Chickens Roosting On The Ground

Free Ranging and Training Chickens...

“This is my first chicken venture. I bought 10 baby chicks 2 months back. They are now in the chicken yard with a coop. I have not gotten them to go up into the roosting/laying area, they tend to stay in the run below only. Now I have let them out into the larger area during the day and would like to be able to close them up at night for safety. They are sleeping in a little group outside then coop/run on the ground. I am confused and worried about the coming fall/winter. Will they figure it out? Any ideas appreciated.” ~ Diana

Thank you Diana for the question.

Chickens instinctively want to sleep off the ground.

Because they are such sound sleepers, it is important for them to sleep off the ground to protect themselves from any predators.

With that being said, I believe your chickens just don’t understand what they’re supposed to do.

My first suggestion would be to bring them in and place them on their perch at night. If they hop down, put them back up again. You may need to do this for a few nights until they catch on to what they’re supposed to do.

Because they are young, make sure the roost is not too big for them to get a good grip. The only thing worse than sleeping on the ground is slipping and sliding while you’re trying to sleep.

Lastly, if they still aren’t going to their roost at night, you may want to close them in the coop for about three days.

Often times when a flock is moved to a new location, even a flock of mature birds, they don’t understand the new digs. By closing them in the coop for a few days, they learn where “home” is.

I hope this is helpful.

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