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My chicks came home Friday and they wont go up in their roost

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by nczookeeper, Sep 12, 2010.

  1. nczookeeper

    nczookeeper Out Of The Brooder

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    I am so stressed. My chicks are 5, 6, 7 and 8 weeks old one of each. I have a chicken tractor, with a ramp/ladder that leads up to the top floor with roost and nesting boxes. I have seen them all on the ladder during the day. Last night, I got in late and looked out back from my deck and didnt see any down below so assumed they went up in their roost area. Tonight it's dark and I just got in and they are all huddled down on the grass in the far corner of the tractor. There is no possible way to reach them. It isn't supposed to go below 63 tonight, so I'm not in horrible fear for their lives, but they have to go up and be inside when it gets colder. Is there something I'm doing wrong? I'm really concerned. They are happy and healthy, eating great! Chirping away and tweeting - like nothing is wrong during the day. Any advice is appreciated.
     
  2. nczookeeper

    nczookeeper Out Of The Brooder

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    This picture was before it got painted They are down on the grass at the far end with no opening from the outside [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2010
  3. Baymen Moe

    Baymen Moe Chillin' With My Peeps

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    As they get older they should figure out the roosting drill. If not, and if you can, place each one on the roost at night. It won't take much more than a night or two before they know what to do. Good luck.

    I should mention that mine huddled in the corner of the coop floor before I trained them to roost.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2010
  4. nczookeeper

    nczookeeper Out Of The Brooder

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    Here are the chicks - taken about 4 hours ago

    [​IMG]
     
  5. nczookeeper

    nczookeeper Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:Thanks for the fast response!
    So I shouldn't loose sleep of them sleeping on the grass tonight? LOL - you would never know I was raised on a farm. . .no foul though. . .horses, pigs, goats, dogs, cats. . .them I know about. . .but chickens. . .talk about green!
     
  6. nczookeeper

    nczookeeper Out Of The Brooder

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    It's me again and still suffering the same problem. My girls are now 7, 8, 9 and 10 weels old and growing nicely, looking good and I am growing very attached to them.

    They still wont roost upstairs. We put a roosting pole down below in the bottom section of the tractor last week, because they wouldnt go upstairs and use that large roost and nexting area. I felt bad watching them huddle on the ground. I also got an X pen and another outside roost and a cover that is screened (hawks a plenty out here) of course, they wont use it for a couple days, they were that way with their ground floor roost pole for almost an entire day. Birds in general seem leery of new things from my observations/

    So now I am stressed again - it is pouring rain for the past 24 hours and will continue to rain all week! We move their tractor every other day but they will be moving to wet ground - its unavoidable. They still wont go up in their roost with shelter from rain and wind and because of the layout of the tractor, (like an Ark - pics on this thread) I cant catch them to place them up there. This week will just be very wet and miserable but will always stay between 54 and 89 degrees F but next week it looks like we night have a couple nights where it dips down into the 40s and I read somewhere that young chickens cant handle that cold of a temp.

    I keep telling myself that nature will take care of the girls instinct wise and they will indeed climb up to their upper level when it gets cold enough, but what the heck do I know about chickens? I was up looking outside all night -even though I couldn't see them - wondering if they were okay. This morning they looked a bit soggy, but were just as egar for fresh food and water. I put more food upstairs, but Im affraid it will just attract ants as it has in the past and my chickens will continue to get wet. Any words of wisdom to share? Thanks!
     
  7. Gallo del Cielo

    Gallo del Cielo La Gallina Resort & Spa

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    My Coop
    I'm wondering about the amount of ventilation you have above, I can't see any. Is it ventilated on the other side that we can't see?
     
  8. nczookeeper

    nczookeeper Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:After the pics were taken, before the chickens came home the vents were drilled - there are four of them, holes that I can fit two fingers all the way in and the opening to the bottom is 10" x 10" there is a 1/2" vent that goes down the middle of the top also

    They never even walked up there - ever!

    Afraid any more vents will soak the top - it already gets damp from the ones we put there
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2010
  9. Gallo del Cielo

    Gallo del Cielo La Gallina Resort & Spa

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    I think your birds are just still a bit young and learning where to go. I think you have to keep putting them in by hand until they get it. It sounds like you might have enough ventilation. I would also check tonight for bugs in the coop. Look with a flashlight about 15-30 min. after sunset. Apparently, heavy bug infestation will sometimes cause them distress when going to roost at night. Good luck.
     
  10. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    My very first batch o' chicks were bought after I built an A-Frame coop - basically a tractor too freakin' heavy to move, ever. It's a permanent A-Frame. I put the chicks in the bottom for their early "day trips" outside before they were ready to stay out 24/7.

    They never, ever went up the ramp upstairs in 4 weeks of day trips. I began to panic, because the door to the underside is a PITA to crawl into and I knew I'd have to try to catch them under there and put them upstairs.

    So I bought a coop kit with attached run, on eBay, and when they went outside full-time, that was their new home. No "upstairs." However, I had to put them into the coop at night for about four nights. They also didn't roost on the roost bars. (That I considered to be no big deal.)

    They didn't start using the roosts until they were about 16 weeks old, actually.

    Oh, and the A-Frame coop is used all the time by the entire flock, now... except for at night. Everybody goes into the bottom, everybody has checked out the upstairs - yes, finally, all on their own they went up that ladder, and back down again! - and the pullets and hens lay their eggs in the A-Frame nest box.

    My BO, Buffy, went broody on eggs in it, so that was perfect for segregating her.

    All I'm saying is that A-Frame coops/tractors have some inherent problems with them, especially when starting out with chicks. Plus, odd corners to reach to clean, very little head room for roosting on roost bars, reaching chickens in far corners of the bottom, ground level....

    As for when your chicks decide to go upstairs, you'll have to put them inside until they get it. But they WILL get it. They're just youngsters.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2010

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