a higher roost but I would also lower the nesting boxes. They don't necessarily need to be as high as you have them, just a bit higher than the floor and bedding material.

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