Silkies, ladders and roosts

DragonflyFields

In the Brooder
Apr 23, 2017
13
3
19
Maryland
So I'm a new chicken momma, overjoyed to have a flock of 8 silkies: 6 are 41/2 months old, and two are nearly one year old. After months of preparing I finally picked them up about three day ago, so I haven't had them long. Their coop is situated inside one of my horse stalls (extra protection). At night they don't even give the coop a glance, and start piling together into a big multi-colored fluff ball. Because Buttercup and Winnie are almost one year old, I showed them the ladder to go up into the coop. They flapped and squawked indignantly and had a hard time going up or down it, trying to jump off the side back to the ground. I have seen suggestions of placing them by hand on the roosting bars. Well Buttercup flapped and slid as though she didn't know to clasp onto it, and Wine had several choice words for me. Both fell off and gave me death glares before huddling into a nesting box.

Is this normal for silkies? Do they not roost? Is it ok for the little ones to bunch together in a pile on the ground? Any suggestions for the ladder would be great as well. For some background: the breeder the flock came from had absolutely no roosting bars set for them.
 

peopleRanimals2

Songster
Jun 30, 2015
654
99
121
Rhode Island
Hi, congrats on your new flock! Can you post pictures of the coop and roosts? They should learn to roost, and if they were not taught in their previous home, it shouldn't take much work to teach them. Roosting is a natural behavior.
 

Hillaire

Chirping
Mar 13, 2017
633
98
91
Hudson Valley NY
welcome to BYC! Silkies are really fun, I have a few of my own... the best bet is to leave them in the coop for a few days to get used to it making it "home base" then you can let them out in the run afterwards... Silkies definitely like to perch and will learn quickly.. Mine are always the highest up on the perches that I have available... have fun with your new flock :)
 

oldhenlikesdogs

Waiting for Autumn
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Jul 16, 2015
49,565
93,026
1,572
Wisconsin
If they aren't used to a ramp up to the coop it can take some time for them to learn how to use it.

All chickens are confused when moved to a new home. Everything is scary and is unknown. It can take some time for them to become familiar with their new home and for them to learn to negotiate new obstacles.

How big is your coop? Is it dark inside? Which can make it even more scary. It should be light and airy inside with plenty of ventilation and light coming in.

When in doubt young birds will pile for comfort and warmth. The older birds just joined them is something that is probably familiar to them.
 

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