Roost question...

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by dgilm, Oct 26, 2011.

  1. dgilm

    dgilm Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 29, 2011
    So, I found a nice large branch in the driveway after the last wind, so I popped it into the brooder with the chicks. I've seen a couple walk on it, but most of the time they just hop over it or ignore it altogether. When do they start to roost? They are 4 weeks old. The brooder is a 4'x8' box, 2' deep, with 25 chicks in there. Lots of room to run and play for now... so the branch isn't in the way, at all.
  2. azygous

    azygous Flock Master

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    Branches make terrific roosting perches! It should be large enough that they can easily distribute their weight on it without losing their balance. I use four-inch diameter pine limbs in my coops. They're natural and the birds' feet grip the curved surface very comfortably. But for four-week olds, a two-inch branch would be about right for a "training perch".

    I train chicks in the brooder to use the perch right before I anticipate moving them into the coop. With all but one batch of chicks, who naturally took right to the perch, I needed to place the chicks on the perch until they began to get the idea, around four weeks old. If they haven't gotten the idea, I wait until it's almost too dark for them to see, and I place them on the perch at bedtime. They are far less likely to hop off then.

    It's a smart move to perch train them before you move them to the big coop or else they'll be still wanting to sleep in a pile on the floor, in the poop, and it's a lot better for all concerned to get them roosting up off the floor.
  3. Dirtyhip

    Dirtyhip Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 30, 2011
    The Cascades
    I put a training perch in at first. Then coop, and now a couple muy grande branches. They love them. Roosting is instinct, it seems.
  4. Stephanie739

    Stephanie739 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 7, 2011
    This is only my second batch of chickies. They are a little older than a week. I have a stick in the tub that balances about an inch above the shavings. They have been trying to roost the entire time, and they are getting good at it now, and sit on it often. Its about a nickel size in diameter. I'll get a picture in the next day or so [​IMG]
  5. MetalSmitten

    MetalSmitten Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 11, 2010
    bloomington, indiana
    they're like kids... some of 'em will start to roost real young, others a little later. there's no real age at which they start to roost. but leave the branch in there, they'll figure it out [​IMG]
  6. bobbieschicks

    bobbieschicks Chicken Tender

    Jun 24, 2011
    King George, VA
    My Coop
    My chicks loved sitting on the roosts in the brooder during the day but chick piled on the floor at night. Then when they moved to the cool they would get up on the roosts during the day and chick pile in the corner on the floor at night. That was at four weeks old. I tried to force it and finally gave up and let them do it on their own terms. They got up on the roost at night between 8&9 weeks old to stay. My second batch of chicks went into the big coop around week six and within a few days they started roosting. So it will be individual to the chick. Some older and some younger. Maybe it's a safety feeling for them.
  7. jmtcmkb

    jmtcmkb Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 2, 2011
    New Hampshire
    mine started at a week or so when they could jump up on the ecoglow. Now they try to roost on the waterer and anything else. They are 4 weeks now and we built a roost out of scrap wood so they all have a place to roost, they love it!
  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    There is no set age for them to start roosting. I've had brooder raised chicks start roosting at 5 weeks and some wait as long as 12 weeks. Others report much longer waits. What I am calling roosting is sleeping on the perch or roost at night.

    Young chicks love perching on something during the day but prefer sleeping together on the floor at night. It does not hurt them. They seem to get comfort sleeping in a group like that. They are flock animals and really like having other flock members close together.

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