8-wk old chicks piling up in the coop

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by feltingfrenzy, Oct 10, 2012.

  1. feltingfrenzy

    feltingfrenzy Chirping

    Aug 6, 2012
    Hoping someone can help me figure this out:

    My 8-week old chicks are going into the coop from their covered day yard just before it gets really dark; but, once they are in the coop they pile up in one corner near the door.

    During the day, the chicks walk in and out of the coop and hop on the roosts. The dusk time temperatures aren't cold so I'm quite sure it's not that they are cold.

    Thanks in advance for any thoughts on this.


  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    They are being chickens. That is perfectly normal.

    Chicks don't start to roost on their own until they are ready. A broody hen will take her chicks to the roost at night when they are pretty young. I've seen some do that at 2 weeks and some as late as 5 weeks. They are not consistent.

    But brooder raised chicks usually wait a lot longer to start roosting at night. They'll play on the roosts during the day but mine usually wait until 10 to 12 weeks to start roosting at night. I've had some start as early as 5 weeks and some as late as 15 weeks, but 10 to 12 is normal.

    Until they start sleeping on the roosts, they usually sleep in a pile on the floor or ground somewhere, usually in a corner or where they feel somewhat protected. You're right. They are not cold. They are social creatures. They just enjoy the comfort of sleeping snuggled up with the others.

    Some people get really worried about this. For some reason I don't understand, they think the chicks have to roost and roost now! They start putting the chicks on the roost after dark to teach them to roost. It works, but I personally don't worry about it. They will roost when they are ready.
  3. humphrey farms

    humphrey farms Chirping

    Jun 28, 2012
    Naples Maine
    I put a roosting stick in my brooder and my babies started using it within a few days to play on . They started roosting on it at night without the heat lamp wk 3..
  4. Quahog

    Quahog In the Brooder

    Aug 1, 2012
    Cape Cod
    Normal mine did the same. Pretty cute chicken pile, now they are all on the roost.

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