Cickens won't roost, curl up in run

Megs501

Songster
7 Years
Mar 2, 2012
135
2
111
Flint Hills KS
My Coop
My Coop
So I have 5 RIR girls, about 7wks old- they're fully feathered. They've been in their coop w attached run for about a week. Every Night just after dark I have to go put them in their coop because they bunch up in the corner of the run and are just asking to be attacked by predators... Then when I put them in the coop they act all out of sorts and refuse to sit on their roosts? When we open the door to the coop the next morning, they're on the floor, not on their roosts?

Is this normal? What should I do to encourage them sitting on the roosts? I'm new w chickens, so I don't know what to expect. Any tips would be appreciated. Thanks! :)
 

bj taylor

Songster
8 Years
Oct 28, 2011
1,131
45
168
North Central Texas
i think it's perfectly normal. i'm going through my second batch of chicks & it's what they do. my current bunch are FINALLY going into the coop, but they pile in a corner & raise cain for about 5 minutes before starting to settle down. in the morning some of them are on the roost. i think it is just a transition from huddling in a mass (under mama) to sleeping like the big girls do on a roost.
good luck.
 

Fierlin1182

powered-flight
8 Years
Aug 26, 2011
17,155
324
348
My chicks didn't really start to roost until they were a little older, so I think you're okay :) They always did sleep huddled together on the floor for ages! Perhaps you could try changing the height of the roost, or moving it around, and see what works. But at this stage I wouldn't be so worried about it
 

centrarchid

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Sep 19, 2009
26,608
18,575
876
Holts Summit, Missouri
Brooder reared chicks for me exhibit delayed use of elevated roost sometimes as late as 10 weeks. When hen raised like batch going right now they can start by 3 weeks and in case the hen is already trying to get chicks to go up before four weeks. They will be roosting by five weeks. If no hen, a rooster can also speed rise. Flock leaders and those already on roost produce a distinctive roost call attracts others up. Your flock of pullets does not have leader to provide nudge even though they are physicallt capable of roosting up high.
 

jpena13

Hatching
8 Years
Sep 2, 2011
5
0
9
I have 4 one year and half year old chickens in our pen and I have 8 six week old chicks that are indoor (my enclosed porch area) in a chicken playyard. How do I transition these girls to the big chicken area? Should I put the chicken playyard inside the pen protected from the other big girls ? But then I still need to figure out where to have them sleep at night? Help very new at this but totally in love with "my girls" thank you
 

CarolJ

Dogwood Trace Farm
8 Years
Jun 3, 2011
2,003
146
173
Middle Tennessee
I've raised several sets of chicks, and it seems that around 8 or 9 weeks of age, they start going to the roosting poles at night.

After I move them from the brooder to the coop, I usually have to take them into the coop at night for the first two or three nights because they want to huddle outside in the run. Once they start going into the coop, they usually pile into a corner to sleep. And every single time, there will come the time - usually around 8 weeks of age - when I go out to close the pop door, one or two will be on the roost - and then within two or three days, they'll all be on the roost at night.

Good luck!
 

OHSpartan

Songster
8 Years
Apr 30, 2012
118
12
134
Ohio
Is it OK for chickens NEVER to roost on a pole? I have 2 bantam Dominique's (1-yr old adoptees) and 2 white Polish (also adoptees). The previous owner did not have a roosting pole, so they slept in the nesting box. Despite having two roosting poles, at two different heights, these Dominiques insist on sleeping in the nesting box. the white Polish sleep whereever they happened to be standing when it got too dark for them to see (which is currently about 6-7 PM).

will these leaders set a bad example for the ISA Browns and EE I just put in to the coop?
 

Fierlin1182

powered-flight
8 Years
Aug 26, 2011
17,155
324
348
It's recommended that you shouldn't let chickens sleep in the nest boxes. Some folks block off the nest boxes and get the chickens used to sleeping on the roosts :)
 

Nicole01

Crowing
8 Years
Mar 28, 2011
5,492
114
268
MN
Mine never roosted, so I gave up. I ended up building 14" shelves lined with linoleum for easy cleaning, which they love! In the winter, they all huddle over the heater. I tried for months to get them to roost. They'd much rather pile up.
600262c2-e381-9ea2.jpg
 

Megs501

Songster
7 Years
Mar 2, 2012
135
2
111
Flint Hills KS
My Coop
My Coop
Wow, thanks for the great information! I have been putting them in the coop at night, and set a few on the roosts. Hopefully they will roost soon.

I'd also like to know about introducing chickens into the flock. I added three 12 week olds to my flock. The 12 week olds, who are older than my RIR, are of course ruling the roost. I guess this is normal? They don't seem overly aggressive at this point, they're letting the 6wk olds eat and drink. Bt they do randomly charge my babies and peck them some ... This makes me very nervous. Is there anything to be concerned about? Are their ages too far apart? They're all hens. The newbies are barred rocks, by the way.

Thanks!
 
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