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Do baby chick need to roost?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I am going to get 2 baby chicks this weekend and I am setting up the brooder (using a laundry basket).  I was wondering if these day old chicks will need a branch to roost on.  If not, how soon before I will need to add one.  Thanks.

post #2 of 6

Two or three weeks old is the earliest to put something like that in the brooder with them.  I would recommend something VERY close to the bottom of the brooder, just to get them used to the idea of roosting.  They don't need anything more than 3 inches high at first.  If you keep them in the brooder until they are 7 or 8 weeks old, you can raise it gradually around 5, or 6 weeks old.

They don't NEED a roost bar, but it's nice to give them one before they go outside full time.  And it's adorable to see them roost side by side in the brooder!  They probably will not sleep on the roost, but snuggle together in the brooder down on the pine shavings; the roost is mostly to give them that "I'm up high! and I'm a BIG chicken!" feeling.


Edited by gryeyes - 6/7/10 at 8:27pm

-- Linda (AKA: gryeyes)
I refuse to fight a battle of wits with an unarmed person.

Buncha Outdoor PET chickens, ducks, five Toulouse geese, and four turkeys....so far. Plus 2 wiener dogs, some bunnies and a rescue cat which owns me. Oh. And a house silkie....

Grab some eggs & Join us! 
Great fun, Great Prizes & GREAT friends! 
5th Annual BYC Easter Hatch-a-long!

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-- Linda (AKA: gryeyes)
I refuse to fight a battle of wits with an unarmed person.

Buncha Outdoor PET chickens, ducks, five Toulouse geese, and four turkeys....so far. Plus 2 wiener dogs, some bunnies and a rescue cat which owns me. Oh. And a house silkie....

Grab some eggs & Join us! 
Great fun, Great Prizes & GREAT friends! 
5th Annual BYC Easter Hatch-a-long!

Reply
post #3 of 6

Last year I did not have a roost in my brooder.  When I moved them to the coop I had to work with them quite a bit to teach them about the roost.

This year I put a roost in the brooder before I got the chicks.  It was only about 2 - 3 inches high.  Within a couple of days they were using it to practice.  They spent A LOT of time play on it.  I don't think they slept on it.  When I moved them to the coop a couple of weeks ago they were interested in it within a couple of days.  I would find one or two birds on it occasionally.  A few days ago I noticed a couple of birds sleeping on it each night (different birds each time).  Last night most of them decided to sleep on the roost.  20 of the 23 birds were on it!  I had not started training them to use it yet.  Looks like I won't have to this year!  The birds range from 7 to 10 weeks old.

I will always use a roost in my brooder starting at day one in the future.

For the roost I used a tree branch about 1" - 1 1/2" in diameter.

1 Silver Laced Wyandotte, 2 Gold Laced Wyandotte, 1 BLRW, 1 Columbian Wyandotte, 4 Rhode Island Red, 6 Easter Eggers, 3 Barred Rock, 3 Welsummer, 2 Buff Orpington, 2 White Leghorn, 2 Brown Leghorn, 3 Gold Sex Links, 2 Delaware, 1 Mixed Maran.    And a partridge in a pear tree... (just kidding on the partridge).
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1 Silver Laced Wyandotte, 2 Gold Laced Wyandotte, 1 BLRW, 1 Columbian Wyandotte, 4 Rhode Island Red, 6 Easter Eggers, 3 Barred Rock, 3 Welsummer, 2 Buff Orpington, 2 White Leghorn, 2 Brown Leghorn, 3 Gold Sex Links, 2 Delaware, 1 Mixed Maran.    And a partridge in a pear tree... (just kidding on the partridge).
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post #4 of 6

Just make sure your heat lamp doesn't melt the laundry basket!

The Emancipation of the Irrational LauraJean...
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The Emancipation of the Irrational LauraJean...
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post #5 of 6

I laid an old VHS tape rack on it's side in my brooder. Some of the bigger chicks took to it right away! thumbsup

http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/uploads/57775_dscn2374.jpg


Another shot of the brooder with the VHS rack near the light, not right under it.

http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/uploads/57775_dscn2360.jpg

post #6 of 6

I put a tree branch from my yard 1/2" from the shavings when my chicks were 2wo and I just built them a 2 1/2" high roost out of 1"x1" boards and they love it! It is so cute to see them roosting next to each other.

Mom to 2 little boys, 3 dogs, 2 guinea pigs, lots of fish and 15 chickens, Buff Orps, SLWs and Black Jersey Giants
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Mom to 2 little boys, 3 dogs, 2 guinea pigs, lots of fish and 15 chickens, Buff Orps, SLWs and Black Jersey Giants
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