Helping adolescent chicks learn to act like adults

SusanD

Chirping
Feb 20, 2015
348
5
71
Willamette Valley, Oregon
I had a couple of questions about breaking my older chicks of bad habits. One is sleeping in the nestboxes. I can block them off relatively easy, but was wondering if I should change the litter in the pull out tray first. They were starting to sleep on the roosts when we had coconut fiber, but reverted to the nest boxes when i changed to pine shavings. So, maybe the pine smell is in fact bothering them?

The other is getting them to go in at dusk. I have been using a light as their cue to go in, but would like to teach them to do without the cue. I tried that today, and they were pacing in front of the run, until I finally took pity on them and turned the light on.

Thanks,

Susan
 

Sonya9

Crowing
7 Years
Feb 7, 2014
1,922
1,161
291
Georgia
What do you mean by "using a light"? They roost naturally when it starts to get dark, if they prefer to roost in the coop then they go in the coop.
 

SusanD

Chirping
Feb 20, 2015
348
5
71
Willamette Valley, Oregon
HI,

I mean turning the light on (that we were using as a heat lamp before they got too old) on to give them the cue to go inside, and then turning it off once they are settled.

Susan
 
Last edited:

Sonya9

Crowing
7 Years
Feb 7, 2014
1,922
1,161
291
Georgia
How old are these chicks?

I don't think your light was "a cue". Chickens roost when it is getting dark. Some always roost early, some later. Now if you were in the habit of giving them treats/visiting before they roost then that might get them to pace in front of the coop.
 

azygous

Enabler
11 Years
Dec 11, 2009
23,293
33,327
1,122
Colorado Rockies
Switching your bedding from coconut fiber to pine shavings wouldn't be a factor in the chickens shunning the roosting perches. They have very weak olfactory senses.

You need to teach them or wait until they eventually decide on their own to perch and coop up at night. The most effective way is to show them by running them through the motions. Place them in the pop hole and give them a gentle shove in. Place them on the perch and when they hop off, keep repeating it until they remain. Doing these exercises at close to dark hurries up the process.

You may need to keep doing this each night until they get it and do it on their own.

Or just ignore them and wait until they are mature enough to discover this on their own,
 

SusanD

Chirping
Feb 20, 2015
348
5
71
Willamette Valley, Oregon
Thanks for your replies. They were feedstore chicks that were born in February, so they are somewhere between 2 and 3 months. By cue, I meant giving them light so they won't be afraid to go roost (because of the dark). I will try doing some of the training tonight and see if that doesn't help give them the idea
smile.png
 

rides2far

Songster
5 Years
Dec 9, 2014
842
81
126
Bakersfield California
Susan, mine ran in the first time when I turned on the light. I think they were afraid to go in until I turned on the light! It's been over a month & they are just starting to figure it out! Next, we must learn to roost.
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom