sleeping packed in front of the main coop door

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by offmyroost, Jun 8, 2011.

  1. offmyroost

    offmyroost Out Of The Brooder

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    May 25, 2011
    So our flock of nine week old chicks have been in their coop for one week. They have a nice-sized run and since hooking up the electricity, my husband and I no longer have to play "catch the fourteen chickens and toss them to the person inside the coop" to get them in at night. They now just go inside when the automatic light comes on at dusk. My question is this: Every time we check on them, whether it is before we go to bed or in the morning, they are huddled in front of the people door. I'm surprised they don't fall out when we open the door. They have three nice roosts made from 2 x 4's and lots of nice straw, but they seem scared or something. Does it just take time before they get used to their new space. They are very secure with a lock on their chicken door and a steel human door. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    My chicks at nine weeks without adult to draw them up to elevated roost usually roost at ground level in pile especially if temperature is low. What is your temperature at night. Lights going down to fast at night can also delay going to elevated roost.
     
  3. scooter147

    scooter147 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree with the above post, when not raised by a hen the roosting instinct can take a while to kick in.
    Since they go in by themselves you might after dark place them on the roost to kick start the natural behavior.
     
  4. MyShunshyn

    MyShunshyn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I was wondering this myself, our 9 week olds have been in their run for weeks and have always put themselves to bed at night but when I go out to closed the pop door they are all huddled in one corner. I have seen evidence of them getting on the roosts at some time, ie poop, but I always wonder if I need to go in after dark and put them up on the roosts....should I?
     
  5. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Quote:I was wondering this myself, our 9 week olds have been in their run for weeks and have always put themselves to bed at night but when I go out to closed the pop door they are all huddled in one corner. I have seen evidence of them getting on the roosts at some time, ie poop, but I always wonder if I need to go in after dark and put them up on the roosts....should I?

    I have tried in past but did not seem worth effort. I ran experiment a few times in last year with free range chicks that might help next time you want to avoid management problem of delayed movement of chicks to roost. Trick was to imprint chicks on a box laying on its side. Once done, chicks would use box as roost that could be moved horizontally (for me about 20 feet) each and day and would follow to roost in it. Then it could be moved incrementally 7 feet up to my desired roosting location over course of two days. A couple days later, remove box and chicks want to roost near location where they last roosted in box. I think technique would work indoors but presently lack resources (large enough coop) to test.
     
  6. offmyroost

    offmyroost Out Of The Brooder

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    May 25, 2011
    Our lowest temp in the coop has been 45. I don't think they were cold. the coop is well insulated and there is about four inches of straw on the floor. I guess I don't know how cold tolerant they actually are. How can I dim the lights and still keep them on a timer? I also have seen evidence that they have spent time on the roosts. I wonder when? We live in a rural forested area so I am very concerned about predators. We have made the coop as secure as we know how and I check to make sure there are no tracks or scratch marks on the door in the a.m. to indicate that they may have been frightened by an uninvited visitor during the night. Thanks for your replies.
     
  7. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Quote:Night time temperature for chicks that is not cold must be in middle to upper 70's. Lower they bunch / pile up. As they increase in size, temperatures that are not cold get lower.

    Reduce wattage of bulb or use a night light that is on 24 / 7. Also consider allowing in more natural light. Often light levels drop too fast in coop for birds to get to elevated roost.

    Predators for me only promote shift in roosting location if birds being taken. Most often move in roosting location is up.

    In respect to predators in coop (racoons, oppossums, skunks) having roost beyound jumping reach helps and having walls that can not be scaled by such is awsume. Making coop more resistant to predator access also important. Consider value of dog in respect to denying predators access to coops, run and range.
     
  8. CupOJoe42

    CupOJoe42 CT Chicken Whisperer

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    Is there a night light in the coop? Maybe they are afraid of the dark?
     

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