1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Instinct vs training

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by EatingOrange, Nov 19, 2010.

  1. EatingOrange

    EatingOrange New Egg

    3
    0
    7
    Apr 10, 2010
    Santa Ana, California
    Hi all. I have two eight-week-old australorp pullets who just went out to the coop this week. They seem to have no roosting instinct and prefer to just hunker down in the dirt outside in their run at dusk. Is this typical of australorps? I always thought roosting was instinctive behavior. Every night this week I scoop them up and take them in the coop and sit them on the roost. Once in place, they spend the night. Not very bright, these things.
     
  2. Olive Hill

    Olive Hill Overrun With Chickens

    4,203
    73
    253
    Apr 19, 2009
    Did they have a roost in their brooder?
     
  3. EatingOrange

    EatingOrange New Egg

    3
    0
    7
    Apr 10, 2010
    Santa Ana, California
    There was no proper roost in the brooder box, just a small piece of 2x2 lumber.
     
  4. Olive Hill

    Olive Hill Overrun With Chickens

    4,203
    73
    253
    Apr 19, 2009
    They've spent more than 90% of their lifetime in an environment that prevented them from roosting. They've developed a comfortable habit of ground sleeping as a result. I don't think anything about that makes them "not very bright". I'm more inclined to think they're creatures of habit who are dealing with a recent move that was probably a large shock to their system -- think about going from a brooder where you're sheltered from most outside stimuli to the whole world outside! [​IMG]

    Give them time. They'll get the hang of it. [​IMG]

    And [​IMG]
     
  5. Mrs. Fluffy Puffy

    Mrs. Fluffy Puffy Fluffy Feather Farm

    15,959
    37
    323
    Jan 26, 2010
    Texas, Panhandle
    My adult chickens and guineas all roost, my younger chickens do like to roost ... but at night they preferr to huddle in the corner of the coop? [​IMG]
     
  6. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Patience, Grasshopper!

    Every single one of my chickens has taken time to roost on the roost bars/branches at night. They practice during the day a LOT for quite some time. I think they need to learn to trust their sense of balance before they will actually sleep on a roost at night.

    I've had some of mine take until they were 18, 19 weeks, and then gradually, one or another of the same aged / same batch o' chicks, will get on the roost and stay there all night. Over the next week or so, the others will follow suit. I've never had any less than 12 weeks old actually roost off the floor.

    Oh, wait, except for my very first GrandChick, who was actually hatched under a broody hen - her "Momma" taught her to roost at 8 weeks or so. For about six weeks, the poor hen had to sleep on the floor with the scaredy-chick. She would get on the roost and call her, call her, the chick would cry back, and for the longest time Buffy just got back down and slept on the floor with her baby.

    Then Buffy gave up and just stayed on the roost. After a couple of nights, Samantha got it right and stayed up on the roost next to her.

    But absolutely NONE of mine have ever just gone straight to a roost from the brooder. Not for weeks and weeks.
     
  7. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

    34,028
    449
    448
    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    What Gryeyes said. 8 weeks would be quite young for them to be roosting on their own. They may also appreciate the warmth of the floor for now. All in due time.... You shouldn't have to train them to roost -- unless they start sleeping in nest boxes.
     
  8. EatingOrange

    EatingOrange New Egg

    3
    0
    7
    Apr 10, 2010
    Santa Ana, California
    Thanks all, for the feedback. It's been a good many years since I've raised chickens and didn't remember that they take a while to learn to roost. I just found it odd that they were happy to sleep on the ground outdoors. They are some cute little buggers and just as sweet.
     
  9. HorizonSon

    HorizonSon Chillin' With My Peeps

    553
    2
    111
    Oct 5, 2010
    Pacific NW
    Here's a pic of two and a half week olds playing on their jungle gym roost:


    [​IMG]


    Within days (first week) they were hopping up to the lower "roosts". Hope this helps [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by