trying to teach 27 birds to roost. I must be nuts


12 Years
Jul 22, 2008
South Central MA
But i am determined

they are 7 weeks old, and like to pile in a jumble in the opposite corner of the coop from where the 'beginners roosts' are set up.

So after dark, i go in and pick them up--one by one--and put em on the roosts

it will be the third night tonight. i hope the eventually decide to go up there on their own.............
Why do you want them to roost so bad? Is it very cold and they are huddling for warmth. Chickens are birds of habbit so they often like to go where they used to go but they also have natural instincts like to roost at night that should kick in. I bet they will start if you give them time but if you want to pick up and move 27 birds, go ahead, it might even be fun. Let us know how it turns out.
Don't drive yourselves nuts. Just make sure they have appropriate roosts and then leave them alone. They'll get to it in time.
Agreed. I've never had to train any. I have a group of 7 week olds that are toying with the idea, playing around on the roosts, but I'm not sure they are actually sleeping up there yet. Mine have always started roosting before they started laying, though.
I really app. the input.

yes, picking them up at night is rather sweet, but it takes about 25 minutes, and how my tall back aches from it!

SOME birds use the roosts to rest on during the day, but at night, they just have to use their corner. I don't get why those few don't go up at night. THOUGHTS ON THIS POINT??

I actually saved one of my brahma girls on the first night. she was nearly trampled and motionless when i excavated her from the bottom of the pig-pile...........
They are choosing the familiar piling up, a trait from their days in the brooder with their mates. They feel secure.
As they mature, they won't feel the need for this behavior and they'll likely make their way to the roost.
I've had very slow learners and very quick learners, by batches and by breeds. It is what it is and I'm not about to make putting birds on roosts yet one more chore to do.

No way.
My 11.5 week old EEs finally just all roosted for the night last night. Two of them have been roosting for three weeks and were joined by another two last week. They all decided to be big girls last night though. So just give them some time and they will do it.
I was borderline neurotic about the very same thing last year. The nightly "pile of chickens" sleeping on the floor bothered me. Several times I slipped in after dark and put them on their roosts only to have them jump down. After I gave up they figured it out on their own.
Hey, balancing on a bar at night in the dark while you sleep takes practice, confidence, and more practice! That's why they use the roosts during the day, checking 'em out. Developing a sense of balance. They'll get it, eventually.

Some of mine were 12 weeks old before they routinely roosted at night.
Mine are about 18 weeks old, and I thought they would figure it out eventually. I am a first timer. I finally got concerned because they were sleeping in the nest boxes and I am hoping to have eggs in there soon, and I didn't want them covered with poo. I added a roost, and raised the roosts, but some are still on the nest boxes I think. I need to work on covering the nest boxes better I think.

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