Chick Behavior at Night in New Coop?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by rocky41102, Apr 26, 2011.

  1. rocky41102

    rocky41102 Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 31, 2010
    My chicks just moved out to the new coop from the brooder. They are EE's and bantams about 6-7 weeks old. The coop is a resin shed with double walls and so far has felt fairly close in temperature to what they had inside. I do have sand as their bedding and they had shavings when they were in the brooder. They have roosts set up that are supported on stacked cinder blocks.

    Here's my question, at night all the chicks are piling onto the top of the cinder blocks. They are crammed on there just all sleeping together. There's a few that don't fit and they are sleeping huddled up on the sand but right next to one of the cinder block stacks. During the day, they are fine (they haven't been out to the run yet because they just moved to the coop) and I see them wandering around and roosting and sitting on the sand. They are used to roosts as they had them in their brooder and some of them roosted at night. Most of them slept in a big huddle in the middle of the brooder all together-not because of cold or room, just because.

    So is this normal? I don't know if I need to build them some kind of platform to sleep on at night, or if they are just cold at night or maybe they don't like sleeping on sand and I should switch it to shavings? Any advice or ideas would be great! These are my first chicks and they've always been together and fairly close even though there are big size differences!
  2. tnmamaw01

    tnmamaw01 Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 26, 2011
    We are new with rasing chickens but just wanted to tell you, we have shavings on the floor but the first few nights, our girls did the same thing. They seem to do that almost right away when they go in for the evening but every morning, they are all on the perches sitting together. I assumed this was normal behavior for a bit. Our gals are 8 weeks old and are Rhode Island Reds. I wouldn't think sand would be a huge issue as they seem not to mind dirt but I am no expert.
  3. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Every last one of my chicks has taken until they were 12 weeks old or so before they roosted at night. They practice during the day, but huddled together on the floor every night. I think they need to build confidence and practice until are comfortable on the roost at night. That takes balance, to perch on a roost and stay there while sleeping.

    Don't worry about it.. they will eventually decide, one by one, that they would prefer to roost at night.
  4. Katydid2011

    Katydid2011 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2011
    West Coast USA
    It seems natural to me that your chicks are jumping up on the cinder blocks. It's a transitional place between sleeping on the ground and sleeping on a suspended perch. (They're still huddled together but they're up off the ground.)

    As for the sand, chickens love sand, dirt and sawdust! The chicks who are lowest in the pecking order are likely the ones that you see on the ground next to the cinder blocks. The bolder chicks take the prime locations and the rest take what's left. Eventually, they'll all want to be up. Last week I had pullets sleeping in happy piles in a nest of pine chips. This week they're all six feet up their ladder, on the highest perch. They sometimes fall off and it makes me wince but they're not fazed by it. They take a moment to reassess the situation then jump back up again! [​IMG] Eventually, as gryeyes said, they'll improve their balance and be able to stay up there without falling, it just takes a bit of practice.

    Sounds to me like everything's right on track. [​IMG]
  5. BrattishTaz

    BrattishTaz Roo Magnet

    Jan 8, 2011
    Tampa Area, Florida
    My cockerals had to sleep almost on top of one another for a long time. They would fight during the day after they matured but at night they walked to the coop together and cuddled up. [​IMG] A hawk killed one of my boys when they were about 7 months old and threw off the routine but the other two still nap together through wire. They are now a year and a half old.
  6. rocky41102

    rocky41102 Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 31, 2010
    Thanks so much! I feel much better. I think we'll add some more blocks for now so at least they can spread out a little more!

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