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Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by alex, Jul 19, 2007.
How old are chickens when they start to sleep on the roost??? Thanks!!
Mine usually start roosting when they are 2 months old... the silkies started to roost at about 6 months... Had to put them on the roost every night to get them off the ground.
I had wondered this. I put mine in the coop last night (about 6 weeks old) and set as many of them on the roost as there was room for. A few complained and jumped right off. A few stayed. A few wanted to sit by somebody other than who I sat them next to.
In the morning when I came out, only 3 of 25 were on the roosts, and those on the highest one. Most slept in a pile in the corner. I was afraid the banties might get crushed, but most of them refused to be moved from the corner huddle overnight.
In the brooder, they ALWAYS wanted to sit up on something. The feeders, the edge of the box when the top was off, ANYthing. I don't know if the greater height puts them off (about 3 to 4 feet off the ground) or what. My roosts (so far) are 1 x 4's with the flat side up.
The new surrounding is what is probability discouraging them for now. They will huddle for a while and it will take time to get them all to roost. I've had some not want to ever roost.... To get them used to it though, I usually start off with roosts 6 inches from the ground. As adults, the roosts are only about 2.5 feet from the ground. The older hens, large roosters, and heavy birds have less chance of injuring themselves if the roosts are low.
I will move them down if I need to then. I worried about that, although they seem ok when they jump off. I wasn't sure how high they should be, so I placed them where the supports in the coop are (since that's the only way I could attach them last night).
I am hoping they will settle soon. I admit I NEEDED to get them out of the house. So many chickens made too much dust-mess in a room that I kept a lot of stuff in. It will take me weeks to clean it up. But I can tell they are unhappy about new surroundings and I worry about them all night.
I even brought my favorite (smallest bantam, the Japanese) inside the first night and put him in the shipping box. He is pretty tame and settled right to sleep without complaining about being alone or in a new box. He's out there with the others tonight though. Maybe I'll go check on them real quick.
Thanks though and I'll find a new way to attach the roosts so I can lower them, if that will make them safer when they are bigger.
For an idea of a starter roost. Get a pair of hefty bricks and just lay a 2x4 across it. It's low to the ground and they can get used to sitting up on things rather than laying down stretched out as if they were still chicks. Another idea is to use a saw horse and let them learn to perch up on it. Good luck.
Well ... the weather is a little stormy tonight. Not much rain, but lightning and wind. Couldn't see ANY chicks in the corner with the flashlight, so I had to go check on them.
I have one really high roost. Every one that could cram itself up there ... was up there. A few on the lower roost and the other few on the floor. Third night in the coop for everyone except the Japanese bantam.
Maybe they don't need training roosts? But they definitely need more equal-opportunity roosting at the highest one. I think I'll take out the high ones and just put in more low ones. That's more efficient anyway, since it's an a-frame and the highest ones were the shortest.
They look so cute all piled up there. I hope they will be ok though.
I have 3 real roosts 2-5 feet off ground 5 feet long. since I got my guinneas in with chickens, at 6 weeks they immeadiately started roosting in the rafters of an 8 ft coop(prior to that the roosted on edge of brooder), now all the chickens have joined them in the rafters, so the real roosts only get used by a few. mine have been roosting since about 4 weeks.