How old before you put the chicks on the roost at night?? UPDATE#11

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by chickerdoodle, Jun 19, 2010.

  1. chickerdoodle

    chickerdoodle Songster

    Aug 21, 2009
    I wasn't sure where to put this topic--hope its OK here. [​IMG]

    I have five healthy pullets who turn 9 weeks tomorrow and have been in their coop since 6 1/2 weeks of age. They "nap"on their roost in the run (when not laying in the sun in the sand [​IMG] ) and the bigger one in the hen house but do not sleep on it at night! They still sleep in a heap on the floor in the corner of the hen house. I was just on vacation for a week and checked--there was plenty of poo under the roost but a definite area flattened out in the corner where they slept prior to my vacation (I had totally cleaned it out and put fresh shavings). I am now wondering if I should go to the coop at night and slip them on the roost. Its a 2x4 wide side up and 20" from the floor. Is that too big for them at this age? They do put themselves to bed (always have!) as they live in a Forte Knox coop (no predator getting in this coop unless it has a chain saw) where they can go in and out as they please. Any thoughts? Are they too young? [​IMG]

    Thanks a bunch! [​IMG]

    The coop prior to being finished:
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2010
  2. OrpingtonManor

    OrpingtonManor Building the Castle

    Nov 15, 2008
    Martinez, CA
    I'm about to move my 9-weeks-tomorrow girls into the big coop, also. They haven't had much to roost on, so I am wondering the same thing. My older birds seemed to find their way to the roosts without my help when they were little chicks. These girls are much older, but seem happy sleeping on the ground. I'm going to guess that they will figure it out after they see my other birds do it.

    Have you tried putting them on the roost at dusk? Do they stay there or jump down?
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2010
  3. In His Service

    In His Service Wise Men Still Seek Him

    Apr 25, 2010
    Mine went straight to the roost is a sturdy limb. I think you are supposed to put the 2x4 narrow side up, though. It's probably too wide for them. [​IMG]
  4. OrpingtonManor

    OrpingtonManor Building the Castle

    Nov 15, 2008
    Martinez, CA
    2x4s traditionally are put flat side up, so the chickens warm their feet when they sleep in the winter. Unlike other birds, their feet don't naturally grasp the limb/roost. Flat is fine.

    eta - mine is a limb, also, but I don't have to worry about them freezing in the winter here.
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2010
  5. chickerdoodle

    chickerdoodle Songster

    Aug 21, 2009
    Quote:Not yet. This will be my first time doing it--I'll see and report back! I hope it won't be a big deal if I do it after midnight when I work as I work until then.
  6. FloridaChickens

    FloridaChickens Hatching

    May 14, 2010
    Brevard County, FL
    I have 10 about 11 weeks old. About 2 weeks ago, they were still piling up on each other in the corner at night. It had been 3-4 weeks and they never decided to get on the roost at night.

    Being a little concerned about the heat here, I read somewhere to just put them up on the roost after dark. I did this for a few night. I think the first night or two they just jumped back down. Then one or two a night started to stay. Now they are all up on they're own at night. I only spent a minute or two each night putting them up and then just left them. Worked for me.
  7. chickerdoodle

    chickerdoodle Songster

    Aug 21, 2009
    Thanks Floridachickens! I hope I have the same success! [​IMG]
  8. RedfogsFlock

    RedfogsFlock Songster

    Jan 17, 2010
    Wittmann, AZ
    My youngest will 8 weeks tomorrow, and have been out since they were a week old. (I'm in AZ) I use old broken shovel handles, or smaller handles off of other tools and build like steps. I even have some old pool ladders in my coop. My point is ALL of my chickens go to roost by themselves, BUT they all fight over the highest roost! Our coops are over 7 foot high, and our roosts are about 6 foot off the ground. We have "roost steps" about every foot or two working their way all the wat to the top. Even our 8 week old chicks get up on them. They all slept in a pile on the floor when they were baby babies. We would just leave them and around 5 or 6 weeks they started working their way up the ladders so to speak. So I hope this helps!
  9. WhiteMountainsRanch

    WhiteMountainsRanch Crowing

    Jun 19, 2010
    San Diego, CA
    Mine were inside until 8 weeks then we put them out in the coop. Our coop is similar to the person's in the above post. I nailed big tree branches every couple feet all the way up to a top one. The fist few nights they climbed on top of the food and water dishes, then after about a week I noticed that they were all WAY WAY up high... HIGHER than the highest branch... they were all the way up in the rafters! They've been sleeping there ever since. I never had to teach them to do it, it came naturally. [​IMG]
  10. OrpingtonManor

    OrpingtonManor Building the Castle

    Nov 15, 2008
    Martinez, CA
    The experiment did not go well. I went out for the evening, and when I got back, one of the chicks had escaped the run, and was hunkered down next to the house. The other two never went in the coop, but were huddled together in one of the chicken craters in the run. I just put them back in the brooder, but I think I still need to put them in the coop tonight, even if they sleep on the floor. [​IMG]

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