8 week olds roosting behaviors in coop

Kaesi2020

Songster
Premium Feather Member
Hi everyone! I notice that my 6 eight week old chicks make a ton of noise when they start settling in for the night on their roosting bars in the coop. Sometimes the sounds are wierd and frantic. Eventually it goes totally quiet. I had a few questions about chickens settling in for the night...

- do chickens have set spots on the roost over time? Mine seem to always be jockeying for good positioning although the last two nights I notice two birds on the ends were in the same positions as the night before

- is the roost space closest to the windows typically a favorite?

-do chickens typically get down for water or food during the night? I keep two small containers in with them but if chickens do not eat at night perhaps I should remove the feeder to prevent pests?

-are those frantic sounding chirps normal? It sounds intense for a few minutes and then dies down.

Thank you!

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HenneryTheEighth

Songster
May 28, 2020
242
465
131
I am not sure if it is normal, but my nearly six-week old birds do the same. Lots of 'meeping' and complaining from those who can't get the spot they want, lots of jostling, and pushing each other off until seat selection is complete. Eventually they all quiet down.
 

Djgm

Songster
May 9, 2020
144
188
116
Northern NJ
In one of my chicken books, while I was researching all this, they stated they do not eat/drink over night. I'm totally new to all this, hopefully someone more experienced will comment.
 

HenneryTheEighth

Songster
May 28, 2020
242
465
131
Mine get very put out if I don't leave water and food in there overnight. There is loud complaining when I let them out at 7:00 AM.
 

Kdlevesque

Songster
Jul 10, 2016
327
481
166
South Carolina
Mine don’t have food or water overnight. They normally don’t come off the roosts once it gets dark because they can’t see and I didn’t want to attract mice/rats. My older girls that are about 4 1/2 years old have set spots on their roosts but our little ones are still sleeping with mom. I’ll be curious to see where they end up on the roosts but we are planning to add a new roost this week so we can keep the squabbles down.
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
Premium Feather Member
Jul 3, 2016
15,862
30,459
1,052
WA, Pac NW
My Coop
My Coop
- do chickens have set spots on the roost over time? Mine seem to always be jockeying for good positioning although the last two nights I notice two birds on the ends were in the same positions as the night before

- is the roost space closest to the windows typically a favorite?

-do chickens typically get down for water or food during the night? I keep two small containers in with them but if chickens do not eat at night perhaps I should remove the feeder to prevent pests?

-are those frantic sounding chirps normal? It sounds intense for a few minutes and then dies down.

- Yes and no. Some birds really want to be in certain spots and if higher ranked, will try and push for it. Other birds don't really seem to care as much.

- Yes, windows seem to be preferred by many birds.

- No, see below.

- The chirping you're describing is what some on here call "roost time rumbles" - completely normal and expected for them to fight and fuss over roost spots. They will do so as adults as well.

In one of my chicken books, while I was researching all this, they stated they do not eat/drink over night.

They don't eat/drink at night. They will however eat/drink first thing in the morning, if it's available.

I provide young chicks with food and water around the clock, but once they transition to the coop I no longer do so. Food gets stored away overnight so as to not tempt pests.
 

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