to roost or not to roost..that's the question

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by katssmilin, Jul 11, 2011.

  1. katssmilin

    katssmilin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 5, 2011
    When we built our coop we put in 3 nesting boxes and a roost above them for the chickens. After 2 weeks of seeing only one chicken every now and again using the roost we took it out and made the coop bigger. Do they have to have a roost?
  2. mrsp523

    mrsp523 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 23, 2010
    Western Mass
    I have only been at this just over a year now...but I would say yes you need to give them the option to roost. I had a group of 5 that pig piled in a corner even though there younger sibblings shamed them as they roosted. One evening I went in and was shocked to see them up there with the younger group shuffling around trying to fit themselves in. They cant see at night and believe they would feel safer being up high. Some just take longer to get up there. Good luck.
  3. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Depends on the breed, and the individual. Silkies often never roost. Some prefer shelves or the floor to a roost. I've had individuals who would never roost, loved that a shelf was available, and when I removed access they slept on the floor, so I let them have their shelf. You may have some problems with poopy feathers or feather loss on the breast; I'd let them sleep where they want (other than nest boxes, of course) and keep an eye on them.
  4. bertman

    bertman Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 13, 2011
    Our girls did the pileup in the corner of the coop for a month. They are now 14 weeks old and had been piling up UNTIL TONIGHT.

    Tonight three of the girls are on the roost and three are in a loose pile in the corner. Given their propensity to play follow the leader, it should only be a short time before the others climb up on the roost for their evening snooze.

    I wondered if it would ever happen.

    Just thought I'd mention this.

  5. Totes Quackers

    Totes Quackers Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 17, 2011
    I have wondered this too! I have 6 chooks, 5 happily roost.. 1 prefers to sleep with the duck under the coop [​IMG]
    Each to their own I guess! [​IMG]
    However when they were wee chicks they did the pile up thing [​IMG]
  6. Saltysteele

    Saltysteele Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 10, 2011
    yes, give them the option. it's better then them sitting in the nest boxes, filling them with poop.

    which, by the way, it might not be the best spot for the roost, right over the nest boxes, without some sort of splash guard [​IMG]

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