Cheep Chick Perches

CreveChris

Critically-endangered Crevecoeur breeder
Premium Feather Member
Apr 26, 2020
194
446
156
NE Florida
This is my second set of Backyard Barnyard chick perches. I use them as sanitary perches in the brooder. Easy-to-clean, rounded & sanded wood, made in the USA.

My chicks can't poop on each other while sitting on these. The triangle/triple perch setup isn't as stable, either, as chicks grow.

My only question is, how old were your chicks when they started perching, especially to sleep? My original flock, the parents of the current brooder chicks, never perch to sleep. I got them a handmade natural branch ladder, so we'll see how that goes, but so far they prefer flat surfaces and cuddling like brooder chicks.

I'm encouraging and training(?) these chicks to start balancing on the low perches. They are only a week old, so I don't expect much.

 

mcdze

Songster
Sep 9, 2020
282
361
118
i use litter in the brooder box and change it out once a week, more if you cant keep it dry .. some of them will start sitting on a perch if provided at around 3-4 weeks i'd say .. if you got a saw rip some 1X board down to square strips and you can make a few ..
 

Lacy Duckwing

Crowing
Nov 6, 2017
1,668
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Maine
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As far as perches for chicks, I don't let them perch till they're like 9 weeks old. I heard somewhere not to let chicks perch until they're 9 weeks old because if they perch younger, it'll do something damaging to their chests. As far as them learning how to perch, have them have their toes on one of your fingers. Then, gently move your finger towards their chest with their toes still on your finger. That should automatically case their toes to curl around your finger. Once they see that, place them on the perch, and gently cause them to sit, and hold them there so they can see to perch. Then, slowly let your hand off them and be ready to catch them if they didn't have a good enough grip. Sometimes it takes a couple of times to show them, but they should get the hang of it. ;)
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
26,795
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Southeast Louisiana
how old were your chicks when they started perching, especially to sleep?

I generally use perching and roosting to mean two different things. If you look up the dictionary definitions there is some overlap but also some separation. To me, perching is when they play up on something during the day. Roosting is when they sleep up there overnight.

Most chickens like to perch. They can spend a lot of time during the day just sitting up high. I don't know the youngest I've seen chicks perch, probably by a week old or even less. I'm sure they have the ability to perch as soon as they dry off after hatch. It's just something I've never paid any real attention to. One specific time I remember 3 week old black australorp chicks lines up on a perch. They looked really rough as they were feathering in and my wife said they looked like vultures.

I've seen a broody hen take her chicks to the roosts to sleep at night as young as two weeks old. They were able to fly up there and spend the night with Mama. Usually my broody hens do not take their chicks to the roosts before 4 to 5 weeks old but this hen did. They went.

My brooder-raised chicks tend to start roosting in my grow-out coop between 10 to 12 weeks of age. I have had some start that as young as five weeks but that was unusual. I've had some wait until longer but 10 to 12 weeks is a good average. The way my grow-out coop and roosts are built may have an effect on that age. There are no adults in my grow-out coop.

If my brooder-raised chicks are in my main coop with the adults that do not usually roost on the main roosts with the adults until they mature enough to join the pecking order. Usually with my pullets that's about the time they start to lay. With cockerels it could be about any age. They may roost somewhere else in the coop but not with the adults.

Of course my broody-raised chicks start roosting whenever Mama tells them to.

As far as perching I often see them up on the perches during the day, even if it is still a long time before they start roosting up there. It is not that they can't get up there to sleep, they just don't want to.

I made a perch for the brooder by cutting a couple of short sections if a 2x4 and screwing on a piece of wood maybe an inch wide so it sets up off the brooder floor by about 3-1/2 inches. Sometimes some use it, sometimes none do.
 

CreveChris

Critically-endangered Crevecoeur breeder
Premium Feather Member
Apr 26, 2020
194
446
156
NE Florida
i use litter in the brooder box and change it out once a week, more if you cant keep it dry .. some of them will start sitting on a perch if provided at around 3-4 weeks i'd say .. if you got a saw rip some 1X board down to square strips and you can make a few ..

We're building a big coop and will use
i use litter in the brooder box and change it out once a week, more if you cant keep it dry .. some of them will start sitting on a perch if provided at around 3-4 weeks i'd say .. if you got a saw rip some 1X board down to square strips and you can make a few ..

Building a bigger coop right now, and will add some 1x1 perches, thanks 😀
 

CreveChris

Critically-endangered Crevecoeur breeder
Premium Feather Member
Apr 26, 2020
194
446
156
NE Florida
As far as perches for chicks, I don't let them perch till they're like 9 weeks old. I heard somewhere not to let chicks perch until they're 9 weeks old because if they perch younger, it'll do something damaging to their chests. As far as them learning how to perch, have them have their toes on one of your fingers. Then, gently move your finger towards their chest with their toes still on your finger. That should automatically case their toes to curl around your finger. Once they see that, place them on the perch, and gently cause them to sit, and hold them there so they can see to perch. Then, slowly let your hand off them and be ready to catch them if they didn't have a good enough grip. Sometimes it takes a couple of times to show them, but they should get the hang of it. ;)

Awesome, I've never heard about an age for perching. Have started helping them about the brooder by letting them hop in my hand and sit for a moment on the low perch with my hand out to their chest.
 

CreveChris

Critically-endangered Crevecoeur breeder
Premium Feather Member
Apr 26, 2020
194
446
156
NE Florida
how old were your chicks when they started perching, especially to sleep?

I generally use perching and roosting to mean two different things. If you look up the dictionary definitions there is some overlap but also some separation. To me, perching is when they play up on something during the day. Roosting is when they sleep up there overnight.

Most chickens like to perch. They can spend a lot of time during the day just sitting up high. I don't know the youngest I've seen chicks perch, probably by a week old or even less. I'm sure they have the ability to perch as soon as they dry off after hatch. It's just something I've never paid any real attention to. One specific time I remember 3 week old black australorp chicks lines up on a perch. They looked really rough as they were feathering in and my wife said they looked like vultures.

I've seen a broody hen take her chicks to the roosts to sleep at night as young as two weeks old. They were able to fly up there and spend the night with Mama. Usually my broody hens do not take their chicks to the roosts before 4 to 5 weeks old but this hen did. They went.

My brooder-raised chicks tend to start roosting in my grow-out coop between 10 to 12 weeks of age. I have had some start that as young as five weeks but that was unusual. I've had some wait until longer but 10 to 12 weeks is a good average. The way my grow-out coop and roosts are built may have an effect on that age. There are no adults in my grow-out coop.

If my brooder-raised chicks are in my main coop with the adults that do not usually roost on the main roosts with the adults until they mature enough to join the pecking order. Usually with my pullets that's about the time they start to lay. With cockerels it could be about any age. They may roost somewhere else in the coop but not with the adults.

Of course my broody-raised chicks start roosting whenever Mama tells them to.

As far as perching I often see them up on the perches during the day, even if it is still a long time before they start roosting up there. It is not that they can't get up there to sleep, they just don't want to.

I made a perch for the brooder by cutting a couple of short sections if a 2x4 and screwing on a piece of wood maybe an inch wide so it sets up off the brooder floor by about 3-1/2 inches. Sometimes some use it, sometimes none do.

Thanks, I appreciate the perspective and tips for low perches. My pullets started laying early, and Crevecoeurs don't go broody, so these chicks are incubator hatchlings. Introducing them to the flock is a future event, but I'm setting up the coop and run build to allow for separate areas, if needed.
 

CreveChris

Critically-endangered Crevecoeur breeder
Premium Feather Member
Apr 26, 2020
194
446
156
NE Florida
Thin is ok for chicks but bigger birds require bigger roosts. I use 2x4's. Many use tree branches.

I have a handmade tree limb ladder for the hens and rooster. There's a table made of reclaimed wood with the nesting boxes, too. Just want the flock off the ground at night. Using natural sand floor over hardware cloth for the coop and run, since Florida makes this option easy.
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
Premium Feather Member
Jul 3, 2016
13,994
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982
WA, Pac NW
My Coop
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I no longer try to train chicks to roost because I have an adult flock that will show them how. My last batch of chicks put themselves to roost at 29 days old. Without adult birds (or in your case, adults that aren't roosting), you can encourage them to roost by physically putting them on roost bars.

early10.jpg
 
Valley Hatchery

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