roosting question

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by DebS, Jul 8, 2008.

  1. DebS

    DebS Hatching

    May 20, 2008
    I've been reading this board for quite some time now and have gotten some really helpful information. Thanks! This is my first attempt at keeping chicken and with all the info I have found on this site it has gone off without a hitch up to this point.

    Now I'm stumped. We just finished the coop and moved the girls (23) into it. We have a great roost in there for them and they won't use it. Well.......they sit on it during the day but when it comes time to sleep they pile into a heap in the corner. Is this common?
  2. ChickenToes

    ChickenToes Songster

    May 14, 2008
    NE Wisconsin
    Mine do the same thing [​IMG]
  3. Lammie

    Lammie In the Brooder

    Jun 25, 2008
    Depending on how old they are and what breed they are, that's not unusual. My Silkies used to sleep huddled on the park bench in the back yard, even in winter in the rain. I would scoop them all up at one time and take them to the hen house. They roost now. I think it might be something they have to figure out.
  4. ashyannehand

    ashyannehand Songster

    Jun 25, 2008
    Wade, Mississippi
    I have 11 hens and one roo. Most of them do roost but two of the girls like to stay on the ground. I am not sure why. I just figure they know what they like. Good luck!
  5. RoyalHillsLLC

    RoyalHillsLLC Songster

    Mar 5, 2007
    NW Louisiana-Vivian
    I built a small shelf and they seem to like it better than the sticks I have up.
  6. miss_jayne

    miss_jayne Lady_Jayne

    Jun 26, 2008
    Columbiaville, MI
    when i first got my hens, they all piled in a took two days to figure out the roosts. now, they all pile on one roost!
  7. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator

    Sep 25, 2007
    WELCOME to BYC!!!

    How old are your girls? Mine didn't begin roosting until they were around 4 months old. Also, at first, I had a wooden closet rod in there, and after reading on here found they do not prefer this as a roost. They much prefer a 2x4 (4" side up).

    Good luck!
  8. We started our younguns with a step ladder and we would put them on the lower rungs as babies, like at 2-4 weeks. One night, I went in at about 7 or 8 pm and they were all (16) pushing each other to sit on the top rung. It was hysterical! We then put up two ladders with a 2 x 4 between them and placed them on it. That night, there they all slept. I had read training them helps. I wanted them to roost so that we can have clean eggs. So try placing them on your roosts. That might help. Ours slept in a corner piled high until they were about 5 or 6 weeks old. 2 x 4s are really good as it gives them something to keep their toes warm in the winter and to comfortably balance on. Keep us posted.[​IMG]
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 8, 2008
  9. DebS

    DebS Hatching

    May 20, 2008
    Thanks for the replies.

    My girls are 11 weeks old and have, up to this point, been housed in a 10x6 portable dog run. In there we put up roosts of varying heights and they seemed to love them -- still slept in a pile in a corner -- but were on the roosts all the time. We had a landscape timber through 2 cinder blocks down low and then also had a step ladder as well. As was mentioned the girls would all try to get to the top and would argue over which one(s) got to be on the top step. [​IMG]

    The new coop is 10x12 and has a ladder-type roost in there. They seem to like it for sitting on during the day time but just don't sleep on it at night.

    Glad to hear this is "normal" and hopefully they will get the hang of it eventually.
  10. oldegger

    oldegger In the Brooder

    May 4, 2008
    Monclova, OH
    Quote:After reading all the post recommending 2x4 laying flat with rounded edges. thats what I made. One end mounted to the back wall the other end supported off the sidewall with a 1/2 in. plywood
    support. three hens roost on the 1/2 in. support the rest in a pile on the floor. Go fegure

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