View Full Version : When do chickens start to need a perch?
08-10-2010, 08:08 AM
Ii've got one hen and four chickens. I think they are about 4- 6 weeks old now. I haven't yet built a roosting perch in the chicken house and just want to know how old chickens are when they want to be perching. And also the hen, when will she want to get back on her perch.
At the moment they are all sleeping together in the nest still but i've noticed that during the day sometimes the little ones jump up on the ladder that is leaning up against the chook house and one has started to fluff its wings a bit as if trying to fly.
The mum's wing has been clipped too. I am not sure how long it will be til the wing grows back enough for her to get up to a perch. Does anyone know?
08-10-2010, 11:32 AM
I'd leave it up to the chickens. Just put something in with them that represents a perch, when they start jumping up on it, might be time to attach something more permanent.
08-10-2010, 12:15 PM
I guess tha's a reasonable idea. I have a look around for something. I still haven't built them a roof yet. They will need a roof when they get their perch.
08-10-2010, 01:38 PM
hiya sun burn...........
Chicks will usually climb over all sorts of things as they grow older,untill one day they decide to hop up onto a branch or something that gets em off the ground.....Its normal to roost,but babies cant jump much untill they bigger,as their legs arnt strong enough to jump hights or land from hights...
Apparently if they roost too long it causes a misshapening of the breast (keel i think) bone.
chooks poo when they sleep/roost so its important to teach all the birds to "perch at night" Usually teach a few and rest learn from the others,The/A rooster will normally order his girls to follow him up to roost with him.....
Ive asked chook judges and they say perches can be 3x2 wood will do for them..nothing bigger.... skinny poles are ok for smaller breeds or birds, but average medium sized chook(average hen) require the 3x2 ,they dont need to be up high,and shouldnt be hard for them to jump up or down, without hurting themselves
I only clip chook wings at last resort,or for those habitual jumpers....... Nature gave them wings,its not up to us mere humans to think we no better and clip them....Wings are for self defence and to evade capture from predators,u clip em its like cutting of a leg from a human,only a human leg or arm dont grow back again.... clipped chooks look scruffy aswell lol.but do grow again eventually though..
you may find mum will start leaving the babies for longer and longer as they get older,after 6/8 weeks mum usually dumps em and will start laying again.....the babes will find their own hidy spots and will probly learn of the others or mum as to when its time and how to get up that high to roost.....IF babes cant keep up with mum for first 6/8 weeks(seasons depending) they will die of cold or lack of food....
Its amazing how a new mum just knows how too look after her brood......They dont suffer post natal depression either,lolol
08-10-2010, 02:29 PM
I was hoping/thinking the mum would teach them about roosting. Oh well. She's a great mum! It seems i've only got on rooster out of four so I can't be too unhappy with. I think i will keep him as long as possible before people start to complain and then it will be off with his head, poor thing.
I think we clipped her wing because she was coming to a new home.
The ducks needed it too.
but with either of them, you can't tell they've been clipped unless they open their wings to fluff them.
For now, I've put a step ladder in the pen for them to "play" on.
08-10-2010, 02:38 PM
dont loose no sleep over it Sunny.. lol.Im sure theyll get the hang of it,somehow ,sometime ...
If they dont by time they getting full size, i suggest you place em on perches in the dark,and let em learn the trick to not tot fall off, during the night..
Poultry arnt exactly dumb buggers they been around longer then us stupid dumb bumb humans....
09-10-2010, 09:27 AM
so long as something is there for them to perch on they'll eventually do it
25-10-2010, 04:26 PM
I have provided what I thought was a great perch for my four chooks but they all prefer to roost in their two nest boxes. This means that their eggs are usually covered in shit. Can anyone suggest how I can get them to sleep on their perch instead of their nest?
25-10-2010, 05:08 PM
Simple Hawky. Remove the nest for a week... and put the chooks on perch everynight to make em use it ....Do it as its just on dark,They stuffed in dark..holdem up n place on the perch untill they grip with their feet,removing nest stops em from sleeping there,so in effect they gota sleepelse where coz there beds gone lol.be quick coz they fill choose another place if u dont do it 4 them....
Dont have there perches up to high either 3/4 foot is probly ideal... Chooks are like me.They dont like Higher Purchase . high perches:rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl:
Ex Kwinana permie.8)
27-10-2010, 11:19 AM
I understand that as a breed Chinese silkies are less likely perch even if one is available.
27-10-2010, 11:59 AM
wouldnt know about what breeds roost and what doesnt roost Susan..Id of thought that most if not all would prefere to roost..Its better to have the birds up above the ground,as they poop during the night and end up shitting in their sit
27-10-2010, 09:51 PM
Well I put in some happy plant trunks about a week ago and they are using them now. This morning when I went in, some of the chickens were perched there but when they go to bed, they are all sitting on top of mum still. They are about 8 weeks old i guess.
27-10-2010, 10:07 PM
Thats good,at least their intrested now.Mum will ditch them one day soon,shell be ready to start laying soon maybe,depending. Shell ditch them and find her spot on a perch probly,and leave the babies to find their own spot on/in the perching order,Thats it,childhood over,build a chicky bridge and get over it....
Glad your tunks are happy now,thell be nice n happy alltogether in the house(chook)...
Is mum in good condition with a nice red comb? thats an indication prior to laying,rooster chasing her is another indication.....
28-10-2010, 09:16 AM
Chickens were forest animals and normally roosted in the trees.
Normal size ones can jumpat least 1.2m up to a perch.
Ours roost as high as they can possiblly get, nearly 1.8m high.
They normally just need to be taught where to roost and as previously mentioned put them on the perch every night till they jump up themselves, just before dark so they are not inclined to jump off.
Normally only takes a day or 2 for them to work it out.
28-10-2010, 03:19 PM
The only rooster is her son and she chases him. She chases them all. She doesn't want them hanging around her. She's been laying for a couple of weeks now. She was on the perch this morning when i went ot let them out as were they. I do'nt know where htey sleep but i don't care. I am sure they will all work it out by themselves.
28-10-2010, 05:18 PM
Can I suggest a milk crate the top is the perch and under is a nest box,I have kept many fowl like this.
Best wishes Fernando
28-10-2010, 05:34 PM
put a chook over a milk crate,any poor chook underneath gets shat apon.....chooks hate being directly under another chook crapping... funny that:rofl::rofl::rofl:
glad yr hens laying again and the chicks will work it out,ha ha mum shell be the one getting chased in a few months :angel::angel:
28-10-2010, 07:47 PM
Today she laid her egg on top of the cupboard which is normally her nest but down below. Its a laundry cupboard but i've got it upside down. Perhaps I could put some straw on top of it and/or make a little perch just up higher than the top of it. ACtually this new approach is going to be more hyginic for the hen. No more having poo in her nest.
04-11-2010, 03:36 PM
From what I have observed Tezza,not a lot of chooks Perch and Lay at the same time,Perching being the night behavior,Laying the daytime,as my chickens free range manure is usually deposited in the garden.The milk crates work well because they are modular and are easily cleaned.With perching material on top and also in the laying box the works done easily and no chicken ever needs to be shat on by another.
Best wishes Fernando Pessoa
04-11-2010, 11:25 PM
Ive never said Perch and lay at same time,IF i did id be correct,as my chooks perch at night and lay during the day in nests....All I said/OR at least meant was, that no chook will want to sit and incubate underneath a roosting bar, perch etc etc...If i said or implied lay,it was only a slip of my mind(meaning Brooding)..:sweat::sweat:
I also think u got me muddled with someone else Fernando..
My chooks have allways been FREE range OR OPEN rangers,No door on my last chook house,they came and went any time they wanted,or IF they wanted too...
In my experience Chooks including roosters crap all night or at least one each per night!!!!
In my Opinion Putting a chook on a milk crate,to roost would not make it populer with the chook who sleeps,sitting,hatching,rearing, or is ill...
Chooks seem to have this fear of over head attack,just notice how some squat if u make a sudden moove towards them,(the old sky falling on the chook tale).Chooks allways compete to be on top as no one wants someone elses crap.....:n::n::n: Very human like in some ways:rofl:
Are we talking about the same type of milk crate?... Mine are the old plastic types with slot/handles and designed to carry the old bottled milk..... I actually use two old milk urns as nesting boxes,they solid,and last decades..I used enclosed nests (open fronts) as it saves 2 or 3 layers competing for the same nests..
Maybe My chooks are more fussy then yours :handshake::y:
07-11-2010, 04:37 PM
Hi Sun Burn
We have 3 week old chicks now and they are flying up and sitting on the edge of the box. We've got them in a big bath and they haven't jumped out of that yet. But they seem to fly up and then jump back in, so no problem yet. I tried putting a little perch in with them but it seemed to scare them, so I've got it lying on the floor at the moment. They certainly seem capable of flying reasonable high even at this age as the box is a decent size. Their favourite place to sleep up until now has been the food bowl. Go figure.
Let me know how you go
I have five 3 week old chicks and I put a perch about 2 inches off the ground last week. They are using it to jump over and although they do not sleep on it, I do see them sitting on it quite often. Too cute.
Powered by vBulletin™ Version 4.1.1 Copyright © 2013 vBulletin Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.