I should start out by saying that I am a novice both to building and to chickens (our girls just came last wednesday). I know that I made some mistakes in the coop design, but as first-timers with a very limited space in the yard that met the code for city chickens...well we just did what we did. So I would ask kindly that people not respond by chastising me for not making the coop taller to start with. That ship has sailed for the short term at least. I would love suggestions on what I COULD do with what I've got. We have two chickens. Coop is 24" tall (it is a repurposed TV cabinet). Having read that roosts should be 12" from the floor and 12" from the ceiling, naturally I set the bar at 12" to split the difference. The bar is about 24" long. We happened to have a length of wood that was 1.5" square and the right length, so we used that as the bar and I sanded off the corners of the roost to round them out a bit. It certainly isnt as round as a dowel, but to take the edge off the might bother their feet. PROBLEM: every night they ignore the bar and either roost on the floor of the coop or in the nesting box, or on the slanted (to discourage this) roof of the nesting box. PROVISIONAL TREATMENT: Removed the nesting box from coop until roosting resolved. One is a pullet and my layer wasnt laying in the box yet, so fixing one problem at a time. POTENTIAL PROBLEMS IDENTIFIED: 1. They dont like the roost and would prefer one that was wider and flatter (eg a 1x3 flatwise) 2. The roost is too high to jump up to within the confines of the coop (They need a step or ramp to get up the roost?) 3. The roost is too narrow to jump up to at that height 4. They are just not ready yet and if I waited and waited eventually they would get up on the roost EVIDENCE FOR OR AGAINST: 1. Dunno. They roost on the floor now, so maybe they are flat foot chickens. I know there is a bit of a flat vs round roosting controversy in the online chicken community. 2. Possible. One day I saw some muddy footprints on the roost bar in the middle of the day while it was in the coop, so someone evidently managed to get up there at least once, but never at night. 3. Possible. The height alone doesnt seem a problem because the slanted roof on the nesting box, which is right next door to the roost, is just about the same height and one of the stupid chickens not only jumped up there but spent an entire night on what I thought was a sufficiently precarious angled roof. But perhaps this is evidence that they would only make the jump if they had a nice large landing surface they were aiming for? similarly, outside they routinely jump up onto an old stump I have in the run for their enjoyment, suggesting the height alone is not a problem. 4. Who knows the mind of a chicken. I dont know what is a reasonable amount of time to wait vs what just allows them to get stuck in bad habits. SO DO I?.... 4. Wait it out (how long?) and see if they adjust now that the roost is the only thing inside the coop? 1 or 3. Change out the 1.5" bar for the flatwise side of a 1x3", giving them a slightly wider target to aim for? 2. Put in either a ramp (but it would have to be pretty steep to fit inside the coop) or a step to get up to the 12" height. If I did a step, would another bar at about 6" up and 6-8" away from the top bar be sufficient for them to hop up? and if I put in such a step, will I just create new problems or they will roost side by side rather than poop on top of each other?