Why Are My Chickens Roosting on the Roof Instead of in the Coop?

it’s not uncommon to encounter peculiar behaviors from our feathered friends. One such behavior that may leave you scratching your head is when your chickens refuse to sleep in their coop and instead roost on the roof. But why do they do this? In this article, we’ll explore some possible reasons behind this behavior.

Highest Place is the Safest Place

Chickens have a natural instinct to protect themselves from predators as they are prey animals. Hence, they are always on high alert for potential threats. One way they do this is by perching up high, which provides them with a better vantage point to spot any danger and avoid it.

Roosting on the roof of the coop can offer chickens a sense of safety as it is higher up and may offer a better view of the surroundings. This behavior is particularly common in areas with high predator activity or where there have been recent sightings of predators. The chickens may feel more secure roosting on the roof than inside the coop, even if the coop is predator-proof.

Roosting Preference

Just like humans, chickens have their own individual preferences and personalities when it comes to sleeping arrangements. Some chickens may enjoy the feeling of being up high and having a wide-open view of their surroundings, which can provide them with a sense of security and comfort. On the other hand, some chickens may prefer a more enclosed space where they can feel protected and cozy.

The reasons behind these preferences are not entirely clear, but it could be related to the chickens’ natural instincts and past experiences. For instance, chickens that were raised in open-air environments may be more comfortable sleeping outside in the fresh air, while those that were raised in more enclosed spaces may prefer sleeping in the coop.

Being Stubbon

Chickens can exhibit stubborn or difficult behavior, just like any other animal. In some cases, they may have learned that they can get away with roosting on the roof instead of inside the coop, even if it is not the best place for them to sleep.

This may be due to a lack of proper training or inconsistent rules from their owners. If your chickens are roosting on the roof for this reason, you may need to take steps to train them to sleep inside the coop.

One method is to physically place them inside the coop at night for several nights in a row, until they understand that this is where they should sleep. Consistency and patience are key when trying to correct this type of behavior in chickens.

Flea Infestation

Sometimes, chickens may refuse to sleep inside the coop if there is a flea infestation. Fleas are tiny, blood-sucking parasites that can make the coop uncomfortable for chickens. When chickens are bitten by fleas, it can cause itching, irritation, and in some cases, anemia.

This discomfort can lead them to seek alternative sleeping arrangements such as roosting on the roof. If you suspect that fleas may be the cause of your chickens’ behavior, it’s important to thoroughly clean and treat the coop to get rid of any fleas. This can include using an insecticide specifically designed for poultry, washing all bedding and nesting materials, and regularly cleaning the coop to prevent any future infestations.

By addressing any pest infestations in the coop, you can help ensure that your chickens have a safe and comfortable place to sleep.


Chickens roosting on the roof instead of in the coop may seem like a strange behavior, but there are several reasons why they might be doing so. They may feel safer up high, have individual roosting preferences, be stubborn, or there could be a flea infestation. As a chicken owner, it’s important to understand and address these behaviors to ensure that your chickens are happy and healthy.

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About Jade Polystead

Jade is a homesteader with a passion for raising and caring for animals, specifically chickens, ducks, and goats. She was born and raised in a small town in the midwestern United States, where she learned to appreciate the simple pleasures of rural living.

Jade's interest in animal husbandry began at a young age when her family kept a small flock of chickens in their backyard. She quickly fell in love with the birds and became fascinated by their unique personalities and behaviors. As she grew older, Jade's interest in animal husbandry expanded to include other domesticated animals, such as ducks and goats.

View all posts by Jade Polystead

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