Where to sleep??

Lodrjfur

In the Brooder
Aug 23, 2020
27
61
46
Sacramento, CA
I am new to chickens - got my chicks at 1-2 weeks old - they are now 8-9 weeks old. There are 22 of them (7 are my friends and will be going to her house soon). We just moved them into their coop house with attached outdoor space - this is their 3rd night. The ramp up to the indoors is a bit slippery - and while they have all been put in the house they have all also come out and they don’t go back in by themselves. The last 2 nights they have all huddled together under the house (much like they did in the brooder). Tonight I put them all in the house (no easy task wrangling 22 chickens!) and they are all huddled together in 2 nesting boxes and the adjoining corner. They do have plenty of appropriate roosting bars.

My question is this: Should I worry about whether they go in the house or sleep under it on the ground? Will they eventually figure it out on their own when they get cold? Lows here right now are high 50’s.
 

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Galeann

Songster
Jul 2, 2018
146
345
149
Campbellsburg, Kentucky
I think i can see one reason why the coop ramp is slippery for your chickens. Looks like you painted the ramp. What type of finish does it have - semi gloss, eggshell, matte? Maybe if you could simply rough up the paint a bit, they would feel more welcome to walk up the ramp.
 

Lodrjfur

In the Brooder
Aug 23, 2020
27
61
46
Sacramento, CA
Thanks!
Yes, we do need to rough it up a bit and we have made is a little less steep as well. It is satin finish paint.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
Nov 27, 2012
85,963
101,687
1,727
SW Michigan
My Coop
Yes, we do need to rough it up a bit and we have made is a little less steep as well.
Yep, stick a concrete block(16") under the low end.
Might add more cleats too.

Are those windows letting in any light?

Coop is definitely cute.....what does the inside look like?
Might be Is tight space for 16 birds....4x6-8'?
Curious if the trim on the low edge of roof impedes rain run off?
 

Lodrjfur

In the Brooder
Aug 23, 2020
27
61
46
Sacramento, CA
Yep, stick a concrete block(16") under the low end.
Might add more cleats too.

Are those windows letting in any light?

Coop is definitely cute.....what does the inside look like?
Might be Is tight space for 16 birds....4x6-8'?
Curious if the trim on the low edge of roof impedes rain run off?
Yes, the ramp is up on a block
Adding more cleats is a great idea - thanks!
Lots of light and ventilation.
It will be 14 birds once my friend takes hers - right now they are small (oldest is 9 weeks). They have A LOT of roosting space and access to the outdoor enclosure which is huge. There are also roosting bars outside - which they love.
The trim does allow for drainage along it’s entire length.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
Nov 27, 2012
85,963
101,687
1,727
SW Michigan
My Coop
They have A LOT of roosting space and access to the outdoor enclosure which is huge. There are also roosting bars outside - which they love.
12" of roost length per bird?
Do you live where it snows?

Oh, and.... Welcome to BYC! @Lodrjfur
Where in this world are you located?
Climate, and time of year, is almost always a factor.
Please add your general geographical location to your profile.
It's easy to do, and then it's always there!
1601131647440.png
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
Feb 2, 2009
25,937
16,285
797
Southeast Louisiana
My brooder-raised chicks typically start roosting at night when they ae around 10 to 12 weeks old. I've had some start at 5 weeks, some much later but 10 to 12 weeks is a good average. I think how that coop is laid out may affect that some. If I had adult chickens around that would change it too. Until mine are ready to roost on their own I don't worry about it. They will when they are ready.

My grow-out coop isn't nearly as cute as that one but it is elevated. When I move my chicks out of my brooder and into the grow-out coop they always go to bed on the ground under the opening. It doesn't matter if I leave them locked in the coop section only for a week or more or if I just put them in the coop/run area. My broods are typically around 20 chicks. Every night after it's dark enough to catch them easily I lock them in the coop to sleep. Once I only had to do that once and they got the message. A couple of times I had to keep that up for three weeks before the last few caught on. Each brood is different but what typically happens is that two or three days after I start that a few will go in on their own. That number increases and by a week or so they are all putting themselves to bed. But that can really vary by brood.

My dual purpose chicks have no problems flying up to the coop from the run if they want to. If they don't want to I can't make them. Unless you have some breeds that can't fly, yours could get up there if they wanted to, they have enough room to spread their wings and fly. You can add more cleats, flatten that ramp out, do more changes if you wish. When your 8 to 9 week old's want to get up there, they will. The trick is in making them want to. I do that by consistently putting them in the coop section to sleep until they get that message.

Good luck!
 

Lodrjfur

In the Brooder
Aug 23, 2020
27
61
46
Sacramento, CA
12" of roost length per bird?
Do you live where it snows?

Oh, and.... Welcome to BYC! @Lodrjfur
Where in this world are you located?
Climate, and time of year, is almost always a factor.
Please add your general geographical location to your profile.
It's easy to do, and then it's always there!
View attachment 2349050
They have more than 12” each - I very carefully researched the coop setup before building.

I am in the Sacramento CA area. No snow. I will add a region - thanks for the tip!
 

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