I have 5 ex battery hens, none of them use any roosting bars, I have one out side and 3 inside the coop, all 5 girls sleep in there nesting boxes or on the floor, I have tries putting them on the bars but they just jump down, what should I do????
I am super new, but I read a lot, so hopefully this is the right advice.
First, if you coop is secure, I don't think it is essential for them to roost. This is natural behavior to keep away from predators, since chickens are very vulnerable at night.
If you want them to roost (and I find with the installation of a poop board, it keeps the coop cleaner), do it after dark. What until it is dark and the chickens are in their stupor. Pick them up and place them on the roost. You may have to do this several nights in a row, but ti should work.
Being x-battery hens it does take a while to get used to the fact that they are no longer caged and a roosting bar is new material to them. I rescue a couple of hundred x-bats yearly and always seem to be a babysitter for a while...lol Be persistant, at night lower your roosting bars as well if they are too high. They are used to being caged... now they have to figure out how to get up to the bars.
Give them a while to get used to things. If your x-bat hens have been with you a while now, you may try to put the roosting bars at the same height as the nesting boxes or even lower... Yes you have to be persistant and at night when the are dosile put them on the roosting bars. If you are content with them on the floor and safe from predators by all means let them and eventually they will learn to roost.
If your ex-bats do not have a rooster, make sure you collect the eggs from the nesting boxes. Maybe the reason they want to sleep in the boxes is they are comfy and isolated. I find ex-bats are blown away by the fact they can set on an egg and not lose it after laying it. The floors being sloped in battery cages onto a belt or whatever. They will want to sit on the egg.. If you are still concerned, get a rooster, just one and he will naturally use the roosting bars. Monkey see monkey do in the life of a chicken.. If the rooster roost the girls will come around....hopefully. Good luck, Steve
I can't get a rooster, im not bothered that they sleep in the boxes or on the floor, im pretty sure they are very safe, my only little concern is that I am getting 2 young chicks and if im right then the older ones will show the younger ones what to do, so does this mean my youngsters won't roost??? Also my first bar is only 6 inches off the ground, I know they can jump higher than this as they jump up on things in the garden