You don’t normally need to herd your chickens to roost in the coop but Roosting Problems can occur. Chickens instinctively return to roost in a coop on their own. However, there are times where refusing to roost can cause roosting problems.
Here are the top 5 solutions for Roosting Problems.
1. They haven’t accepted new coop as home yet.
We provide food, water, nests, roosts, and perhaps even chicken toys in the chicken coop. However, when you move your young chickens from the brooder to the coop, they do not understand that this coop is their new home. When young chickens, 5 or 6 weeks old are moved from brooder to the coop, it is not their home, the brooder is. So, they will search out the brooder and since they will not find it, they will wind up roosting in the best spot they can find.
Roosting Problems 1 Solution? Give the chickens time to get acquainted with their new home. Keep them in their coop or 3 or 4 days before letting them out. Be sure that this is done in a reasonable manner do not keep them shut up inside a coop during the heat of summer. Once they get accustomed to sleeping inside the coop, it will become their coop, and you won’t have errant hens looking to roost in trees or on fences where they can become easy prey at night.
2. Your coop needs cleaned.
Chickens may be refusing to roost in the coop at night because the coop is not clean enough. When hen droppings build up without being cleaned out, they will produce ammonia and create an unhealthy environment. They’ll be refusing to roost in the coop and will be looking for a more suitable place to roost!
Roosting Problems 2 Solution? Keep your coops clean! Use the manure in your garden. It is a great compost and fertilizer.
3. Your hen is broody.
Normally, a hen will go broody in a nest in the coop, but occasionally youâ€™ll have a hen who wants to find a more private location to brood and hatch eggs. They will hide beneath your porch or some other place that is not necessarily secure from predators.
Roosting Problems 3 Solution? Make a nest for her in the coop. If you want her to hatch eggs, provide her with fertile eggs or place the eggs she laid in her nest outside the coop with her. If you want to break her broodiness, keep removing the eggs she and other chickens are laying in her nest. It takes patience as broodiness is an instinct and if she feels the desire to brood….she is going to brood.
4. There is tension in the flock.
Just like humans, not all chickens get along. Sometimes a chicken on the lower end of the pecking order finds comfort and safety away from the main flock. This can lead to roosting outside the coop. Another problem is too many roosters to hens and too many chickens in the coop.
Roosting Problems 4 Solution? It is pretty simple. If you have too many chickens, either remove some from the coop or build a bigger coop. Too many roosters…remove some of them. If you have a bully who picks on the other chickens too much…remove them.
5. There are predators or pests bothering them in the coop
Predators and pests can cause chickens to want to roost outside. If a racoon is entering your coop, the chickens are instinctively going to look for another place to roost. Also, if your coop is infested with mites, they will look elsewhere to roost.
Roosting Problems 5 Solution? Make sure your coop is secure from predators, and treat for any pest problem.