chicks won't go in coop or roost

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by birdbrain2, Apr 2, 2009.

  1. birdbrain2

    birdbrain2 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 25, 2008
    belleville, IL.
    my 9 week old chicks have been outside for about 2 weeks, it still pretty cool in the day high around 60 degrees and lows around 32 degrees. it looks like it will be that way for another week. so i still have heat lamp in coop. I usually get home from 1st job around 2:00 pm and let them out when it is warmest and put them in the coop before i leave to 2nd job around 630pm. I always have to chase them around and put them up for the night. today it was raining and didn't want to chase them around so i turned the heat lamp on in coop and left for work. I got lucky and got home within an hour or two and hoping they would have gone inside, but they didn't. bye now it was dark and they where really easy to catch. they also have been under constant light since day one and would really like to get them in total darkness at night, but if i turn off the light they just huddle together on floor.
    so any tips on what to do?
    at what age can they take colder weather or sleep without heat lamp?
    oh and last, at what age are they not considered chicks?
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2009
  2. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

    Jun 15, 2008
    They probably need confined to the coop awhile longer. If they don't establish where to sleep or are too young without a hen to follow they won't make it back to the coop before dark. Right now I have 6week olds outside and they don't even leave the coop yet but I have a 170sq ft coop. They stick around inside while the adults go free ranging. Most of mine haven't roosted until 12-14weeks. They just sleep in a pile on the floor. I usually pile the straw or shavings up in a circle where the heat lamp is pointing when I first put them out so they have a natural sleeping spot and they stay there until they decide they can handle the temps. By then they know to come back to the coop for bed. If I had a smaller coop where they were likely to wander out the door I'd probably leave it closed for a week or 2 after I moved them out and/or until they were 10-12weeks.
  3. KatyTheChickenLady

    KatyTheChickenLady Bird of A Different Feather

    Dec 20, 2008
    Boise, Idaho
    My temps are the same as yours and my heat lamp goes to night only at 5 weeks and then none at 6. They roam around all day outside even at cooler temps and sleep in a pile at night. All are healthy and happy. If they were under the momma they would be out by now and not have a heat lamp.
    The other thing about going in at night; mine will not go to bed until 8, if I have to leave earlier and need to put them in, it is a rodeo roundup.
  4. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

    Jun 15, 2008
    If they were with a hen though they'd be slowly adjusted to the weather and follow her in and out of the coop so they know where to sleep. When you just move them out from being at room temp with light 24/7 they need more adjustment than that. My 6week olds were shivering and crushing each other at 65F without heat. They weren't used to it. The chicks will tell you when they don't need heat by not staying under the heat lamp any longer. Watching the chicks is far better than any thermometer or following any set rules for heat and age.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by