how to get chicks to roost?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by steve&kris, May 17, 2011.

  1. steve&kris

    steve&kris Chirping

    Apr 15, 2011
    I don't even know that they should roost yet, so maybe I'm questioning something that is not an issue yet, but my 6 week old buff orp's aren't going up onto their perches to roost. I have included a pic. I set the roosts so the lower one would be just higher than the higher nesting box (you cant really see the nesting box b/c I have wood in front so they won't nest in there until they're old enough to lay) -- i'd say thats about 18" or so, maybe a few inches more. Instead of getting up onto the perches, they're just nesting on the straw at night. Also, they've only been in the coop a week or so, and I just started letting them outside 3 days ago, and if I don't go manually put them back into their coop, they don't seem to quite understand that they need to go inside. The one night I didn't get out until half hour after dark, I found them all in a little pile asleep in the grass outside the coup. It's been rainy and they also don't go in to get out of the rain.

    So -- Any suggestions on:
    1. How to get them to go into the coup on their own in the evening or in bad weather


    2. How to get them to roost on there perches -- if they should be doing so.

    Thanks for your help!


    PS - I was going to post that pic, but don't see an "attach" button anywhere, so I don't know how [​IMG]
  2. One Grey

    One Grey In the Brooder

    May 17, 2011
    Fort Collins, CO
    I'm interested in responses because we're having these same issues as well. Our chicks would roost on the bar we'd installed in their box before they went outside but do not seem to understand the roosts in their coop. To post pictures I'm fairly sure you need to go through the "uploads" menu item and I think you need a minimum number of posts (10?) to post pictures. I'm new and want to post some photos about a possible rooster, so I'm right there with ya.
  3. srpaint

    srpaint Songster

    Apr 12, 2011
    I would give them some time with the roosting. My chickens are 7 weeks old. They just started roosting. And none of my younger ones roost yet.

    As for getting them inside..... Treats are your best friend!! Every time you bring feed or water call them. Always use the same sound to call them. They learn you are bringing feed when you call and will want to come to you. Again, give them so time to learn it. But they will learn. My oldest chicks ( 7 weeks ) usually will come running when I come out saying here chick chick chick.
    Last edited: May 18, 2011
  4. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Songster

    Apr 15, 2010
    Forest Grove, OR
    There are a couple of things that work to get them into the coop at night. Place them in there at dusk. This could take several nights. Lock them in the coop for a few days so they know where home is (I haven't done this one but others have). Same with the roost. You may have to place them on the roost for several nights until they get the idea. Mine huddled together on the floor when they were young and then just figured it out on their own.
  5. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    In my experience it is common for chicks to not be interested in roosting until 2-3 months of age. I just let them do what they want. They start copying the older hens soon enough. I have some right now, 3 1/2 months, that are sleeping on top of the nest boxes sitting on the floor. Others the same age are roosting with the older hens.

    If you put a flashlight or small LED light in there at dusk that might help them go in the coop until they learn.
    Last edited: May 18, 2011
  6. steve&kris

    steve&kris Chirping

    Apr 15, 2011
    Thanks all! I do take them treats (normally worms), but not every time I go. I'll get more consistant. I'll give them a couple weeks to figure out the roosts on their own, and if not, I'll start helping them. As far as light goes, I don't know that it's neccesary at 6-7 weeks, but since nights in PA are still hitting 40's I've kept their 250W red heat lamp in the coop raised up about 2.5 feet to give them a warm (but not toasty) area.

    Soooo..... Hopefully things are progressing as they should be. I got straight run and can't tell for sure the sexes, so I'm anxious to be able to post pics. Hopefully that does happen at 10 posts b/c I'm about there.

  7. Capron09

    Capron09 In the Brooder

    Jun 13, 2010
    We have buffs too! They are 6 months maybe. We have had them 3 weeks and built them a coop and that night they flew up on my patio rail to sleep (since the coop wasnt finished before dardk. We went and put them in and then the next night at dusk they just went in! They ahve gone in at dusk every night since. They both go in and lay down. They dont use the roost bar. We also built them a ladder like roost for the daytime and they dont use that either. We live in Southwest Florida where it is super hot and have nasty evening storms with mega lightening and thunder and Ill be darn if those buggers wont go in! They run around in the rain! Maybe they are just stubborn!
  8. Myabcs3

    Myabcs3 Songster

    Jun 27, 2010
    Vinland Valley, KS
    With our first set of chicks, we had to put them up on the roosts for a few nights and they eventually got it. We also had roosts or play ladders out in their chicken run that they started playing on as well. However, if you have some older birds, they will show the youngsters what to do and it is sooo much easier!

    As far as going into the coop at night, we had to put them in the coop for the first few days and then they started doing it. Also, with any new birds or chicks, we don't let them free range until they have been in the coop and chicken run for at least a week, if not two. Two weeks may be a bit excessive, but it ensures that they "bond" to their new home.

    Oh - side note, sometimes, one of the youngsters will be bullied by the others and will not be let into the coop at night, so keep an eye out for that as well. We have had that occur a few times and just manually put the bird in, normally on a roost. They then learn to be one of the first in, so not to be bothered.
  9. jimz1

    jimz1 Songster

    Jun 6, 2010
    Coleman, Wi
    They will get there soon. My chicks were in their coop for about 2 weeks before they started using the roost. Now they are all using it. They are all using the top rung at about 4 feet!
  10. steve&kris

    steve&kris Chirping

    Apr 15, 2011
    Thanks everybody! I appreciate the insight. I've been helping them in for a few nights now, a few go in and a few don't. last night they started roosing on a wood fence in front of the coop. Once we got the last ones in, I went in and picked a few up and put them on their roosts, and by the time I would get the next one on, the first would have jumped back down. I finally gave up. I'm going to try not turning their light on at night, b/c maybe they're hopping off to stay under the light.

    Again tried to attach a pic of my roosts but can't find any kind of an "attach" button. I did an upload but have no idea where it uploads to or how to attach it to this [​IMG]

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