Roosting: Trying everyone's advice


In the Brooder
8 Years
Jul 11, 2011
So, my four chickens are almost 12 weeks. They have a beautiful coop and run. I've blocked off the nesting boxes for now. But they are not using their roosting ladder. My coop is built from old windows, so they have plenty of light during the day. The only light they have at night is from an old coke machine that glows from the outbuilding window that shines through the coop that is added on to the back. They choose to sleep in a corner huddled together. They use the roost in the coop during the day and they also use the roosts in the run during the day, so I know they know what to do. I've researched roosting and have taken advice to place them on their roost at night, when they've settled down. I went out tonight and did what everyone suggested. They were huddled up in the corner and giving me little disapproving clucks, but they let me place each of them on the roost. It was the funniest thing. They all stayed up there when I was leaving. Wondering if they will be there in the morning. We'll see. :)
Eventually, they will get the hang of it if you are persistent. I have six birds that were integrated into the big coop a couple of weeks ago. Every night I would go out and put them on the roost before locking the door. Every morning they would be back on the floor. Finally one stayed the night on the roost. The next night three of them stayed. Then it was just the rooster who would be off in the morning. The last few days every one was on the roost when I opened the coop up. Now if I could just get them to put themselves up there, I will have it whipped!
I am sorry for my ignorance but why is it so important that they roost rather than sleeping on the floor or the nest box? I have given up with trying to get mine to roost because they are on the floor again before I even get the last one up there and then I have to start all over again! Is it just a matter of keeping the eggs cleaner or is there a medical reason behind it?
I find that if new birds sleep on the floor under the roosts, the older birds will be dropping poop on them and making them really nasty looking. I also feel they are somewhat safer up high in case a snake gets in. Plus they just look so cute when I peek in at night and they are all on the roost shoulder to shoulder in a row.
My 10 week old Silkies have gotten me trained pretty quickly. The first two nights I put them in the coop because they weren't going up the ladder and it was raining....each night they trilled so sweetly as soon as they were in out of the rain...tonight they paced and peeped at dusk until I came and gave them a lift!

I used to be sad that my grandfather (old school farmer) wasn't here to have something to say about my chicken adventure. If he knew I am carrying chickens to their coop - OMG he'd have some things to say!!
When I moved them into the coop they would jump on and off the roosts all day and pile in the corners on the floor at night. With no help or interference from me they all are on the roost at night now.
i know of no medical reason for them to have to roost. As far as I know it doesn't matter. I figure if they want to roost great, if not, so be it.
Mine got the hang of it, eventually. They really love to perch on things.
I would not worry about it. They settle where they are most comfortable any way and that is the purpose!

I would not want mine roosting on teh ladder to teh nests because the higher one will crap on the one below, and so forth. Also, it establishes a hierarchy at bed time. I just built them a nice and roomy perch out of 2X4s, turned on the thin side. They love it.
Thanks for all the replies. The main reason I hope they learn to roost at night is that I don't want to deal with matted poop on their rears. I dealt with that when they were young and really don't want to have to wrangle an adult chicken to cut big poop ball out of their feathers. :)
I have 6 pullets and 2 roos in a separate coop-and-run from my older birds, and they all huddle up together on a shelf at night.
They don't have matted poop on their feathers, and they've been sleeping that way since I first put them outside in the coop.
They're very clean and glossy looking, and they smell pretty good too. If they prefer sleeping like that, and they're happy, well, I'm happy too...

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom