Roosting, and sleeping

Dazz172

Chirping
Nov 6, 2018
32
64
69
NSW, Australia
Hi, I'm very new to owning chickens have only got 3 and had them for close to a month now, they are still quite young but producing eggs everyday, when I first got them they would all snuggle up inside together and sleep and they started off sleeping in the nest boxes, with not knowing anything back then I thought this was fine and let them go, but the last couple of nights 2 of the girls are coming out into the pen and sleeping on the ground while 1 stays inside??? I have just recently found out they should be sleeping in roosting bars, which they have but they won't get on them and I am unsure of I will get them on them and how I can get the 2 girls to come back and sleep inside
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
Premium Feather Member
Jul 3, 2016
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Many chickens need to be taught to use a roost so the way to do that is to go out just past dusk and physically place them on the bars. If they've been sleeping in nest boxes, they need to be blocked off overnight (a piece of cardboard or plywood will do).

Photos of the coop inside and out (especially roost bar and nest boxes) will help troubleshoot if you're lacking in light/ventilation or if bar or nest placement is less than ideal.
 

Dazz172

Chirping
Nov 6, 2018
32
64
69
NSW, Australia
IMG_9170.JPG IMG_9171.JPG IMG_9172.JPG
Many chickens need to be taught to use a roost so the way to do that is to go out just past dusk and physically place them on the bars. If they've been sleeping in nest boxes, they need to be blocked off overnight (a piece of cardboard or plywood will do).

Photos of the coop inside and out (especially roost bar and nest boxes) will help troubleshoot if you're lacking in light/ventilation or if bar or nest placement is less than ideal.
Thankyou rosemarythyme, this is their coop and some pics looking inside , there's a fair bit of straw in there ATM , the roost bars are about an inch maybe a littleness more off the floor, im getting some fake eggs this arvo to encourage they lay in the box , because I didn't have the roost bars in at first and they were laying there so I put them in but today they laid between them hehe. Let me know wat u think of the pics and if there is anything I should change, thanks again
 
Last edited:

Dazz172

Chirping
Nov 6, 2018
32
64
69
NSW, Australia
The easiest way I have found is to put a light in the coop. They will go to the light as the sun goes down. After a little while doing this they will go in without the light.
Thanks , some1 on another thread said I should lock them in so they can't get get out after they go in, I should do this? I was just worried about if they wanted a drink or something
 

BY Bob

Proprietor, Fluffy Butt Acres
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Jan 1, 2016
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They will not eat or drink after dark so locking them is normally just for their protection and your control of the situation.

You can also train them to sleep in the coop by locking them in it for a few days but you need to provide food and water in the coop if you do that.

I am having trouble seeing the roost in your photos. How far off the ground is it?
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
Premium Feather Member
Jul 3, 2016
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Thankyou rosemarythyme, this is their coop and some pics looking inside , there's a fair bit of straw in there ATM , the roost bars are about an inch maybe a littleness more off the floor, im getting some fake eggs this arvo to encourage they lay in the box , because I didn't have the roost bars in at first and they were laying there so I put them in but today they laid between them hehe. Let me know wat u think of the pics and if there is anything I should change, thanks again

Roost bars are way too low, I will never understand having a roost 1" off the floor, because chickens want to roost up higher. Not sure if it's possible, but I'd remove the existing bars, and put a new one(s) above the top of nest box opening?

I also don't see any vents, which means lack of ventilation (stuffy) and lack of light (can't see to get in the coop).
 

Dazz172

Chirping
Nov 6, 2018
32
64
69
NSW, Australia
IMG_9182.JPG IMG_9183.JPG IMG_9184.JPG IMG_9185.JPG IMG_9186.JPG
Roost bars are way too low, I will never understand having a roost 1" off the floor, because chickens want to roost up higher. Not sure if it's possible, but I'd remove the existing bars, and put a new one(s) above the top of nest box opening?

I also don't see any vents, which means lack of ventilation (stuffy) and lack of light (can't see to get in the coop).
Sorry the roost bars are actually 3" off the floor I removed a lot of the straw underneath it and also has the pull out floor to clean there poos easier , yeh there is vents up on left hand wall but u can't see in the picture, I've just started preparing everything ready for tonight and putting them on the roost bars, here's some better pics of where I'm at ATM of the roost bars with a lot of the straw removed , and the Vent holes.
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
Premium Feather Member
Jul 3, 2016
15,053
28,792
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WA, Pac NW
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My Coop
Sorry the roost bars are actually 3" off the floor I removed a lot of the straw underneath it and also has the pull out floor to clean there poos easier , yeh there is vents up on left hand wall but u can't see in the picture, I've just started preparing everything ready for tonight and putting them on the roost bars, here's some better pics of where I'm at ATM of the roost bars with a lot of the straw removed , and the Vent holes.

The important thing with roost bars to encourage chickens to use them, is they should be higher than the nest box. So if nest box is floor level, 1' above would be ok, if nest box is 3' up, the roost would be 4' or more up. This is why I suggested moving them above the nest box somehow, if possible.

The vents are too small and insufficient - more ventilation would not only provide more natural light, but allows moisture to escape and relieves general stuffiness inside. At minimum you want 1 sq ft per chicken or 10% of floor space, whichever is greater. In hotter climates, more is better. I know it's hard finding good ways to add vents in a smaller coop, but maybe replacing the top planks where the vent holes currently are with wire mesh would be a start.
 

MANNA-PRO

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