what age to roost?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Gloria's Gang, Aug 17, 2010.

  1. Gloria's Gang

    Gloria's Gang In the Brooder

    Apr 22, 2009
    Atkinson, NH
    I have two 4month olds that insist on sleeping in the nest boxes. This really annoys me because they poop in there too and that's not fair to the hens that need to lay. I have tried going out and putting them from the box on a roost and also blocking up all the nest boxes before nightfall. Shouldn't they want to sit up on a roost by now? They are Blue Jersey Giants, one boy, one girl. Thank you.
  2. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    I think you're right to block off those nesting boxes at night and place them on the roosts. Soon they should get the idea....they might be low on the pecking order right now, so maybe some of the other hens are kicking them off the roost....Do you have enough space on the roost for everyone? Maybe you need to place another 2x4 somewhere and have two roosts. That's what I do....and it's funny because there are always 8 one one roost, and four on the other, and they always want to be in the exact same order......they pick their partners they like to sleep by at night.....

    It'll happen soon enough...when they're young, it takes a little time before they're ready to roost sometimes. I had 4 pullets that I thought would NEVER roost.....they would pile in a corner for the longest time--even in the heat of summer.....now they are roosting just fine.
  3. bigstack

    bigstack Songster

    Jan 4, 2010
    Texarkana, TX
    How high are the roosts? Giants don't fly as well as other birds. They are preffer to have the roosts lower and closer together. I have mine starting at 16 inches and spaced 16 inches apart up to 64 inches. 4 roosts 8 feet long. 4 inches wide for them to stand on. Blocking the boxes is a good idea!

    God Bless!
  4. cheri222

    cheri222 Songster

    May 12, 2010
    Erie PA
    Our roost is also 16 inches off the floor and 5 foot long. Our 5 9wk old girls are all there every morning when I let them out. They also had a 6inch mini roost in the brooder and learned to use it quickly.
  5. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    Apr 15, 2009
    My older girls never learned how to roost. They are 3 y.o. and have never roosted. I have a bunch of newbies (18 weeks) who all roost and always have since they were 8 weeks old. I wonder if it's because some of my older girls are Jersey Giants. I was really hoping that the newbies would teach the old ladies to roost, but it hasn't happened and probably won't at this point. The old ladies would be cleaner if they learned how. I may try the lower roosts to see if that has any impact. The older ladies are strapping lasses and I was wondering if they were too heavy to fly up to the roosts.
  6. crj

    crj Songster

    Dec 17, 2009
    Rocky Point, NC
    Maybe you can build a lower roost for them. I have a high roost for my girls because that's what they like. I have a baby chick that is on his own now and none of the girls will let him roost on the high bar so he sits in the corner on the lower roost. Poor guy....... he just seems so lonely. But, that's the pecking order right now. It may get them out of the boxes.
  7. Gloria's Gang

    Gloria's Gang In the Brooder

    Apr 22, 2009
    Atkinson, NH
    I have several roosts of varying heights. I have put them on the middle one and the lowest one always next to each other. I agree that they are low on the totem pole. They hatched here and hang out with "Mom" during the day still off and on. At night she roosts with the other hens and pays no attention to the kids. Thanks for the input!

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