will the teen girls find their way to the roost at night?

Melody Hunt

In the Brooder
Feb 3, 2020
14
11
26
We added four 8 week old girls to the flock about 2 months ago. During the day they now free range with the hens. Last week we removed their teen sleeping crate and fencing within the chicken run and moved them to the hen house with the big girls. (same space without the restrictions.) The teens are not interested in sleeping on the roost...(plenty of room) but on the floor of the hen house. They'll get pooped on! How do convince them to sleep on the roost where it is safer and warmer? I moved them up, but they jump right back down. We have several roosting poles in the yard that they use during the day, so they know how. Any advice? Will it hurt them to sleep on the sand?
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
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I would persist in putting them on the roost. The adults might have been bullying them off so ensuring they have enough space to spread out is important. How much roost space do you have overall, and how many bars? How many chickens total?
 

pozees2

Crowing
Feb 12, 2020
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Could be they are obeying flock seniority/superiority rules. If you give them time to find their places in the flock they will likely eventually make their way to the roosts at night.
 

Melody Hunt

In the Brooder
Feb 3, 2020
14
11
26
They will figure it out when they're older. Sometimes I stuff teenage chickens into a nest box together, and they like that better than a roost. They like sleeping piled together for warmth.
They did sleep in the nesting boxes for 2 nights. but they poop where they sleep. On the plus side, it would be warmer. We don't allow the hens sleep in the nesting boxes.
 

Melody Hunt

In the Brooder
Feb 3, 2020
14
11
26
I would persist in putting them on the roost. The adults might have been bullying them off so ensuring they have enough space to spread out is important. How much roost space do you have overall, and how many bars? How many chickens total?
We have Seven 11 month old hens and 4 teens about 14 weeks old. 2 bars, one higher that the hens sleep on, one lower to the ground. probably 6 ft long (times 2)
 

rosemarythyme

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We have Seven 11 month old hens and 4 teens about 14 weeks old. 2 bars, one higher that the hens sleep on, one lower to the ground. probably 6 ft long (times 2)

Wow, very similar to my set up and flock size. I assume the hens all use top bar so the younger ones can use the lower? How far away is the lower bar from the top, roughly?
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
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The lower bar is staggered to the right about 2 feet lower and about 2 feet away from the higher bar;

Good, so they shouldn't be able to harass the younger ones easily from the top then.

Yeah I'd keep trying to put the younger girls up at night, once it's dark. You'll probably get some of them hopping off but hopefully if one sticks, a few nights later another will stick, and so on and so forth.
 

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