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old enough to know better, cOLD enough to care

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Hi Everyone

 

First time chicken owner, first time poster, seasoned post reader and researcher.

 

My 4 girls are ~26 weeks old, all are laying daily. I have one Barred Rock and three Red Sexlinks.

My coop is 4x4x4 with a sand flood over linoleum and plenty of ventilation. It has a 4'x2"x4" roost 18" off the ground. I have two 1'x1'x1' nest boxes with curtains (I needed curtains to stop egg eaters), these are 4" off the floor. Now that the sunlight is waning, I have a LED light in the coop to provide ~14 hours of light, turning on at 3 AM and off at 9 AM, I'm letting the sun do the rest.

 

Here is a picture for reference:

 

One of my Red Sexlinks has always slept on the ground. 

 

When I got the birds at 16 weeks, the owner told me all were roosting. I trust him.

 

As a 16 week pullet, she would occasionally try to fly up, but lacked to coordination, gumption or both to get up there. For the first three weeks I put her up on the roost at night; I got tired of that and called her a dummy. She reinforced that thought with sleeping in the yard on the ground one night while I was at the hardware store-while all the others had walked into the coop and roosted.

 

Its begun to get cold in Wisconsin. With that, the other birds huddle together more up on the roost. The Dummy has now taken to sleeping in the nest box. Putting her on the roost every night is not an option.

 

She is not the lowest in the pecking order.

 

I do not want to block and unblock the nesting boxes every night and morning, as I want fresh eggs for breakfast at 5AM and blocking the nest boxes will result in coop eggs and egg eaters.

 

Help me out smart the chickens again. What can I try?

post #2 of 5

Generally chickens don't eat the eggs unless their missing something from their diet (such as calcium or protein). Although once they get a taste of fresh eggs it's hard to break them but can be done.

 

Are they actually eating eggs or are you just worried about it? What type of feed do you give them? At laying age they should be getting a layer feed generally in pellet form. They should always be provided calcium in a separate dish that they can eat whenever they feel they need more calcium than the feed provides. Grit should also be provided in a separate dish if the chickens get food other than pellets including scratch. With a good balanced diet you shouldn't have to worry about egg eaters.

 

Can you put another roost bar in there a little lower? Not directly under the other one but rather at a right angle or opposite side of the coop?

You win some and lose some. When at first you don't succeed: try... try... try... try and try again.

 

How to Provide Emergency and Supportive Care        

Maintaining a Healthy Flock

Chicken Injuries & Diseases

Poop Chart 

Emergency Helpful References & Links

Reply

You win some and lose some. When at first you don't succeed: try... try... try... try and try again.

 

How to Provide Emergency and Supportive Care        

Maintaining a Healthy Flock

Chicken Injuries & Diseases

Poop Chart 

Emergency Helpful References & Links

Reply
post #3 of 5

Welcome out of the BYC closet! :D

 

Agrees, check their nutrition regarding the egg eating.

 

I'm guessing that the roost is not big enough for that last bird to fly up....how wide and long is roost?

Another lower roost would be a good idea, but there might not be room...they all need room to fly/jump down.


Edited by aart - 11/11/15 at 5:13am

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply
post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 

The problem is not egg eating, it is a chicken that sleeps on the ground, and now the nest box.

 

The egg eating was a short term thing, just something I hope to not have to deal with again. As soon as I put the curtains up, they stopped. I was building one of Opa's rollout nest boxes until the curtains stopped them cold (shoutout to Opa). 

 

Food wise, they have a hopper with crushed oyster shell, and a separate hopper with grit. They are getting Agrimaster layer crumbles with 16% protein as their primary diet, we toss not more than a handful of kitchen scraps (salad ends, fruit, apple teatherball, bones, etc.), per day. Once or twice per week, weather and schedule depending, we let them free range the yard for a few hours. They have a blast scouring the yard for bugs and grass tips, scratching things up.

 

The roost is a 2x4 4' long, as wide as the coop. There seems to be plenty of space for everyone. At least 2' when everyone is roosted, nearly 3' when its only three birds up there.

 

I will get to building a new lower, perpendicular roost and let everyone know how it goes.

post #5 of 5

Sometimes during the 'Roost Time Rumbles' they use 3 times as much roost space for the bickering as they do when they finally settle down to sleep.

And when they spread their wings when jumping up or down, it takes up a lot of room.

 

Let us know how it works out.

Best of cLuck to yas!

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply
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