When will my chickens start roosting?

BrandonVercnocke

Songster
Jul 31, 2018
178
306
116
Longview, Washington
My flock is about two months give or take. They are outside in the big girl coop and have been for a few weeks now. They have a roost that I have seen them on during the day, hoping on hanging out for a short time then hoping down.

But.... every night I go out to make sure they are in the coop,as I leave the door open to the run, and without fail they are huddled up on the floor somewhere.

I had a 250 watt light out there up until yesterday when my cozy coop heater arrived. To entice them to the roost I put the cozy coop heater next to it.

I just went out to check like usual, huddled on the floor. Away from the heater.

What gives?
 

azygous

Crossing the Road
Dec 11, 2009
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Colorado Rockies
If you want your chicks to roost before they're eight months old, you will need to teach them. Right now, they're doing what they're in the habit of doing, and they derive comfort and security from snuggling together.

The trick to getting chicks to roost, is to figure out where the adults are sleeping, if you have older chickens, and place the chicks on a roost farthest from them. Chicks are wary of big chickens.

When you put the chicks on the perch, it helps if there's a wall at the end. If you know the personalities of the chicks, place the least secure one against the wall, then finish with the boldest, most self confident chick on the outside, squeezing them all together closely. This will simulate the security they feel when snuggling in a pile.

I start teaching my chicks to roost at age five weeks, and they catch on in about three nights. Keep placing them on the perch until they remain. If they get upset and agitated, it helps to place a hand on their heads, exerting a gentle downward pressure so their heads are lower than the perch. This calms them and gets them in a sleepy mood.

Another tip. It is counter-productive to put the chicks on the perch too early. Wait until they're gathering together making their night-time trilling noises. That indicates they're ready for sleep.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium member
Nov 27, 2012
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SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
I just went out to check like usual, huddled on the floor. Away from the heater
Ummm....they shouldn't need heat at 2 months old, they are showing you just that.
Where in this world are you located?
Climate is almost always a factor.
Please add your general geographical location to your profile.
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Not roosting, hard to say..some start early on their own, others not so much.
If you do place them on roosts, best to do it after full dark IME.
Pics of your coop showing roosts might help.
 

BrandonVercnocke

Songster
Jul 31, 2018
178
306
116
Longview, Washington
Ummm....they shouldn't need heat at 2 months old, they are showing you just that.
Where in this world are you located?
Climate is almost always a factor.
Please add your general geographical location to your profile.
It's easy to do, then it's always there!


Not roosting, hard to say..some start early on their own, others not so much.
If you do place them on roosts, best to do it after full dark IME.
Pics of your coop showing roosts might help.

I am in south west Washington. I understand that they don’t need supplemental heat. Fully aware that the chicken community at large does not give heat once feathered unless extreme low temps.

But! As long as the heat is radiant, giving them the option to be near it or not, can it really be deemed a detrimental thing to give them the option in case they want it? Or just unnecessary?

I’ll post pics tonight when I get home.
 

Flockandfowl46

Crowing
Mar 28, 2018
1,463
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Southwest Virginia USA
They should not need the heat for starters...as far as roosting I have never taught my chicks to roost,they will do it on their own when they are ready an feel more secure with their situation,as long as you keep your co-op clean there is nothing wrong with them sleeping on the floor for a while hun
 

Mosey2003

Crowing
Apr 13, 2016
2,789
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351
North-Central IL
Mine are 8 months and 7 months and still will not roost. I have placed them on the roost many times, no avail. It bugs me. I'm removing older hens currently, so I hope that once they are all gone the 'kids' will feel safe enough to roost. I've never had it take this long before.
 
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