Roosting problem....

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Brunty_Farms, Mar 19, 2009.

  1. Brunty_Farms

    Brunty_Farms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok so I have purchased 250 started pullets from a hatchery and I have tried so hard to get them to roost. First it was a task of getting them all in the coop at night instead of sleeping under it. Well we completed phase one but now on to phase two.... sleeping on the roost and not in a pile in the corner.

    These came from a farm where they were use to sleeping on the floor for 15 weeks. Well after putting everyone of the chickens on the roost every night for about a week it has paid off somewhat... I have about half going up to the roost and the rest seem to be content with the floor.

    I've never had this problem as I've always used layers that I received as day olds... not started. For them it's like second nature and by the 8th week they are all on the roost at night time.

    Anyone have any ideas besides individually putting them on the roost every night? They have a light that lights the whole coop so they can see to get up there. They havn't quite figured what time is bed time so I have to turn the light on every night around quarter till eight to get them to go in.

    I guess the last "phase" is going to teach them to lay in the nest boxes. As I have a feeling I'm going to be picking up eggs for quite a while out of the pasture. Hopefully they get the oops... I have to lay an egg... down quick!

    Any ideas???
     
  2. dancingbear

    dancingbear Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh boy, this kind of stuff can be so frustrating. I occasionally have a mama hen who elects to stay on the floor with her children, rather than teach them to roost. What I've done with them is wait until dark, use a flashlight to locate them and place on the roosts. Most of them will stay put and not jump down in the dark...but there's always a hold-out or two. After several nights of this, more and more start roosting on their own.

    The last bunch I had trouble with was determined to sleep (and poop) in one of the nest boxes. After repeatedly "roosting" them every night, finally I re-modeled the nest boxes, and made it into a large group nest. The new opening is on the end opposite where they were sleeping before. I've had no more problem with them since.

    I never had 250 to deal with all at once, it sounds like a long, tedious process ahead of you!

    ETA: I had a pair of buff Brahmas I bought from a breeder, they'd apparently spent most of their lives in a fairly small pen, no roost. The hen took to roosting after about a month, the roo never did. He was a massive bird, that may have had something to do with it. Some of his offspring also became huge, but used the roosts anyway.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2009
  3. Brunty_Farms

    Brunty_Farms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yeah it sucks.... I don't want to buy started pullets ever again... [​IMG]

    I'm getting some progress but last night I couldn't be there to roost them and tonight is going to be the same. To much going on... I'm afraid that their routine will break. I'm getting about half of them to roost but the other half want to pile up in a corner. I'm just afraid that when it gets hot I'm going to lose a few to them. So far I havn't lost one and I'm surprised as they have been through hell and back with their trip, changing feeds, going from inside to outside, learning the ropes of roosting.... and trying to figure out that my G. Pyrenees isn't going to eat them.... With everything thrown at them in about a months time they are dealing with it pretty well.

    I'm going to take some pics of all of them roosting at once.... it's quite a picture....
     
  4. dancingbear

    dancingbear Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Once it gets warmer, they'll probably quit huddling together. They might even roost then, because of better air circulation, they'll be cooler.
     

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