Why did they stop roosting?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Gabbychickens, Aug 5, 2014.

  1. Gabbychickens

    Gabbychickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 26, 2014
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    When I first got my 7 chickens they all slept in the nesting boxes in big huddles. 5 didn't matter, but Cleo and Amelia were always in the same box with no other chickens. One by one they started sleeping in the roost at the top of the coop. Cleo and Amelia too but they stayed on the opposite side. Cleo and Amelia are never away from each other even during the day.

    Today we introduced our 3 new chickens to the flock and all went well. I just went out to lock the run and here is what I found: the 3 new chickens in one nesting box, 1 chicken just outside that box on the floor, 1 chicken outside the coop on the ramp, 1 chicken in a box by herself, Cleo and 2 chickens in a box, and Amelia on the roost. What in the world happened? Why did Cleo and Amelia split up and why is only 1 of my old chickens roosting?
     
  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    You changed the flock dynamic by adding new chickens.....sounds like you got lucky with just adding them.

    How big is coop...how long is roost?

    ETA: you don't want them sleeping in the nests, bad habit. They poop a lot at night and that gets you poopy eggs.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2014
  3. Gabbychickens

    Gabbychickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 26, 2014
    Michigan
    I worded that badly. We have a small side coop and run that's inside the same fenced in area the chickens are at that we keep new comers in for awhile. We just joined them all together that day.

    The coop is I believe 8 ft long by 6 ft wide. Added to that there are six 2ft by 3 ft nesting boxes off the sides. The roost is up about 4 ft off the floor and it runs the 8 ft length and about 5 ft wide in the coop. It has the two long bars going down the sides, and several shorter bars connecting across the center.

    Can I pick them up out of the nesting boxes and put them back on the roost?

    The upside is Amelia and Cleo are bonding well to the 3 new chickens so they are not alone all the time.
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Yes, you want to take them out of the nests and put them on the roosts, easiest to do this after dark when they are docile. Move calm and slowly, get their feet firmly on the roost and they should stay put until morning.
    After doing this for a few nights they should get things settled out and go to roost by themselves.
     
  5. Gabbychickens

    Gabbychickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 26, 2014
    Michigan
    Thank you! I will give a try tonight. I will wait till about a 1/2 hour after bedtime.
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Wait until it's good and dark.
    When you move them, pick them up with your hands firmly over their wings, if they start flapping things can get crazy fast.

    I had some pullets that wanted to roost in the nests.
    Moved them after dark a couple nights.
    Blocked nests another couple nights, but then had to remove blockage very early for layers in coop.
    My nests are accessible from outside the coop enclosure but inside the shed, so I went out at about dusk as everyone was settling for the night and opened the nest access door and poked them in the butt. :) They got the idea, after a couple nights of that, I just had to walk into the shed and they'd move out of the nests onto the roosts. Took a few weeks before they stopped doing it at all.
     
  7. Gabbychickens

    Gabbychickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 26, 2014
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    It worked! All 10 chickens are roosting. Only had one glitch, but it was a quick fix. Petunia wouldn't stay up. I realized we were putting her next to Lucinda who sometimes chases her. We moved her to the back with Cleo and Amelia and she stayed put.
     

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