Still not roosting!!!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by yomama, Mar 22, 2011.

  1. yomama

    yomama Overrun With Chickens

    I have researched "when do chicks start roosting" and have yet to come up with anyone that has chicks as old as mine that are still not roosting. My 11 chicks, various breeds and all but one are supposed to be girls, were hatched on October 25, 2010...That makes them 21 weeks old yesterday, and they are still not roosting! [​IMG] I have a roost that is about 20" off of the coop floor. The coop is 12' long by 8' wide. Every night, they are all huddled together in the corner, like they were itty bitties, and it was 20 degrees outside! Sometimes, some of them are "roosting" on the lip of a board that holds the shavings in the front of the coop where I open the door, but this is only about 4" off the ground. Occasionally, when I go lock them up at night, Pearl, my White Rock, will be on the roost, and I think "whoo hoo! they are going to start", but she never stays there. I've seen these guys fly across the yard, so I know they should have no problem getting up on the roost. One time, one of them went into the wrong coop (I have another coop for 5 older hens) and she was on their roost board. I moved her, since I knew it wouldn't be long before they started tormenting her. But the fact that she was on their roost was encouraging. Our temps have been in the high 30's to low 40's at night, so not too cold. Not sure if this info helps, but they were in a very large brooder in the house until they were about 10 weeks old (coop wasn't finished) Even though I offered a very low roost in there, only one or two would ever use it, and that was seldom as well. I wouldn't mind them all sleeping on the floor like they do, if it wasn't for the fact that they poo there too, instead of on the poop board under the roost. Any suggestions on why they are still not roosting?
     
  2. OkChickens

    OkChickens Orpingtons Are Us

    1,498
    15
    163
    Dec 1, 2010
    Owasso, Oklahoma
    Right after dark go in your coop with a small flashlight and put them on the roost. Try to do this as quik as possible. I had to do this with 5 month old hens I bought off Craigslist the other day and it only took once to get them to understand.

    Nate
     
  3. 10 point

    10 point country boy

    Feb 19, 2011
    LaFayette, NY
    Quote:X2

    also try putting in an older hen to show them how
     
  4. ginormous chicken

    ginormous chicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    495
    3
    111
    Jan 18, 2011
    Elverta, California
    Keep trying what was stated above. Don't give up. Maybe you can shift the arrangement of the coop a little. Offer a change up and a different location of the roost, but then dont move it again. Put them on the roost, and do it everyday!!!! Good Luck!
     
  5. domino7

    domino7 Chillin' With My Peeps

    901
    0
    129
    Jan 4, 2009
    N.E. Ohio
    I have three 2 year old cochins that don't roost. They snuggle up together in the corner. I guess I never worried about it lol. They can sleep wherever they want.
     
  6. NanaLantana

    NanaLantana Chillin' With My Peeps

    360
    0
    99
    Feb 7, 2011
    Lantana, Florida
    Me too! I also had to train my chicks to sleep on the roost. Every night just after dark, I picked them up, one by one, and placed them where I wanted them. They stayed there all night. It took at least a week for them to learn to do it themselves. But with yours, it sounds like they've been a bit cold, so they're huddling. Now they've got the habit if huddling! You'll have to train them. Keep at it, they have a long-established habit. May take weeks - - - -
     
  7. OkChickens

    OkChickens Orpingtons Are Us

    1,498
    15
    163
    Dec 1, 2010
    Owasso, Oklahoma
    I actually had bought some 12 1 year old White Leghorn hens from a man who had about 150 in a 10x20 or so space last year to "rescue" I paid $3.50 a piece and I picked out the biggest and the ones with good feathers and they didn't roost until I started putting them on the roost for about 2 weeks. I went out there about 9 or 10 and put each one up on the 3 ft high roost. In 2-3 weeks all but one would roost and I put her up there every night for about a week longer then they were on the roost from then on. All it takes is consistency. Good luck!

    Nate
     
  8. paddock36

    paddock36 Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,496
    25
    223
    Dec 24, 2008
    Ocala, Florida
    They don't know how. You need to show them how to roost. Oh, and you have to get someone to take a picture when your doing this. It's really the only way they will learn. Honest!
     
  9. yomama

    yomama Overrun With Chickens

    Thank you all for the advice. I will try tonight. I was wondering if they just really didn't know how to or what? But then why would they roost on the lip of the board by the door? Who knows, lol! Thanks again everyone, wish me luck!
     
  10. yomama

    yomama Overrun With Chickens

    Aaaaaaaah! Tried putting them all on the roost last night. By the time I got to the 11'th one, half of the group already jumped down! [​IMG] I might try again, but I'm suffering from a nasty cold, so this may be put on hold. Like I said, if it wasn't for the fact that it is so much easier to clean up poop on the board under the roost, then all over the corner of the coop, I probably wouldn't care.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by