Jakico

In the Brooder
Nov 28, 2019
55
47
41
I have a flock of 8 hens. 4 hatched in August and 4 in March. They have integrated in the coop, run and when free ranging. The problem is at night. My roost has a door that swings upwards over half of it and is held open with a bungee cord. 3 older chickens sleep to one side behind a second door. The open section is guarded by a tiny little Araucana. I haven’t been able to close the door because the younger chickens fly on the open door and roost there. I have tried to get them to sleep in the roost. There is about 5 feet remaining in the perch, but the Araucana won’t let them in, she pecks and freaks out and they leave the roosting box. If the door is shut they just fly into the wall where the door once was. They are getting heavier and are going to have a hard time continuing to get high enough to roost on the door and I am tired of cleaning poop of the door. Fizzgig the Araucana used to be bottom of the pecking order prior to the new girls arrival and was the most difficult during integration. Any tips or similar situations?
 

darkbaysfordays

Songster
May 13, 2020
156
555
103
Spencer, NY
Is there enough roost space for everyone inside? My coop door swings out and provides some rain and wind protection. You might need to have a couple roosts that are separate so they can pick and choose who and where they sleep.
 

Jakico

In the Brooder
Nov 28, 2019
55
47
41
There seems to be plenty of room. During the day they sometimes go in there to hang out, but at night Fizzgig guards the entrance. We don’t have room in the roosting box itself to add additional roosts or perches. I was originally leaving this door open as some like to perch on the edge at times especially with the warmer weather. I was thinking about separating her at night to a kennel for a few nights to see if that gets the younger birds comfortable roosting with their flock. She’s already a neurotic little thing and don’t want to stress her either.
 

Jakico

In the Brooder
Nov 28, 2019
55
47
41
The roosting box is about 8 feet, the bar is just over seven feet. The blue box is where 3 of the larger chickens sleep. A buff Brahma, gold sex link and small Easter egger. It’s probably a little over a foot of space they take up, they huddle pretty close. The red area is where the Araucana sleeps, or seemly paces all night, it’s not on the roost but the opening to the door. She has never slept with the other chickens always on the opposite side. The green area is the door propped open where the younger 4 birds sleep, three of which are now bigger than the Araucana. There is at least 5 feet of room that remains unoccupied on the roost. The second pic shows the usually set up with the right door closed and left one open. The next pic is of the whole coop, but they have a run that extends the length of both out buildings in the back. The last pic is of the naughty chicken that guards the roost at night.
 

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Jakico

In the Brooder
Nov 28, 2019
55
47
41
The third pic also caught all the older ladies together. You can see how small the Araucana (the one drinking) is compared to her sisters of the same age. I think she’s mad because she doesn’t have a butt and looks different than all the other chickens.
 

rosemarythyme

Crossing the Road
Jul 3, 2016
11,671
21,582
792
WA, Pac NW
My Coop
Bottom of the pecking order older bird is usually the biggest PITA when integrating new younger birds.

Has this problem been going the entire time? Because you said they're integrated in the coop, but now they're not?

It could help to have a second roost bar but it sounds like the younger birds can't even get in to try roosting.

What happens if you manually place the birds on the roost after dark? Do they stay there?
 

Jakico

In the Brooder
Nov 28, 2019
55
47
41
Bottom of the pecking order older bird is usually the biggest PITA when integrating new younger birds.

Has this problem been going the entire time? Because you said they're integrated in the coop, but now they're not?

It could help to have a second roost bar but it sounds like the younger birds can't even get in to try roosting.

What happens if you manually place the birds on the roost after dark? Do they stay there?
They are integrated everywhere but the roost at night. Happy in the coop if I get up late, happy in the run, happy free ranging. It’s just the roost at bed time. One of the new girls was confused and laid eggs in the roost for a while and I see them in there during the day. I’ve placed them a few times after dark and it went about 50/50. I just get up at 4 am so it hard to go out at night, it’s process with the little girls squawking and freaking out.
 

rosemarythyme

Crossing the Road
Jul 3, 2016
11,671
21,582
792
WA, Pac NW
My Coop
I guess the layout is confusing me. So the enclosed box is the "roost box." The entire enclosed area is the run, correct? So there's no actual coop in the traditional sense.

I'm only asking because if you're going for an open coop/run combo, why not open up the roost area too, that would give you the space needed to add the extra roosts your younger birds seem to be asking for (chickens vote on roosts with their feet). Because they seem to want the bar at the front (door frame) to be their roost.
 

Jakico

In the Brooder
Nov 28, 2019
55
47
41
The box is the roost, the coop is the bigger enclosed area and there is a large run behind everything that can’t be seen. But I like your idea of having more roost within the coop area and just making the entire coop a roost...the idea of the roost box was to keep them warm in the winter.... I think they are settled for the night. I’ll try and take a picture of their sleeping arrangements in action.
 

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