Why do I care about this?


In the Brooder
9 Years
Aug 23, 2010
Central Minnesota
I built a new coop & run this year. I forgot about putting roosts in it until my chicks were about 10 weeks old. They are about 4 months old now and it seems that none of them want to use the roosts. Every night when I check on them, they're just huddled in the corner on the floor. I know that they're warm & safe so it begs the question, why do I care that they won't sit on their roosts at night?
They will start roosting....eventually. Ours huddled in the corner forever. Then a couple went up, later a few more. The bottom of the pecking order were the last to go up. One of them still sleeps on the lower roost still......
It would bother me also. I have found that chickens are creatures of habit! If you place each of them on the roost for a few nights they will 'likely' get the idea! See for months, they have been huddled in the corner of a box, cage, coop and that's what feels comfortable and safe to them.. So, now you will have to show them that it's safe and comfortable for them on the roost! Good luck---
It really doesn't matter. Are they by any chance silkies? Then they won't roost anyway.

If they aren't sleeping in their nests, thus getting poop on eggs, maybe it makes no difference.
when I first placed the roosts in my coop I had to place my hens up there after a few times they got the idea and now they are on there all the time :) just got to show them its fine to be on the roosts :)
Oh, I don't know. 16 weeks is still a bit young. Mine play-roosted during the day, really enjoying the roosts, but still slept on the floor for a long time, maybe 18, 20 weeks. I never put 'em up on the roost, but one evening I noticed a couple of 'em up there and they stayed. Then the others joined them within a week.

And then they jostle for the "best" position.
My girls are about 15 weeks and just started to roost a week or so ago. The Welsummer still stays on the floor and half the time she sleeps under the rest that are up on the roost. Silly bird. I would go out and put them up on the roost, but by morning they were on the floor again. So I just gave up. Thought they would figure it out. And they did. All but Harriot. She's the slow one. Give it time, either they'll firgure it out, or they won't. If they are sleeping in the nest boxes, I would block those off during the night so they don't get into the habit of sleeping in those. Don't want those getting all messy.
No Silkies - RIR's, Orpingtons, Australorps, etc. I've caught a few of them on the roosts from time to time during the day but just not at night. I gave up a few attempts trying to put them on the roosts at night - by the time I pick up the 3rd one, the first two have jumped off. I know (or at least I'm hopeful) that they'll figure it out eventually but I have to laugh that I let it bother me in the meantime.

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