Roosting ON TOP of the coop

Jul 20, 2018
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Okay, so we have two hens, one RIR and one BA both about 6 months old that sleep on top of the coop about 3 out of 5 nights and it's driving me crazy! The other four (1 RIR, 1 BA, 2 EE) all go in the coop and hop on the roosts just fine.

This issue has been going on, on and off, since they came out to their outdoor living area about 3 months ago but it seems to be getting steadily worse.

To attempt to combat their getting on the coop altogether I arranged "birdie spike strips (the plastic 6" strips that go on buildings to keep birds from landing) about every 6 inches and while it's kept all of them off during the day these two still find their way up there most nights. Four days ago I got frustrated and interwove fishing line between the spikes in a spider web pattern assuming that would keep them from jumping up all together but those two have made their way up 3 out of 4 nights.

I'll post pictures tomorrow when I have a chance to take some but the coop is about 4 feet by 4 feet feet and they have 2 roosts that are about 4 feet long each and are made out of 1x2 (it's what came with the coop).

When I take them down off of the coop they stand there and seemingly want to go back up. I have to scoot them over to the run and then once in the run they tend to waddle into the coop and jump up on the perches.

I honestly don't know what's causing them to do this let alone do it so consistently. When they're all in their on perches there seems to me more than enough room for the 6 of them. They usually go 3 on each perch or 4 on one and 2 on the other so there is usually a foot or two of spare room at the end of each perch. Is it a room issue (again, I'll post pics tomorrow so everyone can compare the dimensions to the pics), is it a pecking order thing and if they don't get in there in their proper order those two give up and go outside?

I'll take any feedback or suggestions to get these two wackos to go in the coop properly at the end of the night. Please help! LOL
 

oldhenlikesdogs

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My guess is the roost drama is more than they want to handle. Chickens can do a bit of bickering as they settle in for the night. My guess is the 2 are avoiding the issue. I definitely would get a thicker roost. 2x4 work well. Otherwise it may be a matter of keeping at them.

Pictures will help for us to see if you are missing anything, so I look forward to them. :pop
 
Jul 20, 2018
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My guess is the roost drama is more than they want to handle. Chickens can do a bit of bickering as they settle in for the night. My guess is the 2 are avoiding the issue. I definitely would get a thicker roost. 2x4 work well. Otherwise it may be a matter of keeping at them.

Pictures will help for us to see if you are missing anything, so I look forward to them. :pop
Yeah, I was thinking that swapping out the 1x2 might be a relatively easy fix if that works better for them. Thanks for the advice and definitely pictures to come tomorrow. thanks!
 

MaryZoe

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Jun 26, 2016
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Naples, FL
5861E17D-FC80-4661-BBA7-947F2C65C56B.jpeg 53BC28D5-8D33-49A7-8250-BFB578598C4E.jpeg
I have a similar problem, but my guys and ladies are roosting in palm trees over the roof of their coop. I had chix in the same coop for years and they loved it. I’ve just decided to leave these tree-roosters be. We have LGD and donkeys around, so I hope they’re safe.
 

oldhenlikesdogs

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View attachment 1586617 View attachment 1586618
I have a similar problem, but my guys and ladies are roosting in palm trees over the roof of their coop. I had chix in the same coop for years and they loved it. I’ve just decided to leave these tree-roosters be. We have LGD and donkeys around, so I hope they’re safe.
They aren't safe from areal predators like owls unfortunately.
 
Jul 20, 2018
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View attachment 1586617 View attachment 1586618
I have a similar problem, but my guys and ladies are roosting in palm trees over the roof of their coop. I had chix in the same coop for years and they loved it. I’ve just decided to leave these tree-roosters be. We have LGD and donkeys around, so I hope they’re safe.
That's my thought too. At what point do I give up and just let them roost on top of the coop if they want to? We haven't had any nighttime predator problems that I've seen (there are 3-5 rabbits always running around the neighborhood at night) but I don't want to offer them up either as they're as much pets as they are egg producers.
 
Jul 20, 2018
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They aren't safe from areal predators like owls unfortunately.
We absolutely have owls in the area (I've seen/heard them on neighbors rooftops from time to time) but to dissuade them and the hawks we have I've run a fishing line matrix above their entire enclosure as well (pics tomorrow) and it's kept out all airborne predators so far. I've had hawks circling overhead many times and at least once (that I saw myself) a hawk dove down to check it out but diverted into the side yard next to them and then took back off. I'm assuming it would work for owls at night too but again, I don't want to risk it if I don't have to.
 

21hens-incharge

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I think it may be a matter of a small coop and someone being bossy at roosting time.

I wouldn't give up on getting them coop trained. May end up modifying the coop to make it work.

I am in the middle of a fairly large town and see lots of predators. We have the air assaults from hawks and owls, ground assaults from fox and raccoon.
Just a couple days ago a redtail was having chicken for lunch just outside my perimeter fence.....not my bird but someones bird.
 

MaryZoe

Songster
Jun 26, 2016
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172
Naples, FL
It's true that they are susceptible to owls at night. It's so frustrating. They have what I thought was a great 3 foot long 2 x 4 roosting bar for the 5 or 6 of them. They actually have three such roosting bars--one in each of the three coops open to them. They were good enough for all my other chix. Talk about picky!
 

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