15 week old chickens still not roosting at night

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by karenviolin, Aug 15, 2016.

  1. karenviolin

    karenviolin Just Hatched

    17
    0
    12
    Aug 15, 2016
    Hey everyone, I"m just wondering if I should be worrying about this or not. When they wake up in the morning the first thing they do is go perch on the large stick that we have in our run. However, they are still sleeping together in a corner inside the coop. Should I just wait it out? I read a few places on this forum that sometimes it takes as long as 6 months for them to roost. They were all chicks together, and there are no older chickens...any advice?
     
  2. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

    30,836
    21,671
    736
    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    I guess that you could try putting one or two on the roost on a night time and seeing if the others follow suit, but personally, as long as your coop is secure, i would not worry about it. I find it less hassle to let my flock do what suits them, rather than trying to get them to do what i want.

    CT
     
  3. karenviolin

    karenviolin Just Hatched

    17
    0
    12
    Aug 15, 2016
    The coop is definitely secure, and you're probably right...[​IMG]
     
  4. tstrode

    tstrode New Egg

    6
    0
    7
    Jul 8, 2016
    My chicks are 14 weeks old and still huddle together in the corner. I was glad to see your post...I was also getting concerned. They will go on the roost in the middle of the day when it's hot, but always in the same corner at night. I think I'll just let them sort it out. [​IMG]
     
  5. GC-Raptor

    GC-Raptor Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,299
    814
    201
    Jul 26, 2016
    Connecticut, U.S.A.
    What kind of roost do you have. I use a 2x3 wide side up. My hens were put in their coop around eight weeks and were huddled together on the floor for maybe two days,then they started to use the roost. Is it too high? My lower roost is 12" off the floor the upper roost is 18" high and 12"from the lower. So they easily jump from the lower to the upper My coop is only 3' high. GC[​IMG]
     
  6. karenviolin

    karenviolin Just Hatched

    17
    0
    12
    Aug 15, 2016
    We also use a 2x3 that we've rounded off to make it more comfortable for their claws. I put them up there for the last 2 nights, and they stayed there all night....so hopefully if I keep doing that they'll get the hang of it! We have a "poop board" that sits below the roost that they can easily reach (I see them jumping up and down from there all the time) Here's a pic of when they
    were first introduced to their coop at around 8-10 weeks. you can see the roost in the back.





    [​IMG]
     
  7. mechanic57

    mechanic57 Chillin' With My Peeps

    209
    50
    101
    Aug 23, 2014
    Chickens all decide to roost at different ages. I've had some wait until they were old enough to lay eggs before they started roosting and others would sleep up on the highest thing they could find before they were fully feathered and able to go outside.
     
  8. WiddleChix

    WiddleChix Chillin' With My Peeps

    163
    11
    61
    Jul 15, 2016
    California
    I posted on your other thread about this same topic about how mine sleep on top of the brooder. After almost two weeks of putting them up physically they finally all got in the coop by themselves and slept in the coop on the roost and even the two turkeys followed them in there. One of my Cochins got in later I believe because she was on the floor of the coop and as soon as I shone some light she jumped right up.

    I think the thing that really helped was putting a light on in there long enough so they could see the roost so they could jump up for themselves. Good luck with it! I was so proud of my girls and guy last night!
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2016
  9. mechanic57

    mechanic57 Chillin' With My Peeps

    209
    50
    101
    Aug 23, 2014
    Not sure what you're describing here but it sounds like they were choosing to sleep on top of the brooder instead of going in the coop? What most people do to teach a chicken that its new home is the coop (once its fully feathered and ready for the coop life), they put the chickens in the coop with food and water, then close off access to the outside range or run for 7 or 8 days. After that time, open the pop doors to the run so they can go outside at will. They should then look to go inside the coop on their own at dusk. You'll have some that may huddle together on the ground in the corner of the run the first couple of times it gets dark outside, but after 2 or 3 nights of you picking them up after dark and putting them in the coop, they will figure out what time is the time they need to go in before its too dark for them to see their way inside. Having a light inside the coop helps them find their way inside when its dark outside, but I don't use a light. Lights on a timer will instantly go off, leaving them in the dark suddenly. The sun sets slowly, gradually dimming. I don't want them moving around in the coop then suddenly being in pitch black and can't see anything. In the winter I use a light on a time to extend their exposure to light which increases egg production, but I make the light come on prior to sun rise. It goes out after the sun is up, extending their natural day but still letting the day end with the setting sun.
     
  10. WiddleChix

    WiddleChix Chillin' With My Peeps

    163
    11
    61
    Jul 15, 2016
    California

    Yeah they were sleeping on top of the brooder instead of in the coop. I don't like the idea of locking in the coop so I would physically pick them up and put them on the roost, it was too dark in there for them to see the roost as I had to go in after sunset to be able to grab them. I finally put an electric lantern on at lowest setting and put one on the ground in the coop at the time and once the light was on they could see the roost bar and jump up themselves. After one night of trying the new technique they went in themselves and roosted without my help. This is just the strategy I used, maybe it will work for others, maybe not. There's no permanent light just the one I brought out and it was bright enough that they could see the roost to jump on it but dim enough that when the light was turned off it wasn't a shocking difference and I didn't turn it off until they had completely jumped on.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by