Roosting Behaviors Advice

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by enggass, Jul 20, 2010.

  1. enggass

    enggass Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My birds are 11 weeks today. They have been in their coop for about 4+ weeks. They still sleep on the floor even though their is a nice 2x4 flat side up about 18" off the ground right above them.
    I had to block off the nest boxes because they were sleeping in those... When will they move up to the roosting bar? In 5 weeks or so I planned on opening up their nest boxes in preparation for them to begin laying, but I am concerned that if they still are not roosting, they will begin sleeping in the nest boxes again. Is there anything I can do?
    I have tried putting a couple of them on the roosting bar at bed time hoping others would follow suit, but they do not stay up for long.
    Ideas? Advice? Not to worry?
    Thanks!
     
  2. buckabucka

    buckabucka Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop
    I wonder about this also. Mine are 10 weeks. They have finally moved up higher, but most settle on the "poop boards", very few on the actual roosts.
    We've tried moving them around at bedtime also (with not much luck). I think the key might be to move them when it is quite dark and they are very docile, that seems to work best. Someone else also said they sprinkle a little scratch up on the roosts to entice them up there, which seems like it should help.

    I am worried about opening the nice clean nesting box, but will do that in 5 or 6 weeks regardless.
    Good luck!
    Robin
     
  3. Accidental Chicken 18

    Accidental Chicken 18 New Egg

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    I think instinct will kick in soon. My sex-links started roosting on a tree branch when they were 12-13 weeks old but my leghorns have been roosting on a dowel in their dog crate since they were 10 weeks or so. Now the coop is finished and they've been all thrown together with roosts that are rounded 2x4's on edge and everyone makes their way up there. Finally finished the community nest box and threw in some ping pong balls in anticipation of eggs in the next week or so. Yeah!
     
  4. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Each batch of my chickens took a while to learn to roost at night. They practiced during the day, but they only dozed then, mostly they sat there and looked around, kinda like "I'm a Big Chicken Now!" But they slept on the floor for another few weeks. Then, eventually, they got it.

    I think the issue is balance, stamina and coordination. They're young, they don't have enough confidence to know they'll not fall off while they're sleeping. It can't be easy to practice that skill, especially since there is ALWAYS some jostling going on as they first get up there at night. "Get your wing outa my face!" "Matilda bumped me!" "Hey, that's MY spot next to the rooster!" "Come on, clumsy, jump to the empty spot, not right into ME."

    Pretty much shatters your confidence. Gotta get it right.

    And then, voila! They're up there roosting at night, at last!
     
  5. enggass

    enggass Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Thanks. You mention a rounded 2x4... The edges of mine are rounded(1/8" bevel) and smooth - is that what they mean? Or should they be very rounded off.
     
  6. Accidental Chicken 18

    Accidental Chicken 18 New Egg

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    Not too rounded. Just the sharp corners softened.
     
  7. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

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    This is normal for pullets. Mine were piling (clumping up together) at night, even in this super hot weather, then finally, when they were the same size as the hens, I put them all together and TA-DA! They began to roost like the big girls.....They were probably 15 weeks old though before they started to roost. I did set them up on the roosts when it was almost dark out, but they would hop off and go and pile together.

    Maybe yours just need to age a bit more......
     

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