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Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by gaillardia, May 24, 2010.
My 10 week old girls pile into a corner on the floor at night. When do they start roosting?
Some of my 6 month old girls still pile into a corner! I have a few 2 month old girls that roost, but most of our girls didn't start roosting till about 3 months. My rooster didn't start roosting till he turned 5 months!
Hope it helps! GOOD LUCK
Thanks! That does help.
If you go out there at night when it is dark and they are blind, then place them up on the roost. You may have to do this for a few nights in a row, but they will get the hang of it quickly.
Our pullets will be 12 weeks old tomorrow. Last night was the first time they used the roosts. They had been sleeping n a corner on the floor. The only thing I did differently yesterday was not shut the coop wooden door, which makes the coop dark all at once, until after dark. (We do have a hardware cloth screen door also) Somehow they just figured it out.
I think if you start them young, they roost more readily. I put a 1-inch wide roost a few inches off the floor of the brooder at one week and they start sitting on it then during the day. By 3 weeks, they are sleeping on it.
That said, they will roost when older also. You need to be sure they can get to the roost. If your roost is higher than a foot off the ground, heavier breeds especially will need a step up. The roost in my coop start at about 18 inches off the ground and then ever 18 inches thereafter up to about 5.5 feet. They are sloped like a ladder so they can hop up and down from one to another. If the roost is too high, they won't ever roost on it.
The roost also needs to be comfortable. Round poles make it hard to keep balance. Use the 4-inch side of a 2x4 and round over the edges with a file or rasp if you can. Make sure the flat side is level so they don't feel like they are sliding off.
You can also try putting them on the roost by hand. Do they climb around on it during the day? If not, they may not realize it is there. Stick them on it one night and I bet they stay as long as they can get up and down on their own and it is comfortable.
So chickens can't see at night or what?
Chickens have a very limited range of vision at night. I have an OLD, OLD Cochin rooster that will ONLY be with his silkie friends and they almost always roost in the corner on the barn floor.
I have five one month old pullets and they all roost on their roost together but i have a solar light in there that comes on when it gets dark cause i thought they got scared at night i didnt realize they cant see well at night.
Don't worry so much. I went out night after night when my chickens were that age, and put them up on the roosts, and turned around to pick up more chickens to put on the roost while the last bunch jumped back down, and then turned around to pick up more chickens while THOSE jumped off and went back to their corner, get the picture? Night after night, so frustrating... "OMG, what's wrong with my chickens, whats wrong with my roosts????" Feelings of failure and profound inadequacy... Then, one day, they decided the roost was pretty cool and... don't sweat it, they'll get it.