8 week old chicks won't use roost or eat/drink at night!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by MTMama, May 14, 2011.

  1. MTMama

    MTMama New Egg

    Mar 14, 2011
    I have 3 8 week old Orpingtons chicks. These are my first chickens so I am new to all this! I have to put them in the coop at night and shut the door so they will stay in. I also have food and water in there for them but when I let them out in the morning I notice that they haven't eaten all night and are sleeping in the same spot I put them in! Is this normal and how do I get them to roost and go in on their own at night? There are also no windows in the coop. should there be?

    Thanks in advance!
  2. Domestic_goddess

    Domestic_goddess Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 26, 2009
    Yes there should be ventilation. 8 weeks is still young, they'll figure out the roosting eventually. I have 13 week olds that still sleep on the ground. And... because they are sleeping they don't eat and drink much at night anyways...don't worry!
  3. Sassafras

    Sassafras Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 16, 2011
    try placing them on the roost before you turn off the light. They don't have good night vision so they may not want to try to fly up if they cannot see the roost.
  4. MTMama

    MTMama New Egg

    Mar 14, 2011
    Quote:i don't actually have a light in there! should I?
  5. Rachel'sFlock

    Rachel'sFlock Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:i don't actually have a light in there! should I?

    The light is more for keeping enough "daylight" so the hens are "activated" for laying. Under 14 hours a day, and they will think it is winter and slow or even stop laying.
    There is a ton of great information on BYC regarding how to manage light. I would do a search on it, if I were you.
    This site is populated by some pretty amazing chicken experts! They know everything!!!
  6. flowerhippie

    flowerhippie Out Of The Brooder

    May 13, 2011
    How high is the roost? I put mine on a roost that is 3 inches tall when put them in the brooder. when they are put outside I will lower the roost to 2 feet or so and watch them in the day to see how high they are flying. depending on breed's some roost differently. If they are cold they may huddle together for warmth. I use a red light at night and some times they will occasionally eat at night. The most important is to see them eat in the day. If they are sleeping with no windows they are just zonked out from the dark. They are o.k with no windows as long as there are a few 2 inch holes drilled on the top of the shed for ventilation, If you have no holes you might ask one of the guys around to help you use a hole saw to cut holes. let them out in early morning as soon as the sun is up.

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