How old 'til they roost?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Yonaton, Jul 18, 2007.

  1. Yonaton

    Yonaton Songster

    Jun 28, 2007
    West TN
    Hiya gang,

    My chicks are now a month old. They go out in the enclosed run early in the morning through an opening I cut in the wall of the coop (which has a little door that I keep open all day and slide over in the evenings when they're inside the coop for the night).

    For the most part, they're fairly decent about going into the coop from the run on their own when it's starting to get dark (I still have to herd a few into the coop from the run every evening). Thing is, once they're inside the coop at around 8:15 to 8:30, none of them will 'roost'. They still sleep on the floor. Some will roost for a few minutes on the top edges of the milk crates, but eventually jump down and sleep on the floor. I've got three roosts for them at 3 ft., 4 ft., and 5 ft., with an easily climbeable ladder for them to the lowest roost, yet they don't go up it to roost at night (doesn't matter if I leave the light on all night or not).

    Is 1 month old still too early for them to roost at night? Would coming into the coop after dark and they're asleep and placing them on the roost train them any?

    Thanks for any insight on this, it's one of those things in all these years of helping my mom with her birds I just seemed to miss paying attention to.
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2007
  2. hisbride

    hisbride Songster

    Jun 18, 2007
    What do you have for them to roost on? We have a 2x2 that we use and that works pretty well. I'm not sure about the age thing because ours did not go into the coop until they were older than that.
  3. Yonaton

    Yonaton Songster

    Jun 28, 2007
    West TN
    The roosts are 2x4's laid flat (I figured since they're Jersey Giants they'll like the extra foot space, heh).

    The 'ladder' is a 2x4 with 1/4 inch x 1 inch x 5 inch pieces of wood nailed about every 3 inches up its length.
  4. barg

    barg Songster

    Apr 27, 2007
    I gave my chickens a training roost when they were in the brooder at about 3 weeks old and they used it.

    The traing roost was made from 2x3's that sat on the floor but was raised off the ground with 2x3 legs that had crossbars at the bottom to hold it upright.
    When I put them out in the coop at 7 weeks old, I put the training roost on the floor of the coop but they pretty much abandoned it.

    Instead they decided to sleep in a corner on the floor of the coop for about 4 days before they started to use the regular 2x4 roosts in the coop.

    I still think it was good for them to have had the training roost, I belive that is what gave them the idea to use the big roosts, once they were in the coop.
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2007
  5. Wolfpacker

    Wolfpacker Songster

    Jul 7, 2007
    My chicks are about eight weeks old. They roost during the day when they are in the run and they are on the roost in the hen house peering outside before I let them out each morning. But they still sleep huddled together in the corner on the floor.

    I also fashioned training roosts for them out of clothes hangers for pants that you get from the dry cleaners. It was funny watching them all lined up, tottering and trying to keep from falling off and then, like a stack of dominos, off they went!
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2007
  6. Country Gal

    Country Gal Songster

    Feb 2, 2007
    Capac, MI
    I think mine were around 8 weeks when they started roosting. When I first moved mine into the coop, around 6 weeks, they were sleeping on the floor. Then, slowly but surely, they started using the roost.

    My problem has been that they all want the top roost. Now that I have the nexting boxes installed, 1/2 sleep on the top roost, and 1/2 sleep on the top of the nest boxes (they're about the same level, double stacked).
  7. mudhen

    mudhen confidently clueless

    Jan 15, 2007
    Shepherdstown, WV
    I have a group of 15 week olds that just started roosting at night. Up until last week, they were sleeping chick-style, piled up in a corner of the coop.
    The goofs.
    I brought home three new girls last week, I'm guessing about 13 wks old, and,n ext thing you know, everyone is using the roost. The new girls taught their new sisters hwo to roost at night!! [​IMG]
  8. AtRendeAcres

    AtRendeAcres Songster

    May 23, 2007
    Clarion County
    I have a few 6 weeks ((they were not roosting: I read you have to teach them: so everytime I am in there I put them on there roost!))

    I have 17 - 4 weeks old I put a taining roost up for them! (less than 1 foot off the ground)

    They roost most of the time ((then sleep on floor)) [​IMG]
  9. Yonaton

    Yonaton Songster

    Jun 28, 2007
    West TN
    Thanks everyone. It seems then that it's just for the most part a matter of age. I'm just going to let them do their thing and I'm sure they'll eventually get up there themselves (I did see a couple of them at least eyeballing the lower roost yesterday and stretching their necks to try and get a better look at it...that's sorta promising, heh).
  10. LynnGrigg

    LynnGrigg Songster

    Jun 6, 2007
    Winston Salem, NC
    My 6 week chicks first roost(made from 2x2s) was maybe not quite a foot off the ground and inside a super jumbo sized dog house that was closed at night for a while. They all used it pretty quickly. Your roost may be just a little too high for beginners. My chicks are twelve weeks now and they are roosting in our original eight foot high -roofed and wire enclosed roost. I did purchase three elder laying hens who have probably showed the young ones "the roost ropes".

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