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When to start roosting..stacked on the roost

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Kim t, Nov 5, 2016.

  1. Kim t

    Kim t In the Brooder

    Hi, my chicks are 6 weeks old now. How old should they be to start sleeping on a roost? Is 6 weeks too young? They have been sleeping under mother hen or beside her in a small dog kennel they hatched in which is inside the chicken house. They have been sitting on poles out in the chicken yard so today I decided I would get rid of the box and put a good amount of sugarcane mulch in the corner where they have been sleeping instead. I have two roosts..one low to the ground and a second higher one. I put a ramp up to the top of nesting boxes which chickens can use to get up on the roost. I went up to the pen after dark and this photo is what I found. Chickens trying to hide under mother hen on the roost and using the higher not lower roost. Can they hurt themselves if they fall?[​IMG]

    The white one did come off and didn't use ramp I have down lower. It flew to the lower perch and then up to this one from the other side.

  2. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    In the past, i have let momma decide when to take her chicks to the roost. I've never had an issue and often found them on a mini-roost that is 6ft above the ground. They will work it out eventually, don't worry.
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    As CT said, I leave it up to the hen. I’ve had broody hens take 2-week-old chicks to the roost, a five feet high roost. They flew to the top of the nests then flew three feet over and two feet up to get to the roosts. I’ve had broody hens wait until much later to take them, though 5 to 6 weeks is probably late. When on the roosts they often try to sleep under the hen, but when she has over a dozen that just isn’t possible. They do sleep next to her, for protection from the other chickens as well as comfort. They like being together and near Mommy.

    I’ve had brooder raised chicks start roosting at 5 weeks though the average for my brooder raised is 10 to 12 weeks. Some take many weeks longer to start roosting. There is no set age for when they should start roosting. Each brood is different, whether broody raised or brooder raised.

    I have no idea how high your high or low roosts are. They do like to roost on the highest spot available. My 2-week-olds really enjoyed those 5’ high roosts.

    Can they hurt themselves falling off? “Can” is an all-encompassing word. A piece of space junk could fall out of the sky and hit your house, you could hit a kangaroo the next time you drive a car, or the sun could shine today where you are. Lots of things “can” happen with varying degrees of “likely” but the likelihood of them hurting themselves falling off the roost is teeny tiny. My 2-week-olds could fly extremely well, yours can probably fly even better. If they fall they will instinctively do what birds do, they will spread their wings and fly. Immediately. They are not going to hit very hard and their wings will quickly get them upright so they are not likely at all to hurt themselves.

    You are concerned about something you don’t need to be concerned about. Let the hen do her job, they will be OK.
  4. Kim t

    Kim t In the Brooder

    Thanks for the replies. I will just let them do their thing.
    Last night just one black chick was under Mother Hen on the roost. The other two were each side of her. Learning quickly how it is done :0)

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