Roosters or not

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Chickengene, May 16, 2019.

  1. Chickengene

    Chickengene Songster

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    My 10 or 12 week old Brahmas and BO have never been on a roost. Last week I added approximately 12' to the length of the run they are in. And i put a roost bar 12" off the ground in one end.
    Six or seven days and at night they still squat in a corner in the chips.
    They seem to be exstatic over the addition, but how old are they usually, when they start to roost.
    My Wyandottes and Speckled Sussex started roosting the day after I gave them a place to roost, at approximately two or three weeks.
     
  2. Trux

    Trux Songster

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    Heavier birds tend to want to roost lower to the ground. My orps like the lower 8 inch roost bar and the Wy's and Rocks go higher
     
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  3. Chickengene

    Chickengene Songster

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    So you think 12" may be too high?
     
  4. Chickengene

    Chickengene Songster

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    I was thinking about lowering it for a few weeks to see if they would get the hang of it. But I have noticed they also don't try to roost on the 2x 6 connecting the old and new runs.
     
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

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    I think part of it is what your set-up looks like. Whether or not adults are with them can make a big difference too. To me roost means they spend the night up there. Perching is what they do during the day, hopping up there because they enjoy it. That's not the same as roosting.

    I've had brooder raised chicks with no adult sin with them start to roost as early as 5-1/2 weeks. I've had some go four months. Typically mine start to roost around 10 to 12 weeks, but each brood is different as you can see,

    I've had broody hens take their chicks to the roosts as young as two weeks of age. I've had some broody hens wait at least six weeks before they take their chicks to the roosts. It's not that the chicks can;t physically roost at a very young age, they can. It's a case of whether they want to. And some want to earlier than others.

    Typically when one starts to roost the others follow it to the roosts within a day or two, often the first night. You can probably guess what I'm going to say next. I have had some that waited a couple of weeks after the first one started roosting until the last one did.

    Personally I don't worry about it until they are about 16 weeks old. If they are happier sleeping on the ground who am I to spoil it for them? But I have had pullets start to lay at 16 weeks. It's really rare but it has happened. It's possible the chickens will want to sleep in the nests when they decide to get off the floor. If your roosts are higher than the nests its usually not a problem. But occasionally for different reasons it can be. I like to have them sleeping on the roosts before they start to lay so I don't run the risk of getting poopy eggs. So if mine are not roosting by 16 weeks I put a few on the roosts at night when I lock them up and it has turned dark. Within a few days they are usually roosting.
     
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  6. Trux

    Trux Songster

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    No I think in time they will use the 12 inch roost, they are still young and IMO still have the huddle together for warmth mentality. You can always go out after dark and put them on the roost so they will get the idea. Might have to do it several time before they catch on but it is worth a try.
    And another thing to keep in mind, different breeds progress differently some faster some slower
     
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

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    I don't have the big breeds like Jersey Giant of Brahmas. I've had Orpington, Delaware, Ausrtralorp, Rocks, and Sussex, birds that size. My roosts were originally four feet off the coop floor but I raised them to five feet when I built-in a permanent brooder under them with the top a droppings board. Mine don't have any trouble flying up or down. Your birds are not big clunky adults. They are still fairly small juveniles. They can fly extremely well if they want to. It sounds like yours just don't want to.

    There is something I consider important to consider. What does your coop look like? Do they have room to spread heir wings and fly up? More important, do they have enough room to fly down without banging in to nests, walls, feeders, waterers, or something else? The higher the roosts the more clear room they need to fly up and especially down. That's one of my gripes about those magic formulas for square feet per bird, that ignores functionality. Regardless of square feet per bird you need a certain amount of room for them to function. If space is such that they can't fly you may need ramps or something different.

    I don't have a clue what your coop or run looks like. They may have all kinds of room. But for Brahmas and Buff Orps at 10 to 12 week old, if they have room and don't fly up there they just don't want to, whether that is 12" or 48".
     
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  8. debid

    debid Crowing

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    You put the roost in the run? Take a picture of the setup. I have a feeling they are choosing the feeling of security offered by a familiar corner over roosting somewhere that feels too exposed. I have perches in my run and the chickens will hang out there preening but they always sleep inside the coop where it feels safe to them.
     
  9. Chickengene

    Chickengene Songster

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    I put a roof and three sides on one end of the run. I took out the broodbox but left chips on thground under the roost.
    It is all temporary till I put them in the big coop.
    I will try putting a few on the roost after dark.
     
  10. BigBlueHen53

    BigBlueHen53 Songster

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    What do your roosts look like, or rather, feel like to the birds? I only recently learned that chickens like to sleep with their feet flat, unlike some other birds that like twigs their feet can lock on to.

    Our roosts are 2x4's set at an angle and the hens don't like them much. I'm planning on having them rebuilt. Meanwhile, they roost on the flat board that covers the nest boxes.
     

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