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Training chicks to Roost

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Chickens by the Sea, Nov 17, 2008.

  1. Chickens by the Sea

    Chickens by the Sea In the Brooder

    Oct 21, 2008
    Ventura, CA
    I am sure this question has been asked on this site a million times, but I am a newbie, so here goes. We have our 5 week old chicks out in the run (mild weather, with heat at night), and I am helping them up the ladder into their coop every night at dusk. Is this something they will figure out how to do on their own when they get older? Is this the way to teach them??

    Also, they show no interest in sleeping anywhere other than the floor right now. We have a roost 2 feet up ready for them- will they just sort of do this on their own as well?

  2. smith2

    smith2 Songster

    Jan 5, 2008
    Paris, TN
    Mine have always just sort of figured it out on their own. [​IMG]
  3. Heather J

    Heather J Songster

    May 29, 2008
    Yes, your chickens will eventually figure out to go into the coop on their own at night. If you are hurrying them along before the dusk really starts to set in, they may not be quite ready for bed. If you wait a few more minutes they may go in on their own....on the other hand, some are just stubborn.

    As for roosting, it depends somewhat on the breed. When I was brooding my silkies and cochins some would use the roost, but most would not. They simply weren't interested in roosting. I don't have roosts up in their coop, and probably won't put them in, they aren't all that interested and would rather sleep in a pile (I mean that literally, when I try to count heads, sometimes I find them sleeping under each other) in the corner. That's normal for silkies. Other breeds prefer roosting. You may have to help them onto the roost for a few nights. I know when I started putting my BRs on the roost I had fewer and fewer every night until they were all pretty much getting up there on their own--but even now I occasionally have one who decides to sleep on the floor. Yours are still pretty young, so don't get discouraged if it takes a bit longer than you think it should. I think my main reason for putting them on the roost as first was so I could count if they all made it home--it's hard to do that when they are in a pile.
  4. When my chicks are small and in the house under the heat lamp or not fully feathered, I put a perch in their modified steel wire dog kennel/cage as this pic from last Spring shows the BO's w/2 RIR chicks and the two on the perch were the cockerels, Brewster (BO) and Randy (RIR):
    Here's Randy getting ready to join Brewster:
    I'll be adding the perch again, this time for the EE chicks who were running, jumping and perching on the backs of my four Silkie chicks from Tori this past weekend and if I hadn't been outside cleaning coops (7) I would have already put the lil perch in theirs...here's the current chicks using the same set up but now a tiny bit bigger:
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2008
  5. ROC4K

    ROC4K Songster

    Oct 21, 2008
    NE Wisconsin
    nature will take its course with them. Wait until dark one night and then go out and check. Here it's cold enough after dark for them to want to return to the coop. Mine sure don't run fast or far in the dark.[​IMG]

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