the Roost

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by theRomanticRoost, Nov 22, 2009.

  1. theRomanticRoost

    theRomanticRoost New Egg

    Nov 22, 2009
    Hi, I am a brand new member and a brand new chicken owner and loving it. I have looked but cannot find the answer to this question so please forgive me if it has already been answered. [​IMG] When do chickens start using the roost? We got our 3 chickens (the Princesses) on Oct. 24th at 6 weeks of age. They seem to love their coop and run but aren't using the roost bar yet. It is positioned catty corner on one side of the coop with the nesting boxes on the other side. The roost is about 1" in diameter and about 27" off the floor. Right now the three of them hunker down in one corner of the coop for the night. Thanks so much. [​IMG]
  2. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 12, 2009
    BuCo, KS
    My Coop
    They may not like the small diameter of the roost. They tend to prefer something wide enough for them to stand on, rather than something they need to hold onto (if you think about it, it would be more restful to be able to comfortably balance on something than to have to grip it hard all night to avoid falling off). The other reason a wide perch is preferred is so that they can sit on their feet and cover them completely to keep them warm at night. If they have to cur ltheir toes around a bar, the ends of the toes are exposed to the cold air, inviting frostbite. My roost is made from a 2x4 but I know of others who use a 2x6 or even a 2x8. You probably want to use something at least 2" thick though, so it can stand the weight of the full-grown chooks without bowing.

    Oh - and welcome to BYC!
  3. The Chicken People

    The Chicken People Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 4, 2009
    Smithville, Mo
    [​IMG] I have been using 2 inch round roost but I am heading out today to replace them with 2 by 4's I dont want to invite frostbite! I hope the girls like their new roost! And I introduced a roost to my girls when they were little and they enjoyed playing on it! you start out low to the ground and let them get used to it...then every week you raise it a few inches as they get bigger!
  4. ijon1

    ijon1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 26, 2009
    gaines, michigan
    Two by four works real well. Lets them put their feathers over feet in cold weather.
  5. Baymen Moe

    Baymen Moe Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 17, 2009
    Pembroke, Ma.
    Once you get a wider roost, you can pick the birds up from the coop floor and put them on the roost. Do this in the evening. More than likely they will do it on their own in no time.

  6. theRomanticRoost

    theRomanticRoost New Egg

    Nov 22, 2009
    Thank you so much! I have picked them up once or twice and put them on the roost. I will get right on it and change the roost to something more they can rest on instead of grip for the night. [​IMG]
  7. Nostalchic

    Nostalchic Chillin' With My Peeps

    My chickens - a varied bunch - really didn't start using their roost until they were 12 or 13 weeks old, and there were several that still huddled together on the floor for even longer. I made myself crazy over this (why? I don't remember what I was so worried about, come to think of it) going out after dark and putting them up there, going for another chicken while the last one I'd put up jumped back down, over and over again... ahhhhhhhhh! I changed the roost, the roost height, everything I could think of. I finally just gave up and then at some point they were all roosting on the roost like good chickies, without any input or opinions from me. I do use 2x4's, but my neighbor uses big dowels, and I don't see that the chickens care particularly, one way or another. My advice, don't worry too much about it! They WILL use the roost when they're ready.
  8. cnj-tx50

    cnj-tx50 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 19, 2009
    North of Dallas, TX
    Mine have never used the roost. They perfer the top of the nesting box and the front of the boxes. As a mater of fact I replaced everything with hardy board for to rest on. They just seem to like to sit all the way down at night. They do however hang their heads between the box and the wall. Very funny sight when you go in and all you see are fluffy butts!!
  9. twister

    twister Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 12, 2009
    ditto: the 2x4 and use it with the 4" side for roosting so their feet can be covered by the feathers. Make sure it is splinter proof as well.
    another thought:
    Can they get up to it easily? Mine have a ramp so that they can walk up and down, to and from the roost..... when positioning the roost, make sure it is higher than the nest boxes. They naturally will go to the highest place they can for roosting. It is undesirable for them to 'roost' in a nest box b.c. of risk of contamination.
  10. theRomanticRoost

    theRomanticRoost New Egg

    Nov 22, 2009
    I really appreciate all your answers. It has been fun to read. My husband is out changing the roosting bar right now to something wider. The coop is a converted child's wooden playhouse that is so cute. It has a dutch door on the front, several windows that shut up tight for the night, flower boxes and a front porch. There was a bench on one side of the house on the inside. Just behind that bench we cut out part of the wall and added a bump out for the nest boxes. They do love getting up on that bench (but they don't sleep there) but it makes a big mess. They are getting into the nest boxes every so often too, so I hope they are getting the hint as to what those nesting boxes are for. [​IMG]

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