Why Won’t My Hens Perch?

We recently received an email from one of our customers asking if we had any advice for her as her hens were no longer using the perches in their hen house.

We turned to you, our fantastically knowledgeable Facebook and Twitter followers, to see if you had any advice on encouraging chickens to use their perch. Here’s what you said:

 

“Are they ex-bat hens? If so, they probably won’t perch but will snuggle up in the nest boxes. None of our ex-bats have ever perched!”
“Mine don’t perch, they are ex bats. They did perch in their old house but the perches were only a couple of inches off the floor. They seem perfectly happy on the floor/ in the nest boxes so no worries here.”
chickens perch
“The hen might not know about perching, so pick up the hen, hover her over the perch then let her feet go on it and slowly take your hands away and let her settle? Just an idea.”
“Borrow a hen from a friend that does perch.”
“Block the nest box till morning, nest boxes are for laying not for sleeping!”
chicks perch
We thought your advice was great and our customer decided to try a lower perch, so we shipped one off immediately. Thank you to every one who took the time to reply and make suggestions to solve the perching problem.