Why won't my chickens use the roosting pole?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by ella&clara, May 16, 2011.

  1. ella&clara

    ella&clara Songster

    Sep 18, 2010
    My 9 chickens are about 4 months old, in a chicken tractor with three next boxes and a roosting pole for the night and in a electronet fence (with access to the tractor) during the day. At first, they all slept in one nesting box. Now they have spread out to all three nesting boxes, and a few roost on the dividers of the nesting boxes. No one sleeps on the roosting pole, which is a rounded off 2x2 board. Are they too young? Any ideas on what I should do? They aren't laying yet, so all the poo in the nesting boxes isn't so bad, but it will become a problem soon. Thanks!

    Mary Ann
    Please visit my gardening (and chicken-keeping) blog at http://www.maryannscountrygarden.blogspot.com/

  2. allpeepedout

    allpeepedout Songster

    Mar 2, 2011
    Southern Indiana
    Is a 2x2--presumably 8 or 9 ft. long for that many birds--sufficiently strong so that it feels secure--doesn't sag or vibrate--to have numerous hefty critters jump up on it? Is it too small, too rounded off--they are not really "perchers" and need a wider diameter or flatter surface. Is roost higher than nesting boxes? Does roost have plenty of space all around for them to jump up, sufficient head and tail room and room for all? Is it placed in an area that "feels" safe and secure?
    Last edited: May 16, 2011
  3. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Crowing Premium Member

    Habit. They got into the habit of sleeping in nesting boxes and now....... The bad thing is that chickens pass a lot of poop while they sleep and they are likely making a mess of the boxes.

    Roosts need to be higher than boxes. I agree that roosts should be 2x3 or 2x4 laid flat. Chicken's instinct tells them to sleep in the highest, safest place. I don't put nesting boxes in or allow access to them until point of lay. Don't want them getting the wrong idea of what they are for.
    Last edited: May 16, 2011
  4. pharr389

    pharr389 Songster

    May 10, 2007
    southeast georgia
    At night, when they roost, pick them up and place them on the roost pole. Repeat every night until they roost on the pole by themselves. Also make sure the roost pole is higher than the nest boxes.
  5. greenSearcher

    greenSearcher Songster

    Aug 22, 2010
    Block of the nesting boxes with cardboard boxes. When their faces get red and they squat, remove the boxes and put golf balls/fake eggs (I have brown ceramic eggs I got from Premier1) in. That has worked really well for me. Even my silkies roost, how they get up on the highest roosts is another thing (18" and 26").
  6. Chicky 13

    Chicky 13 Chirping

    Apr 12, 2013
    How do you tell if their faces are red ? they are covered in feathers lol

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by