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Young chickens roosting in the wrong place!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by smoon, May 11, 2016.

  1. smoon

    smoon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am a first time chicken owner with a group of 9 week old hens! They have a very nice coop that we just built with two roosting bars- one 4' high and the other 5 ' ...

    Much to my delight they finally started roosting just three nights ago! But tonight I went out to turn off their light and I couldn't find them at first- because they were on the ceiling!!!! That's like 10 feet up there with no way down!! I can't imagine how they are going to get down from there without breaking a leg or a wing! I don't want them to start this as a habit.

    My question is... Should I clip their wings to keep them from flying up there? would that even work?

    Or am I over-reacting?

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Folly's place

    Folly's place Overrun With Chickens

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    Many of my birds roost in the rafters, and it's fine. Birds like to be up as high as possible, and they will get down in the morning. Mary
     
  3. PipB

    PipB New Egg

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    You are lucky - mine are roosting high in a tree - ignoring the shelter provided - the trouble comes when you can't reach them to catch them for whatever reasons you might need to! Also, I see your roosts are of differing heights. You will find the more dominant ones roost higher than those on the bottom of the pecking order...
     
  4. McKinneyMike

    McKinneyMike Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My birds are now between 13-15 weeks of age and still will not roost, preferring to remain as a huddled mass on the floor in one corner of the coop. They get up on the roost during the day (as evidenced by them pooping while there), but have not used it to roost at night at all. Any ideas why or what I might do to spur them into using it like normal chickens?
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2016
  5. smoon

    smoon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you both. That's good to know about roosting and dominant chickens. So, it won't hurt them to crash down from there? I guess they must not be worried so maybe I should just let them. It just sure wasn't what I had planned lol. I had made them a droppings board under their roosts. But I guess they have other plans! :) love them anyways!
     
  6. smoon

    smoon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    McKinneyMike, I have done a lot of reading on that and they usually say that the chickens will figure out how to roost in time on their own. I've read that if you have especially tame chickens that feel really "safe" in their coop...that they may spend longer on the ground before realizing the roost is really the safest place for them. All sources have said they will eventually figure it out. Once one does it they usually will all follow.

    In my own experience, I built my chickens a wide ladder that attached to their roost. Then I kept putting them on the ladder and roost every evening. Eventually they got really comfortable with me putting them up there and one night they just stayed! From then on they went up there no problem. Took about two weeks of me forcing them up there, though.
     
  7. McKinneyMike

    McKinneyMike Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks!
     
  8. DanEP

    DanEP Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They will learn to roost on their own some just take longer than others so I just let them learn at their own pace. As far as the girls sleeping on the wall ties It's ok, if they can get up there they can get down. If its too high they will probably fly down to the next highest roost and work their way down from there. You may also find that as they grow and get heavier they quit going up there but either way they'll be fine.
     
  9. smoon

    smoon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you DanEP. I feel better about it now!
     
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    I wouldn't want them up that high......I do most my inspections by getting them off the roost at night.
    I'd block that rafter off..... and add some ventilation while I was up there.
    Looks like a nice big coop...are there any windows or vents?
     

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