When will my chickens start roosting?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by BrandonVercnocke, Sep 23, 2018.

  1. BrandonVercnocke

    BrandonVercnocke Songster

    Jul 31, 2018
    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?
    KLIL likes this.
  2. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging

    Dec 11, 2009
    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.
    Helloworld, Shadrach, Aceoky and 6 others like this.
  3. BrandonVercnocke

    BrandonVercnocke Songster

    Jul 31, 2018
    Longview, Washington
    Hmm ok. I guess I will start placing them up there at night. Thank you for the tip.
    KLIL and azygous like this.
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    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.
    Melky, KikiLeigh02 and azygous like this.
  5. BrandonVercnocke

    BrandonVercnocke Songster

    Jul 31, 2018
    Longview, Washington

    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.
  6. imnukensc

    imnukensc Crowing

    May 22, 2017
    SC Midlands
    2 month old chicks neither need nor want supplemental heat..
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2018
    jess924, Melky and aart like this.
  7. Flockandfowl46

    Flockandfowl46 Crowing

    Mar 28, 2018
    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
  8. Mosey2003

    Mosey2003 Crowing

    Apr 13, 2016
    NC 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.
  9. Flockandfowl46

    Flockandfowl46 Crowing

    Mar 28, 2018
    Southwest Virginia USA
    The only thing i did was give them new levels of roosts and diff. Areas of the coop alot of youngsters don't like roosting close to the big girls
    Melky and Shadrach like this.
  10. chickens really

    chickens really Crazy Call Duck Momma

    Heat isn't needed and they will Roost once ready too..

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