When does roosting start?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Mamaoflots, Oct 17, 2013.

  1. Mamaoflots

    Mamaoflots Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 3, 2013
    Hi there, our babies are now 10 and a bit weeks old.
    Have a couple of questions.

    When do they start to need to roost? Should I put poles in for them to play around on?
    At the moment they are outside for the daytimes and brought into the house overnight. We move house on the 8th Nov so they will live in the garage over night with free ranging during the day.

    There are three of them and one is a roo. We haven't had males before is there anything I should know? Sapphire has just started to crow, currently sounding like a strangled dog squeaker. Very cute!

    Many thanks.

  2. babyfoot

    babyfoot Chillin' With My Peeps

    I always start mine off on small gauge poles at around 5 to 6 weeks of age because by six to 8 weeks they are usually on the main roost with the others as mum is desperate to get back to her usual place. During the day (when I allowed supervised roaming with the rest of the flock and mum) I would find the youngsters perched on main roost with mum, almost like she was teaching them. I know nothing about incubating chicks and rearing them myself, luckly their mum does everything.. If they can fly/jump up high enough and they can perch then they are ready. The boys are no different at that age in respect of roosting but as they get older they like the best spot and will move everyone out of his way to get it.

    I've only had hens approx 3-4 yrs so am a novice really
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2013
  3. Mamaoflots

    Mamaoflots Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 3, 2013
    Fab, best go and put some poles out now, so they can get up there! Thanks.
  4. itgns

    itgns Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 28, 2013
    Central California
    Mine are at five weeks and I've had a wooden broom handle in the brooder for them since week 3, I think. They spend most of their day time outside, but at night they are brought in. They all really like jumping around on it, but I've only caught one sleeping on it at night, but she's also the one who is actually probably 7 weeks old (bought from a different place).
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Perching is playing on the poles or high places during the day. Roosting is sleeping up there at night. Just to make sure we are talking about the same thing.

    If something is available and they can get to it, chicks may start perching at just a couple of days old. Or they might wait several weeks. They are pretty inconsistent about this whole process.

    I’ve had broody hens take their chicks to the roosts at 2 weeks. I’ve had some that waited until 5 week or so. My last broody never took them to the roosts before she weaned them at 4 weeks. That was pretty unusual, not taking them to roost at all.

    I’ve had brooder raised chicks start roosting overnight at 5 weeks, though most of mine start around 10 to 12 weeks. I’ve had some take a whole lot longer. They really are inconsistent.

    Good luck!
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2013
  6. babyfoot

    babyfoot Chillin' With My Peeps

    You know I never really thought about it like that but re-reading what I wrote I must have instinctively known as it echoes what you say. Yeah, my chicks have tended to 'perch' on side of nest box from the age of only a couple of days. They also love to climb onto mum's back. I move the nest box out at approx 5 weeks and replace it with a low down roost for mum and chicks, in approx another week to two weeks they are ready for main roost with the others by then they can defend themselves from the big hens(by that I mean run as fast as they can to get away) and mum has either abandoned them or chases them away herself. That was the heartbreaking thing for me to watch as she would chase them away everytime they came near her. It took a week or so after that before they became truly independent of her

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