putting themselves to bed at night

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by jmtcmkb, Nov 9, 2011.

  1. jmtcmkb

    jmtcmkb Songster

    Sep 2, 2011
    New Hampshire
    I have 6 week olds that have been out in the coop for a week, I let them in the run after a few days. I have closed the door to the coop prior to sunset most nights ( with chicks inside [​IMG]) because we were leaving or I was unsure if they would put themselves to bed when dark set in. Last night I had to leave prior to dark and didnt want to put them in the coop as they were enjoying the run, when I came home it was dark and they were all snug in the coop. My question is would you say once they know to go in at dark they will pretty much do it from now on? I am hoping this is true, run is secure and I would like to not worry about being home right at sunset every evening.

    Also when do they typically start sleeping on the roost? right now they huddle together in the corner on the floor. They use the roosts all through the day they just dont sleep there at night.

  2. jenni22776rn

    jenni22776rn Songster

    Mar 6, 2011
    Central Maine
    I would say that if they put themselves to bed then chances are they will continue to do so, chickens are creatures of habit and they know when it is bedtime! Mine put themselves to bed around the same time every evening!Thank goodness!! As far as roosting..not sure I have 2 that will not roost at all but my other hens started roosting..mabye you can introduce them to the roost one night? Are you able to go in after bed and place them on the roost? I think once they use it..they may just use it everynight! Good night!
  3. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Crowing Premium Member

    They've already made the coop their familiar home. That's good.

    As for sleeping on roosts, it takes some a bit longer. Eventually, everyone "gets it". A chicken likes to sleep up high and it makes feel safe. Right now, they are still used to huddling with their mates in a pile. That doesn't usually last much longer.

    I began to use a little roost in the brooder, only an inch or two above the litter for them to practice on it. Birds with a practice roost in the brooder take to the sleeping roosts a little quicker, but all of them have eventually.
  4. brownysfp

    brownysfp Songster

    Dec 1, 2010
    Correze, France
    In theory they should: all our adults put themselves to bed come dusk. Last evening though the eleven 6-weeks-old decided they would bed down in the hedge in the field next door. For the first four weeks they slept in a coop with mum; last week they moved into a larger shared coop (still with mum) with other older but not yet mature birds. When I looked in late afternoon they'd already sorted themselves out in this coop. When I went to lock the coop the youngsters were in, mum was in and the chicks were gone. It was only by chance my step-daughter saw a Light Sussex chick in the gloom that we go them in.

  5. bleith

    bleith Songster

    Aug 10, 2010
    West Dundee IL
    I put mine out at 5 weeks or so and they put themselves to bed at day 1. As far as roosting, mine use to huddle in a corner and intact they did it for a couple of months. They started roosting as soon as I raised the roost up to about 18" from 8"
  6. johnsons-r-us

    johnsons-r-us Chirping

    Jul 18, 2011
    Eudora, Kansas
    Mine did what yours are doing....and I we took the chicken wire down and let them free range. They do put themselves to bed at night. They also did the huddle thing on the floor for a while, then gradually got the hang of the roosts.

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