Chicken Forum banner
1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
82 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How do you get the chicks to use the roost? Mine are 10 weeks old now and some of them are roosting on the nest boxes. Maybe take the heat lamp out? Or move it directly above the roost? In the pic you can see the chicks on the nest box dividers and the roost bar in the background. I put them on it every once in a while and they hang out there for a bit but neever go to it on their own
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
289 Posts
Shouldn't really need a heat lamp anymore, but they will roost eventually on their own. I personally can't wait that long, so what I do is go in every night and pick them up and place them on the roost and turn the light off so they stay put, after a little while they do it on their own. I'd say takes a week give or take a day.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
82 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I just checked on them and one of them was on the roost! Unfortunately it was a meat bird that's not long for this world. But I put a few of my egg birds in it and they seemed to stay put. I'm going to put the heat lamp over the roost tomorrow and wean them off of it as soon as they get into the habit of sleeping on the roost
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
764 Posts
I would go in every night and place them on the roosts. It only took about 4 nights of my doing it for them to decide they were ready to. Where do you live? How old are your chicks? I'm in Massachusetts and mine are 8 and 9 weeks old and they only get the light if its going to be below 50 degrees.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
82 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
We are in Washington state. It's still in the mid 40's here at night. I believe they are 10 weeks old now? Can't recall exactly. I went and checked on them and one of my egg birds was on the roost. They can either sleep on the roost close to the heat lamp or on the wire mesh floor with the poop and cold air. I leave for work at 2am so ill check on them then and see how they are doing
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
764 Posts
We seem to have finally hit the summer here (knock on wood) and its been crazy hot, even at night it's in the 70s and humid. I haven't had to worry about the light at all for them and will probably remove it completely this week. If you could get them to roost it would help with keeping themselves warm. Are they just sleeping in a pile in the floor? My silkies and two of my roosters sleep together in a pile and no amount of moving them to the roosts has helped. The silkies will actually just get down onto the droppings board and sleep in the poop! :-/

I feel like the light may be too close to the roost for comfort... I may be wrong but I would suggest if its feasible to move the light then put them on the roost and see if that helps.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,157 Posts
I see no reason at all to make chickens roost. If the roosts are provided then let them choose. They see the roosts and if they feel like roosting they will. I have never put any of my chickens on a roost, I have always let them sleep where ever.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
82 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Apyl said:
I see no reason at all to make chickens roost. If the roosts are provided then let them choose. They see the roosts and if they feel like roosting they will. I have never put any of my chickens on a roost, I have always let them sleep where ever.
I don't like seeing them covered in poop or sleeping in it. It's disgusting.

I left work work the morning and checked on them and 3 of them were on the roost. The others were eating or drinking. So I think when I get home Thursday night ill take the lamp and food and water out to encourage them to sleep on the roost instead of the poop covered floor
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
82 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Ok so they've been in the coop all week with access to the nest boxes blocked. I work out of town so I don't know if they have been using the roost or not but its finally warm enough at night to un plug the heat lamp. When I open the coop to let them into the run they take one step onto the ladder and then work up the courage to jump off the top. They refuse to use it to get back into the coop. Tonight I left them in the run till dark and they were all huddled together in the run. I took them one by one and climbed them up each step of the ladder and into the coop on the roost. All my egg birds stayed on the roost and my meat birds stayed on the floor.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
My chics are slightly over a year old. When they were small inside the house they used a branch for a perch, but when old enough I moved them to outside coop and they would all pile into the nest box area on top of each other to sleep. They also poop there which is gross since they want tosleep there. They lay eggs at other end of coop where the roost is. Thoughts on how to retrain them to only nest and sleep in designated areas??
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
21,766 Posts
First, what are you using for a roost?

If the roost is appropriate you might try lowering it to see if having it more in their faces will cause them to check it out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
My chicks did the same thing and I would put them up there occasionally but it didn't seem to work very well then in the winter when I put the heat lamp the extra light helped them to get up there
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
117 Posts
My little Barredrocks did this too. One day I found them on a perch. Give them time. It takes one brave sole and they all follow eventually.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Okay I originally had a multi level roosting perch going on, it was made from 2x4's to be inside the coop. This was boycotted by all chickens . Then I noticed where I had their nesting boxes at they started sleeping inside it, and pooping there also (ugh), and would lay their eggs underneath the multi level roosting perch at opposite end of the coop. I have recently removed the roosting perch, and placed a branch inside and secured it to the tops of milk crates for height, this too is boycotted. This week ill be working on concocting a new roost to see if they will try again.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
21,766 Posts
Can you provide any pics of your setup?

And what breed are they? The only breed I've had that didn't roost consistently were Silkies.
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top