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Roosting vs. burrowing in litter

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Weasleymum, Nov 15, 2008.

  1. Weasleymum

    Weasleymum Songster

    Aug 1, 2008
    At what age do chickens start to use their roost? Mine are 12 weeks and still seem to sleep by snuggling together in the corner of the coop, in a deep pile of litter. Is that normal? Will they start using the roost at some point? They do get on it frequently during the day, I can tell b/c it's covered in droppings every time I go to clean up. So I know they have no problem at all hopping up there. Maybe it's just warmer down below?

  2. the1much

    the1much Currently Birdless Hippy

    i have some that roost, and some that sleep on the floors,, so the ones that roost are in my bigger coop, and the floor sleepers i moved to their own pens in doghouses,, i think some just like being down for the night.
  3. CarriBrown

    CarriBrown Crowing Premium Member

    Some of my adults snuggle and others roost. How high up are your roosts? Sometimes they don't like to be up high, just off the ground.
    Also, what breed are they? Some breeds, like the silkies, seem to stay down on the floor. I don't know... if I were a chicken, I'd rather be in a big bed of shavings! [​IMG]
  4. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing Premium Member

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    Some of mine never roost.
  5. swtangel321

    swtangel321 ~Crazy Egg Lady~

    Jul 11, 2008
    All my big birds roost, unless not feeling well then they go into a nesting box. All my silkies sleep on the floor in boxes cuddled up. I think some might depend on the breed !!
  6. Weasleymum

    Weasleymum Songster

    Aug 1, 2008
    My coop is very small and moveable, the roost is about 1 foot, or maybe 18 inches, off of the floor. So very easy to get to. My girls are Buff Orpingtons, so they *will* be big birds but they aren't yet as they're only half-grown. They're sisters, raised by their mama, I don't know if that contributes to more snuggling or not.
  7. ROC4K

    ROC4K Songster

    Oct 21, 2008
    NE Wisconsin
    Most nights I get 14 up and 14 down. Some of my roosting birds will be all alone and then there are 2 full roosts end to end. They have two houses to choose from joined in the middle by a cut opening. There is always a strong floor cuddle going on though. In the mornings I have moguls of litter.

  8. ChooksChick

    ChooksChick BeakHouse's Mad Chicken Scientist

    Aug 17, 2008
    Larry, KS
    My Coop
    Something I noticed with mine was that as their feet grew, I didn't adjust the roost to be the right size for them fast enough.

    They started roosting in a matter of days- like a week old- and when they got pretty big, I left them on a closet dowel-sized roost, which wasn't wide enough for them. It made it harder to balance. Now they just have 2 x 4" roosts and they're tickled pink.

    I had parrots years ago and thought chickens grabbed the roost the same way.

    ...not..so...much. Balance and grip is totally different because the mass of the bird is.

    Also, it makes a tremendous difference if they have a low-light situation when it's 'time for bed' and they go to look for a spot. Prior to my having a light in the coop, it was too dark for their poor eyesight, and they had a hard time finding the roosts. Try a bit of light at bedtime and see what happens.

    Hope that helps.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 16, 2008

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