roosing! ON THE ROOF! agh....


In the Brooder
8 Years
Feb 10, 2011
I have a hutch style coop that is inside the run. My girls are about 9 weeks old now... and were "cooped up" in the coop for the first week after their brooder, and were learning the ropes of their roosting bar. Now that I have opened up their popdoor to the run, I seriously dont even think they have stepped foot into their coop! No poop, no scratching, and COBWEBS (yes, cobwebs) on their roosts!! Needless to say, I'm new to the chicken thing. Then today, I walk into their run, and there they were, all lined up on the ROOF of the coop!! DH and I put nice spiffy shingles on the coop, and now its covered in chicken poo

lol. Is there anything that I can do about this? Will they use their coop in time? I realize they are much lighter than they will be and am assuming thats how they are flying up that high, but what on EARTH did we build a coop for if they never use it???

They will always try to roost in the highest place. I've had the same problem, except not only on a doghouse sized coop, some were trying to get on top of their walk-in/shed-sized coop after being allowed to free range!

Options are to fortify the surrounding run (sounds like this is a small coop inside a "pen" so to speak) so that they can be safe on the roof. Honestly the rain won't hurt them if they are fully feathered out. The pen would have to be covered completely with nothing less than welded wire (aka no chicken wire) and either strongly supported well-above them out of raccoon-reach, or with hardware cloth around where they would sleep.
Alternately, you could re-design their pen and use the hutch thing as a giant "nesting area" (mine love the dog house for a nest box) and build a free standing roost (or use the hutch) and build a simple roof over it for the top of the pen (that they couldn't get on to the roof) with some tin or something easy to support. This would also protect them from a raccoon getting on top to gain access, besides providing weather shelter.

OR to "train" them to roost inside by moving them every night until they get the picture. You can assist with training by clipping their flight feathers on one side so that they can't fly as well, but in my experience with a small coop (4ish ft tall) they would flap up some of the way and then crawl/flap their way up the roof to the top. Little boogers!!!
Fowl love the feel of warm shingles under their feet, don't they? We had a neighbor's peacock roost on my husband's shop. He absolutely loved it, but when he came into the garage and decided to roost on one of the cars he was banished forever. If you can post a picture of your setup so we can suggest some changes.
That really will not help, the highest place is where they will want to be, mine did that and it took about a week of picking them up and putting them inside on the roost before they got the idea, but now it's getting hot again they are right back up there. I made an A frame roof over their run from PVC pipe to give them more air flow.

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