Question about roosting

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by herechickychicky, Jul 8, 2011.

  1. herechickychicky

    herechickychicky Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 19, 2010
    Well, my chicks are finally outside in their new digs. They loooooooooooooooooove it out there! I kept them strictly in the coop for about 3 days so they would get to know the place (read: until we got their run completed [​IMG] ). They know where their food and water is, they go in and out of there throughout the day, but when nighttime comes, they stay outside. They pile themselves up right next to their door and sleep there. I have to go out and put them in, shut their door and all is well. I don't have any roosts in the coop yet (that is a this weekend project, along with hanging their feeder and waterer). How can I get them to take those final few steps to go INSIDE their coop when they want to go to bed? Will the problem stop when they have roosts inside, or am I going to have to put them in at night every night? I may not always be here when it turns dark and I am paranoid that one of those evil forest monsters are going to come out of the woods and tear their little heads off.
  2. herechickychicky

    herechickychicky Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 19, 2010

    This is their coop and a very small portion of their run. I'll have to take better pictures of my hens (and my rooster) so I can get those posted too. [​IMG]
  3. flowerhensowner

    flowerhensowner Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 7, 2011
    Northeast Ohio
    if you dont have a light in there they wont go to roost because its to dark for them put a light in it then shut it off once they go to roost this is what i had to do with my BBR pheonix's
  4. herechickychicky

    herechickychicky Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 19, 2010
    Nope, no light in there. I'll have to see what I can do about that.
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I'm not sure how old they are. Some chicks start roosting at maybe 4 weeks age and some wait several months to stay on the roosts at night. So I don't know if having roosts wil help or not. It very well could. But until they start roosting, they will sleep in a group huddle somewhere.

    You might try leaving them locked inside the coop for a while longer, especially after you get the roosts up. If they get in the habit of sleeping on the roosts, you have pretty much won the battle.

    If it is too dark in the coop for them to see when it startts getting dark enough for them to start thinking about bedtime, they may just not go in that scary dark place. You don't need a real fancy window, though it is nice to have one you can open for extra ventilation in the summer. You can just cut a hole in the side of the coop and cover it with a very secure sheet of plexiglass.

    Your other alternative is to keep putting them in at night until they get the message. Eventually they should.

    Good luck!
  6. countrybuffs

    countrybuffs Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 30, 2011
    Silverton, Oregon
    I agree they need a light in there, not too bright tho, you want them to sleep! Mine were young while it was still cold so I hung the red heatlamp up high enough to be safe and kept it on at night.
  7. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    I would definitely add a window. Actually you may want to cover it with hardware cloth for the breeze, for now, depending where you are. They will need a roost in time, of course, but they may be too young to be interested in one right now, anyway.

    I'd also check the temp in there. Where is Marion? If it's summer there, and hotter in the coop than outdoors, I wouldn't force them in. They may be staying out because it's cooler out than in. With some natural light in there (they do not need a light, and should not have one all night) and with a comfortable coop, it should be easy to bribe them in for a few nights, and they should go on their own after that.
  8. chickengal30

    chickengal30 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 13, 2011
    West coast of Florida.
    Hi there!
    My four girls huddled on the floor too at first, but they were in the coop, so for a few nights I put them up on the roosts, then when that wasnt working I built them a ladder and one by one picked them up and showed them how a ladder works, up, up, up we go - neighbours now have all the proof they need that Im a nut!!! Buuuut, it worked! [​IMG] So I think theyll do fine when you get the roost(s) up, oh and I dont have a light in there, they just head that way as the suns setting....zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
    Gotta love em!!
  9. ChickiePieGirl

    ChickiePieGirl Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 13, 2011
    I have no light, but I kept my girls in the coop for two weeks (earlier this spring, when temps. were still lower in New England) and did not let them out in the run until after the two weeks. They promptly, like clockwork, go walking up the ramp to the coop at 8 pm. I have never had a problem with them going back in. Maybe they need to be in the coop a bit longer before they roam about so they are familiar with where "home base" is? Mine love the roost, and have been roosting since they were 6 weeks old. The roost is plenty big enough, and they all cram in one corner, it's cute.
  10. tigercreek

    tigercreek Chillin' With My Peeps

    Marion Co. Fla. by any chance?? If so, you definatly need some hardware cloth covered windows to help keep it cool in there. I would not ever leave them out at night with the wooded area behind your run and no cover on it!! Probably lots of chicken eaters in those woods. .......stan

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