Rooster won't walk up ramp - normal behavior?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by stavo, Sep 17, 2018.

  1. stavo

    stavo In the Brooder

    Hi. My first flock is now 4 1/2 months old. The coop is raised and we have a nice ramp from the ground up to the landing which then leads through the door. Every evening, the hens walk up the ramp and go inside to roost. The rooster, however, won't use the ramp. He wants to jump straight to the landing. So for about 15-20 minutes, he'll pace back and forth under the ramp from one side of the landing to the other. Each time he'll look up, like he wants to jump for it but isn't sure he'll make it, and then turn and pace to the other side and repeat. Eventually, he will jump, and barely makes the landing. I've never seen him miss but suspect that it happens somewhat often. He just ignores the ramp itself.

    Then here's part two: Once inside, he usually will not join the hens on the roosts, but instead just sleep on the floor in the wood shavings. I used to see him on the roosting bars every night, now it's just one or two nights a week.

    He's a decent size bird, but I don't think he's particularly heavy or otherwise unable to reach those heights. By the way, the landing is 24" from the ground, and the roosting bars are 21" from the coop floor.

    If breed is a factor, I think he is a Barred Rock. If not, a Cuckoo Maran (bought one of each as chicks, and I'm not positive which is which).
    True Patriot likes this.
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Chicken tender

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    Some birds don't like ramps, or even understand the concept if them.

    Many roosters will sleep closer to the door. I've even had them sleep in the pophole entrance. Do you have enough roosts to accommodate everyone?

    And finally some birds are just quirky. I would check his feet over just in case. Many times roosters have big feet and spurs which makes it harder for them to negotiate things that hens have no troubles with.
    Geena, stavo and True Patriot like this.
  3. True Patriot

    True Patriot Sanity is subjective

    May 20, 2018
    Liberty Co, Georgia
    My Coop
    Would it be possible to add intermediate perches like a ladder for him to use. Sometimes they just don't see things our way. If that's the case then maybe giving a little help getting where he's going to will speed up the nightly ritual.
    Geena and stavo like this.
  4. SW31

    SW31 Songster

    My large hen is like that. She finds it challenging to jump up and won’t use the ladder. Guess who has to pick her up each night and put her to bed!
    True Patriot and stavo like this.
  5. Chickassan

    Chickassan Wattle Fondler

    I hate to tell you...but young cockrels are just dumb when it comes to going to bed. I'm sorry, but it is true. He will eventually do it right, just have patience but right now if he's inside and not getting pooped on be grateful. I say this as a lady who has had a LOT of little roosters.:gig
    True Patriot and stavo like this.
  6. stavo

    stavo In the Brooder

    Good advice, thank you. I will check his feet. There should be plenty of room. We have two roosting bars, but they all tend to crowd on one, so far.
    oldhenlikesdogs and True Patriot like this.
  7. stavo

    stavo In the Brooder

    I was thinking of setting a tree stump there to give him some help. I'll give it a little more time first to see if he adapts to the ramp.
    Geena and True Patriot like this.
  8. stavo

    stavo In the Brooder

    That's funny. I'm not going to set that precedence. :)
    aart and True Patriot like this.
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Pic of ramp, please?
    He's young and still growing, they can be pretty clumsy at that age.
    Has he ever gone up the ramp?

    FYI.....semantics, maybe, but can be important communication terms when discussing chicken behavior.
    Female chickens are called pullets until one year of age, then they are called hens.
    Male chickens are called cockerels until one year of age, then they are called cocks(or cockbirds or roosters).
    Age in weeks or months is always a good thing to note.
  10. dashman1319

    dashman1319 In the Brooder

    Jul 31, 2018
    Chapel Hill, NC
    I'm late to the party, but I've observed the exact same behavior in my RIR cockerel, now about 21 weeks old, over the past few weeks. He used the ramp and the roost along with the pullets until 2-3 weeks ago. Recently he's really grown into his role - started crowing and, to be honest, being a bit of a jerk - and his behavior in the coop has changed. We have a chicken tractor with a ramp leading to the coop about two feet off the ground. He never used to have trouble navigating it, but now displays similar behavior before going up at night. He too started sleeping under the roosting bar, even though there's room for all five of my birds up there. Some nights I find him sleeping on it, but most, he's underneath it (gross). Finally, he just refuses to go down the ramp in the morning with the ladies now. He demands to be let out the side door and hop down.

    Interesting stuff, we were scratching our heads over it and then I found your post. I'd be interested to know if anything changed since then. Incidentally, our upstart cockerel is probably not long for this world, since we have too small a ratio of females to him, so I may never find out if this would change over time or not.

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