trying to get my hens in the roost

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by clintcoston, Aug 19, 2013.

  1. clintcoston

    clintcoston New Egg

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    Aug 8, 2013
    albany ga
    Ok so I'm guessing my hens are about five months old I have four and one rooster "Henry". I have built hen houses and they have been there about 2 months but the hens will not go in there at all. Refer to my pics and u will see what I got. I got to thinking maybe it was just to dark in there so I put solar lights in there today so they can see 24/7 in there.... Is there a trick or something I need to do to persuade them to roost in there own roost?
     
  2. Jakrzz

    Jakrzz Out Of The Brooder

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    Trust me, if there's one thing a chicken likes is a dark and cozy coop.
    Maybe shut off the lights and just put the chickens on the roost, and hopefully they'll get the hint that they're supposed to be in there.
    That's what I had to do with mine. Good luck!
     
  3. Muffinburgler

    Muffinburgler Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Chickens are creatures of habit, they hate change. You'll have to force them to sleep in the coop until they figure out that it's their new sleeping spot. When it starts getting dark, pick them up and put them on the roost, by then it'll be too late for them to shuffle away from it. They'll figure it out in a couple days.
     
  4. clintcoston

    clintcoston New Egg

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    Aug 8, 2013
    albany ga
    I did pick them up and put them in there... They acted really afraid and didn't stay long I'll keep trying every evening till they get I reckon. They all huddle up with the rooster at night as they have since I've had them. What do I do with Henry as I'm putting the hens in the roost cause he gets pretty ****** about the situation as well. Idk I'm a rookie
     
  5. appps

    appps Overrun With Chickens

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    Looking at your pictures it looks like you have built nesting boxes rather than a coop??

    [​IMG]

    They like to sleep all together on a perch so if you try and put them in little individual houses at night they are going to come straight back out so they can be together. Its a fantastic row of nesting boxes for them to lay their eggs in but totally unsuitable for bedtime.

    I'm on my phone and could only see the photos you posted on the coop page so ignore me if I've got the wrong photos :)
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2013
  6. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Try confining birds to the intended roost for a few days so they will imprint on it. Then release them relatively late in evening about one hour before dark. Birds will make a short excursion then make bee-line for roost at proper time. Make certain roost does not get too dark too fast as that will make reaching it what might be considered scary because their vision in low light is likely not as good as hours.
     
  7. clintcoston

    clintcoston New Egg

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    Aug 8, 2013
    albany ga
    Ok so maybe I'm wrong.... Yes they have a sleeping area. U can't see this in the pics. Will they nest in the "condos" I've built when it comes time? I'll post nor pics tomorrow in the light to show my whole coop.... I have a nice perch where they sleep that's covered with metal to block the rain and an open area that's about six foot by five foot that's open and tall and then I have the nesting boxes with the low dim solar lights in them.... Like I said ima rookie just having fun and trying to make them as comfortable as I can afford
     
  8. appps

    appps Overrun With Chickens

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    Sounds like the problem then. If you are trying to get them to sleep in the cosy boxes I linked the picture of then you might as well give up now :). They will be much happier all together on the perch at the other end.

    You need boxes like that for them to lay eggs in during the day so you have done a good job and I'm sure they will use them when the time comes. But laying and sleeping require two different things. For laying they like their privacy, for sleeping they want everyone to keep them company.

    For bedtime they will want one covered and lockable area (predators will chew right through that wire) big enough for them to all perch together out of the wind and rain. They are flock birds and so want to sleep as a group with their rooster in with them for protection.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2013
  9. clintcoston

    clintcoston New Egg

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    Aug 8, 2013
    albany ga
    That's awesome news really... I figured they would have to be used to sleeping in there to lay eggs in there... I have a platform built with 1+4 boards as rails and they huddle up there at night.... And oddly poop alot right there so everyday there's a line of poop pile there. I guess that's why it wouldn't be good for them to sleep where they lay eggs huh
     
  10. appps

    appps Overrun With Chickens

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    Yep that's a good point. They sure poop a lot at night and you don't want it on the eggs :)

    They will look for a nice quiet dark spot to lay so should find them no problems. Only thing I've found with my newest layers was they were not great at climbing ramps. They are quite a heavy breed though. If you notice that you could just put something there for them jump up to them till they get the idea.
    Fake plastic eggs in there to show them its a good spot won't hurt either.
     

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