Not Roosting ...

cajun1

In the Brooder
7 Years
Apr 22, 2012
74
1
43
Idaho
Now that my chicks (7 & 4 weeks old) are in their new home, I've noticed that they are not roosting at night. They would rather huddle together in one of the nesting boxes. Will they start roosting after awhile, or do I need to do something about it? Such as' block off the nesting boxes? Thanks ...
 

cajun1

In the Brooder
7 Years
Apr 22, 2012
74
1
43
Idaho
Mine don't roost during the day or anytime. They just huddle together in the nesting box. Guess as you suggest, I'll leave them alone and hope they learn what the roost is for.
 

gardendufus

Songster
8 Years
Nov 28, 2011
793
35
123
CO Springs-First Chics 3/2/12
Mine vary in age from 12 weeks to 7 weeks. They have been in the coop with a roost since they were day olds. They slept in a heap until the oldest was about 7 weeks old, now they all roost. The youngest have been roosting since they were about 3 weeks old, I suspect because they didn't like being left alone on the floor they followed the others sooner than they would have on their own.

I never 'placed' them on a roost, as I'm a believer that they will do what comes natural when it seems right to them.

My biggest problem has been keeping them from roosting on things I didn't want them to (this came after they started to roost, when they discovered some higher structures in the coop), like the feed bins and nesting boxes. It took me awhile to eliminate all the alternatives, but once I did, they settled on the only thing I left available, the roost they were 'supposed' to use.

I would block off the nest boxes. From what I've read (definitely not from my own experience), it's best if they think of the nest boxes as places that are good to lay eggs in, NOT as sleeping (and pooping) areas. Open up the nest boxes when they are at point of lay.

Good luck, and don't stress about the small stuff. Just enjoy.
 
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cajun1

In the Brooder
7 Years
Apr 22, 2012
74
1
43
Idaho
Mine vary in age from 12 weeks to 7 weeks. They have been in the coop with a roost since they were day olds. They slept in a heap until the oldest was about 7 weeks old, now they all roost. The youngest have been roosting since they were about 3 weeks old, I suspect because they didn't like being left alone on the floor they followed the others sooner than they would have on their own.

I never 'placed' them on a roost, as I'm a believer that they will do what comes natural when it seems right to them.

My biggest problem has been keeping them from roosting on things I didn't want them to (this came after they started to roost, when they discovered some higher structures in the coop), like the feed bins and nesting boxes. It took me awhile to eliminate all the alternatives, but once I did, they settled on the only thing I left available, the roost they were 'supposed' to use.

I would block off the nest boxes. From what I've read (definitely not from my own experience), it's best if they think of the nest boxes as places that are good to lay eggs in, NOT as sleeping (and pooping) areas. Open up the nest boxes when they are at point of lay.

Good luck, and don't stress about the small stuff. Just enjoy.
That was my original thought, Not wanting them to think the nesting boxes were the Hilton Inn. I'll sneak out to their house early some morning before they wake up to confirm my suspisions. If they're not on the roost, I'll block it off for awhile and see what happens.
 

Kit-Kat

Songster
8 Years
Apr 4, 2012
63
42
116
Troy, NY
I had the same problem with my 7 week old chicks- they were piling into one of the nesting boxes to sleep until one day I placed one onto the roost and it was like a light bulb lit up above their heads. Within an hour they were all perched up on the roost comfortably and have been sleeping there ever since. :) Good luck!
 

KimKimWilliamso

Chirping
7 Years
Mar 11, 2012
208
9
93
Nanton, AB, Canada
When my chicks were only a week old, I put a piece of grapevine branch in the bottom of thier brooder, and they perched to sleep on that immediatly after mastering the balance hours afterwards. They have roosted while sleeping since then, so its a great idea for future chicks to give them a good idea. I would block off your nest boxes now, otherwise they may learn to always sleep there, leaving a yucky mess where your eggs should be. I havent even given my chickens the nest boxes yet, and I dont think I will until they are actually laying age.
 

cajun1

In the Brooder
7 Years
Apr 22, 2012
74
1
43
Idaho
Thanks for all the replies. If I had waited a few days, I wouldn't have had to ask this question.
Last night after locking them up, I went out to the coop and all of them were perched on the roost. This morning, when I opened their door, there they were, all roosted up. Problem solved ... Thanks.
 

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