Getting Chicks to Roost--any tips??

Shancanbonan

In the Brooder
May 1, 2020
20
17
26
North Georgia, USA
Hi everyone! I have 9 chicks who are nearly feathered out and will be transitioning to their new coop in a couple of weeks. I added tree branches for roosts in the brooder the very first week, but none of my chicks were ever interested in roosting at night. I decided to build a roost (I'll post a photo below) more like the one that will be in their coop to help them adjust prior to the move. They still rather sleep in a little "puppy pile" at night, although they'll hang out and roost in daylight. Does anyone have any tips to encourage them to roost at night? Thank you!!
 

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ChickenCanoe

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Nov 23, 2010
33,027
27,584
1,077
St. Louis, MO
When they mature, they will roost eventually. I let them do what they want and they will roost in their own time. You can pick them up at dusk and place them on a roost if you want to speed up the process but I think yours are probably too young.

If raised by a hen, she will sleep on the floor with them for quite a while.
 

Chicken Heel

Songster
Jun 8, 2019
562
1,643
171
It takes time and no two chicks are alike when they begin to roost. Amazingly, last night my red cochin bantam roosted the first night in the coop while the other eight mixed bantams snuggled together underneath the roosts. I have never had any chick to roost the first night in the coop before.
 

Matzwd

Songster
Apr 9, 2018
694
805
206
St Louis, Missouri
They will do it on their own, but you can help encourage them by placing them there after dark. Chickens sleep with their feet flat and their abdomens covering them. You might consider turning the roosts so the wide part of the 2x4s are the roosting surface.
 

Doc7

Songster
May 12, 2018
747
1,077
198
Central Virginia
My advice for getting chickens to do literally everything:
Including
- drinking from a new water
- roosting
- using their coop ramp
- free ranging

set them up for success, and leave for 4-6 hours. They will figure it out, and you won’t be stressed watching them and waiting for it.

for roosting, replace 4-6 hours with “16-24 weeks”.

my current chicks roosted last night at 5 weeks but I haven’t seen that before.
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
Premium Feather Member
Jul 3, 2016
15,797
30,292
1,052
WA, Pac NW
My Coop
My Coop
If you want them to do it earlier, put them on the roost once it's dark and they should eventually get the hint to go up there on their own. If you'd rather they figure it out themselves, just leave them with it and they should eventually go up once they feel ready.

My last batch of chicks watched the hens and taught themselves to roost at 5 1/2 weeks.
 

Willow2253

Crowing
Dec 6, 2019
1,388
4,619
336
Eastern Oregon
Mine started roosting in the edge of the brooder at about 6 weeks, but now we’ve taken the brooder out of the coop and only about half of them roost on their own. They’re 10 weeks now and I have to move some of them onto the roost every night still. It just takes time, and occasionally some encouragement, for them to get the hang of it.
 

Doc7

Songster
May 12, 2018
747
1,077
198
Central Virginia
Mine started roosting in the edge of the brooder at about 6 weeks, but now we’ve taken the brooder out of the coop and only about half of them roost on their own. They’re 10 weeks now and I have to move some of them onto the roost every night still. It just takes time, and occasionally some encouragement, for them to get the hang of it.

may I ask why you say you have to move them onto the roost?
 

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