Roosting Issue - To Move or Not to Move???

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by WitksChicks, Nov 7, 2009.

  1. WitksChicks

    WitksChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 8, 2009
    Central CT
    I have 6 girls, all like to roost on the top roosting bar. The issue is, that 4 can fit up there if they are wing-to-wing. The next rung down in the roost is usually occupied by one more girl. The last/lone girl ends up on the edge of the nesting box. With that said, you can all imagine the mess in that nest box in the morning. It was a good idea to build the coop with 3 nest boxes instead of 2, funny how things turn out.

    Well, last night after they were all in for the night, I went into the coop and there again were 4 on the top rung of the roost and one on the next bar down and one on the edge of the nest box. I moved the one from the nest box along side the one that was alone on the next bar down. This morning the nest boxes were all clean. (Yipppieee!!!).

    My question is, if I keep moving this one girl from the nest box to the roost, will she eventually get the hang of it and go directly to the roost bar instead of the nest box? She is the bottom of the pecking order if that matters.

    Also, The top rung of the roost is crowded with 4 girls up there. The last one to arrive always has to face the wall and I'm not even sure if she actually gets to roost (sit) or not. The roost bars are 34" long. Should I attempt to move her down a rung? Will that disrupt the pecking order? It would give them more room on the top rung. It would make 3 girls on the top rung and 3 on the next rung down.

    You can see the inside of my 4' x 6' coop by going to the webpage and going to coop construction and scrolling down.

    Anxious to hear your advise as it is already dusk in CT.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2009
  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    SW Arkansas
    I would keep moving her until she gets the idea. You have to be consistent and do it every night, but she should get the hang of it.
     
  3. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    I took a look at your coop page. The only thing (besides to keep moving the one hen off the next box until she learns) I could think of this: It looks like you have a fair anount of space on the other side of the nest boxes. Could you run two 2x4s or (whatever you use for roosts) the OTHER way from end to end?? Adjacent to the nest boxes rather than in a parallel direction??? Just a thought...because you could easily fit two, since you have 34 inches of space...one 12" from the far wall, the other 24 inches... And there is no "TOP" roosting spot that way either.... Just a thought...
     
  4. ScoobyRoo

    ScoobyRoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 21, 2008
    Land of OZ
    Keep in mind during the freezing weather, it is good that they crowd together. Keeps them warmer. Just a thought.
     
  5. WitksChicks

    WitksChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 8, 2009
    Central CT
    Quote:Do you mean directly across from the nesting boxes? That would put them directly in front of the windows. If I go to the top of the wall on that side, then they are near the lights. Won't it get too hot for them?
     
  6. newchicksnducks

    newchicksnducks Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have my roost in front of a window. Fortunately, mine is a double hung window, and with the cooler weather I just have it opened a few inches on the top, leaving the girls draft-free for their nightly snooze. Is this your only ventilation? Is it all the way open during the cold weather? If you have roof vents/ridge vents and a side wall vent, this would probably be all you would need for the ventilation issue, and you could close up the windows by the roost for the winter. During the summer tho, my girls all squabbled for the prime spot in front of the window for the breeze. One BA would even go back to the coop about 15 minutes before the others and "claim" her:lol: spot!
     
  7. WitksChicks

    WitksChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 8, 2009
    Central CT
    I have vents on the side walls near the roof peak, a ridge vent and also openings where the top of the walls meet the roof angle. The windows have sliding plexi-glass panels on the inside and on the outside a plexi-glass panel secured for the winter. So they are double covered. So far I haven't had any ventilation problems or humidity collecting in the coop.

    Another concern would be a space/distance issue from the overhead heat light should I need to use it over the winter months, and would I be loosing space between the new roost (if it is in front of the windows) and the nesting boxes prohibiting the girls to get to them. It would also make cleaning the coop more difficult as I wouldn't have room to get inside and work a roost in front of the windows. Where the human door is, inside immediately on the right are 3 nesting boxes, and there is only 3' of space from the front end of the boxes to the coop wall in front of them, where the two windows are.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2009

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