They are ignoring the roost

mistylady

Songster
11 Years
Jun 1, 2008
632
5
141
Ohio near Coshocton
I went down at midnight to look in the window and see if everyone was okay and the roost had one hen on it. 8 hens were in the corner on the floor snuggled up. The roost is 34 inches off the ground and they can fly up to it. Should I put a ramp? Is it okay to sleep on the floor? They weren't even in the nesting boxes! It looked like a black clump of feathers with lots of beaks in the corner! I know, mommy worries about stupid things. But I worry. I'm a worrier.
 

PurpleChicken

Tolerated.....Mostly
12 Years
Apr 6, 2007
11,744
34
321
Iceland
No worries. One will fly up there eventually and the rest will follow.

Chickens seem to like diversity. Sometimes mine will roost inside, sometimes will hang
in the pine, and this morning I found them all outside roosting on the perch I put out
in the run. There was a smoldering fire and empty beer cans too.


Same goes for eggs. I find them everywhere, even the nest boxes on occassion.
 

mistylady

Songster
11 Years
Jun 1, 2008
632
5
141
Ohio near Coshocton
Thank you PurpleChicken!
I feel better. Mommy just needed a reassuring talk! Yesterday was the first morning in the coop and I found 6 eggs in the nest box by 10 oclock and one in the dropping pan under the chicken wire (talented chicken).
 

PurpleChicken

Tolerated.....Mostly
12 Years
Apr 6, 2007
11,744
34
321
Iceland
Quote:Ohhh, the big DAY 1. It takes a few weeks for the to really adjust and learn their coop.


My laying hens have an area in my barn that is only 4 feet high. Their roost is only 12"
off the ground. They never knew they could roost high. Last year when I added some
RIRs that were used to roosting high they taught many of my hens how to fly up to the
top of their 6 foot run. Now a few fly out of the run daily for some unsupervised ranging.
 

pixiechic

Songster
11 Years
Apr 23, 2008
239
0
129
North GA
Don't worry. About half of my chickens will roost at night, the rest of them snuggle up together on the floor. You'll probably find that more of them roost as they get more used to being in their coop.

6 eggs in one day is exciting! You must be doing something right.
I think the most we've had so far is 5.
 

LynneP

Songster
11 Years
Mar 21, 2008
4,746
57
231
Centre Rawdon, Nova Scotia, Canada
One thing you can try- put a bale of hay or straw in the coop to see if the problem is a fear of injury when jumping down from the roost. Most birds can get up there all right but if the roost is high, especially for the bigger breeds, they can get nervous of getting down because they can injure feet and legs. Also, are the roosts 4" wide- any less and some birds won't use them.
 

Chirpy

Balderdash
12 Years
May 24, 2007
3,788
24
221
Colorado
I agree with all the above posts (although I think PurpleChicken needs to have a talk with his chickens about leaving smoldering fires.... that's a real danger; and drinking to boot. They probably learned it all from him though) but just wanted to add that sometimes chickens need a little help learning where to roost.

You can go out after dark and physically lift the chickens up to the roost for a few nights, that usually gives them the idea and they'll start to do it on their own. Again, it doesn't really matter where they sleep as long as they are safe and happy. I personally don't want mine sleeping in the nest boxes though... I hate poopy eggs.
 

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