Roosting question


In the Brooder
7 Years
Jun 29, 2012
New Brunswick, Canada
Hi everyone, just would like to know what you think. I have 6 adult hens(ISA Browns) and this summer we got 16 new chicks of various breeds. They are now integrating and all has gone well. Just have one set of chicks that refuse to sleep on the roosts. We got them when they were 2 weeks old and they are now 9 weeks old. All the other chicks have gone to roost. It just strikes me odd that this group would not even when we first got them. We have always provided a roost bar for the babies to get used to and all took to them but this group of 4. They are the only Wyandottes we have so was wondering if this is a trait of their breed? They sleep on the floor of the coops.

We have 2 Blue Australorps 11 weeks old
the 4 Silver Laced Wyandottes at 9 weeks old
6 Barred Rocks at 7-8 weeks old
2 Buff Orpingtons at 8 weeks old
2 Easter Eggers at 8 weeks old
If you want the chicks to use the perch, then place them on it at bedtime.

It's not a trait of Wyandottes not to want to roost on a perch, as I successfully got six five-week old Wyandottes to roost without too much drama.

If you place them on the perch as it gets too dark to see well, and place them so they are snuggling against each other, you should see success in just a couple nights.
I have and they just jump back down. It worked with the 2 Australorps(they were difficult but always stayed put when I put them there) and they now roost up with the others. I just can't figure these 4 out at all.
It’s pretty normal for my brooder raised chicks to not roost until they are 10 to 12 weeks old. I don’t try to force them, just provide a roost and let them roost when they want to. I have had some start at 5 weeks and some start a lot later, but 10 to 12 is pretty normal. Until they start to roost, they usually sleep on the floor in a group. They are not cold, they just like the company. They will play on the roosts during the day but sleep on the floor.

Older chickens in the coop can really mess this schedule up. Older chickens outrank immature chickens in the pecking order. The time my older chickens are most brutal to the immature ones is on the roost. I’ve seen broody raised chicks that were used to sleeping on the roosts under the broody’s protection leave the roost for a safer place to sleep when the broody weans them and leaves them on their own. It happens so regularly I put up a separate roost, lower than the main roosts and off to the side, so they had a place to go that was not the nests. The brooder raised chicks often use this roost until they mature enough to be able to make their own way onto the main roosts.

I don’t know what your coop looks like or how many roosts you have and how they are situated, but maybe you could try putting up another roost, a little lower and off to the side, to give them a safer place to roost that’s above the nests. And maybe try a little patience.
They will go up to the roosts when they want to. Putting them up there is just a waste of time. I've had pullets older than 9wks, sleep in a pile on the floor. They don't need to be "Trained" to use the roost. Like I said, when they are ready, up they'll go.
I wasn't overly concerned, just really wanted to know if this is a breed trait. They are the 'in between' batch of chicks and the younger chicks love to be up on the roost.
These 4 have always been different, not as active as my Orps, Barred Rocks, EE and Australorps. Just huddle together all the time and have nothing to do with the other chicks.
They are all free range and put themselves to bed everynight at dusk :) My big girls have become accustomed to all the new babies running around.
I like what Ridgerunner had to say, especially about the roost height. My little chicks are just 5 weeks old, and have been roosting for several weeks. We put a low roosting bar in their brooder box for them, and they took to it pretty quickly. We have been putting them outside in their coop during the day, and there is a roosting bar out there for them, but it is too high for them at this point. They don't go on it because it's just too high. I will need to lower this for them.
I have 2 long roost rails in big coop, as well as a small not as high roost bar in the grow out coop. We have a roost rail in three areas outside at different heights and we also provided them with a small low roost bar in the brooder box as they grew. They just have NEVER gotten up on one and they are the ONLY birds that don't.

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom