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Why don't they use the roosts anymore?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Arielle, May 14, 2011.

  1. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

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    When my young girls moved into their new coop, they loved the roost. For comfort, I put in the one from the brooder too and they used both. NOw weeks later, the girls are crowding on the flat roof of a crated hen ( only layer so she gets her own food and space) and are avoiding the roosts. Not another hen can fit on the flat roof and the other birds are squeezing on to the roost supports. Only a few 3-4 are on the roosts. What am I missing?? I tried putting on their red heat lamp--a few moved on to the roosts. I'm stumped. Any thoughts????
     
  2. faykokoWV

    faykokoWV Mrs Fancy Plants

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    how wide are your roosts?
     
  3. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

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    Have they grown since then? The roost might be too small or too close to the wall now, if they've grown. Has the air flow or temperature in the coop changed since then? It might be draftier or hotter on the roost now.
     
  4. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

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    The roosts are 12 inches apart- a good jump. Made of saplings, some areas are 2" diameter and other areas are 3" diameter. Is this wide enough? I had read the best width is a 2 x 4 which is actually 3 3/4". Some are roosting on the 2 x 4 supports which are 1 3/4 ". HuH? [​IMG] Why pick a thinner roost.

    Yes, they are older; weather is warmer; I tried adding in the heat lamp again, DH idea, and a few more moved to the roosts. But the majority stayed cramped on the roof of the crate.

    By morning, everyone is on the floor waiting to be let out.
     
  5. faykokoWV

    faykokoWV Mrs Fancy Plants

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    you gave a measurement diameter, are your roosts round? Chickens need flat roosts that are wide enough for them to set their feet on flat. They don't have the foot strength to "hold on" to a perch like parrots, they roost with their feet flat on the board.
     
  6. joan1708

    joan1708 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't have any chickens yet [​IMG] but, I read that they all want to be on the highest roost. Could that be why they are bunching up on one roost?
     
  7. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

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    I checked in on the girls as the rain clouds are here to stay for the week and the latest downpour sent them into the coop. Everyone was on the roosts. Evenly spaced looking comfortable.

    Joan 1706--I had read this too;The flat top of the crate is level with the roosts. The roost were put in at the same height to prevent issues.

    Faykoko-- I had read both methods, flat 2x4 or large branches. I opted for saplings as I have numerous saplings to pick from and DH loves to clear the land with his chainsaw.

    Thank you everyone; I will readjust things as I can to keep the hens happy!
     

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