Will my chickens ever learn to use the ramp up to the roost?

Kelly G

15 Years
Mar 19, 2008
Tampa (Wesley Chapel), Florida
My Coop
My Coop
We moved our 5 hens from the small coop to the big coop 5 days ago to use the small coop as a brooder for our 3 wk old chicks.

The big coop has three 2x4s as roosts. They are 3 feet off the ground, and there is a ramp up to them (about a 45' angle). Two of the chickens have figured out how to get up...but 3 keep roosting on the floor (I block the nest boxes at night because they slept in those first).

Will they ever learn to get up to the roosts?

Will they learn to use the ramp to get down? They kind of fly/fall onto the ground.

Also, I see POOP on my roosts! How in the world??? Gross!
I had that problem last year when they went from the brooder into the coop. Finally I started putting them up on the roost at night. After a couple of nights they did it on their own. I am having the same problem with 2 buckeye cockerels right now. Put them up there again tonight. Their sisters go up by themselves. Go figure.

They really mess up the nesting boxes if I don't and then the hens lay their eggs in the hay loft in the barn.
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A couple of things, they should be able to fly to the roosts which are about two feet lower than I have mine. Even with clipped wings they should fly up three feet. Second, place the 2x4 with the 2" side up. this should keep the poop off the roosts.
I think eventually they'll figure it out. We had our roosts pretty low (hadn't done our reading) and one night as I was closing the hen house door, I came up one chicken short! I ran around the yard in a panic trying to find this lone hen. Finally, I recounted. Still one short. Then I hear a faint coo... I point the flashlight up, and the hen was roosting on the ceiling beam. It was probably five feet above the roosts. Soon after, all the hens did that.
I hope you guys are right...you've given me hope
My coop is 9'x9' so it's not really that big...and there is not all that much flying room. But I have seen them fly 4 feet straight up this last weekend to get up on the fence!

my ceiling is 8 ft from the floor.
I enclosed it because more chickens were roosting up there than on the roosts.. and they launched from the floor, not from the roosts.. they can fly straight up, BTW.. They are buff orpingtons
Mine, with their ladder to the coop on the second floor of the barn, at first would just jump out the window and *thud* to the earth like a rock. (This is why they are called plymouth rocks.)

I don't know if it helped, but I kept just harping at them "USE THE LADDER." Now they finally use the ladder all the time, no problems.

They will get the hang of it. Just give them some time.



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