Are they warmer roosting or huddled on the floor?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by SassyKat6181, Oct 24, 2010.

  1. SassyKat6181

    SassyKat6181 Songster

    Aug 30, 2010
    Western Mass
    Time to wean the girls off the lamp. They'll be 6 weeks on Wed. They roost during the day, but at night huddle under the lamp. Should I make larger roosts for them (they have baby ones now-about 12")? I was thinking of making a ladder style roost?

  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    My brooder raised chicks normally huddle on the floor instead of roosting until they are around 10 to 12 weeks old, then they start to roost on their own. I think they just enjoy the company down there. I see no reason to force them to roost when they don't want to. Usually around 10 to 12 weeks of age, one or two will move to the roost at night, then within a couple of days, they are all roosting.

    If a broody raises them, she usually huddles on the floor with them for about 4 weeks, then she takes them on the roost at night. They are usually fully feathered out at 4 to 5 weeks, so they do not need to stay huddled on the floor for warmth. I have no idea where Wilbraham is. Sounds like it is an English-speaking country somewhere in the world, but I have no idea what your weather is like this time of year. Since yours are 6 weeks old, they should be fully feathered and should not need any supplemental heat unless it is extremely cold where you are right now.

    I'd go ahead and make the adult roosts. They'll enjoy playing on them during the day and move onto them for roosting when they are ready. It certainly won't hurt anything to be prepared. Just because mine wait until they are 10 to 12 weeks old does not mean yours will.

    Good luck!
  3. Judy

    Judy Crowing Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    The warmest roost is the wide side of a 2x4 or wider, so even as adults, they can sit on their feet and keep the bottom of their body warm that way.

    Ladder is debatable. Gives them something else to fight over, IMHO, so mine is all one height. Usually chicks that age can fly even higher than adults -- the weight interferes when they are full grown. Mine just spread out -- the outcasts sleep away from the others but on the roost, mostly. One sleeps on a platform (an orp, maybe too big to be comfortable on a roost.)

    At any rate, they are too young to get excited about roosting yet. That's more like around 3 or 4 months. Most likely they sleep as they do as a social thing, a carryover from babyhood -- they really aren't much more than babies at this stage.

    Why do they spend the day on the roost? Are they also out pecking and scratching?
  4. SassyKat6181

    SassyKat6181 Songster

    Aug 30, 2010
    Western Mass
    Ridgerunner ~ I am in Wilbraham, Massachusetts. We've been 50-60 days and 30's night.

    Why do they spend the day on the roost? Are they also out pecking and scratching? The coop is two old horse stalls in our barn (I removed the wall in between) so it measures about 12' x 24' x 10'. With a large window and the stall bars are covered with hardware cloth. I haven't gotten to the enclosed run and there are too many predators to let them free range here. They are not roosting all day, I was just mentioning that occalsionally when I go in there, they are up on the roosts. The roosts are not under the lamp, so I wondered if that's why they were still on the floor at night.

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