Are you a backyard chicken coop owner struggling to get your feathered friends to sleep on their roost? If you’ve recently added new chickens to your flock or moved them to a new coop, you may have noticed some birds not roosting at night. Don’t worry, you’re not alone in your frustration.
To help you out, we’ve put together a guide on how to get chickens to sleep on roost. In this article, we’ll explain why some chickens may resist roosting, and we’ll provide you with practical tips to help you coax your birds onto the roost for a good night’s sleep.
By ditching nesting boxes, blocking nests, and providing a clean and comfortable roost, you’ll be well on your way to getting your chickens to sleep on the roost. We’ll also cover how to deal with mites in the roost and give your birds the time they need to adjust to their new sleeping arrangements.
So, if you want to ensure your chickens are getting the rest they need to be healthy and happy, keep reading for all the details on how to get chickens to sleep on roost.
Why Won’t Chicken Sleep On Their Roost?
Your chicken won’t sleep on the roost mainly due to the following causes:
- Your chicken don’t know or don’t like where they are supposed to sleep
- The birds fail to get back on their coop in time
- The bigger or older chicken within the cage bullies the other birds
- There is a kind of predator pressure
- Your chicken doesn’t know how to get into the coop
However, besides the above, there can be some more other issues that you need to be addressed. But to make your chicken a habit of sleeping on the roost, you must overcome all the above problems.
How To Get Chickens To Sleep On Roost?
Naturally, your chicken should sleep on their roosts at night. But the unnatural thing is when your chicken sleeps in a nesting box instead of roosting. Chicken should not sleep in nests box. Instead, they should sleep on their roost.
However, to get your chicken to sleep on the roost, you should follow the tips mentioned below:
1. Ditch The Nesting Boxes
Before your chicken starts to lay, we recommend not adding the nest boxes in your coop. It will prevent developing the bad habit of your chicken of sleeping in the nest.
However, often the built-in nest boxes come with cages, and following this tip becomes impossible. In this case, you can cover the nest access.
The design of some nesting boxes is such that the chickens feel challenged to sleep inside. It’s better to add the naptime-friendly homemade nesting boxes. You must ensure that your chicken doesn’t have the bad habit of sleeping in it.
2. Block The Nest
If your coops are already constructed with the nest boxes, we recommend you cover or block these boxes. Blocking access to nest boxes will prevent your chicken from sleeping in it. Ultimately they will sleep in the roost box.
3. Place the Roost Higher Than The Nests
Your birds will like the roost if you place it as high as possible. If the roost bar in your coop is near the ground, we recommend you move them up. Don’t make the roost out of metal or plastic that is too cold or slippery for your birds to use.
We suggest you place the roosts in your coop higher than the nests. Your chickens will indeed feel tempted to live in the roosts if you put them higher than the nests. It’s the bird’s instinct that, naturally, they will find the highest place to live at night.
4. Provide Comfortable Roosts
Your chicken will sleep on the roost only when it proves comfortable to them. Hens usually don’t like the round roost. Instead, they prefer wide and flat roosts like a pipe or pole.
Using a metal pipe as your coop’s roost is a good idea. The metal pipe is strong, nice and smooth. So use something that is 2 x 4 inches wide side up.
5. Keep The Roost Bars Clean
Your chicken doesn’t prefer to live and sleep in a dirty place. Therefore to get your chicken to sleep on the roost bar, you must ensure it is clean.
By keeping the roost clean, engage your chicken to sleep in it. Also, install the roosts away from the Waterer, feeders and nesting boxes to keep them clean.
Also Read: Can Chickens Be Left Alone For A Week?
6. Look For Mites
Sometimes your chicken doesn’t want to sleep in the roost because they become harassed by the mites. Usually, the mites come out at night and start feeding on your hens.
Your chicken becomes super uncomfortable for mites. Ultimately they don’t want to sleep at the roost. So, you must ensure that the roost within your coop is super comfortable and there are no mites in it.
However, to train your chicken to stay and sleep on the roost, you can see this video also.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Won’t My Chickens Sleep On The Roost?
The newly introduced flock members refuse to sleep on the roost because they fear the older hen in the flock.
At What Age Do Chickens Start to Roost at Night?
When your birds become four weeks of age and six weeks of heavy breeds, they become ready to roost on the low perches.
Do Chickens Naturally Roost at Night?
Instinctively your birds seek high roosts to sleep at night to avoid the predators.
And that’s the end! We have already described how to get chickens to sleep on roost. Following our suggested approach, you can make your chicken sleep on the roost at night. You can comment if your chickens still refuse to stay on the roost at night. Soon we will reply to you.