Originally Posted by Katt66
Don't you just love it when they choose to sleep where they want to despite your best efforts?
Speaking of which, I've come to a point where I need to decide what I'm going to do with my girls.
I have a good solid water and weather proof coop where the grown up chickens sleep. There are two roosts in there, one in front and one in back. Everybody but the Buff Orpigton line up on the front roost. I gave 3 chickens to my Sis-in-Law this past weekend, freeing up more space on that front roost. So I'd thought the Buff would move up there. Nope, she still sleeps on the back roost all alone. Silly thing.
Which brings me to my problem... I have 6 bantams and 2 Dark Brahma chicks, all around 8 wks old. They've been growing up in the little "quail apartment" on the other side of the run. It is a small 48" deep X 30" wide X 36" high raised and enclosed area to the left of the main coop with an enclosed walkway between the two areas.
It has a little tiny "coop" at the back of it that the chicks had been using up until a few days ago. As the Brahmas are now too big to fit in the little quail sized doorway and I'd made room in the main coop for them I was going to try and get everybody to use the big coop. For warmth reasons in the winter.
The babies do all move back and forth between the two coop areas and have free run of the whole run area and yard with the bigger girls and everyone gets along fine. Problems have arisin the past two nights, however. I blocked off the apartment area right before dark when they'd normally all go up to roost in the hopes that the babies would go in with the big girls and all get comfy together. The babies DO go into the big coop but just snuggle down in a corner on the floor instead of using the nice mostly empty roost in the back. Last night I tried putting them up there. The moment I put the first Brahma chick on the roost my silly Buff (the only one who uses that roost) puffs up to basketball size and strikes like a snake. She caught my finger instead of the baby and wow! did that hurt!
So, in the big coop the babies just snuggle on the floor rather than face the biting basketball on the roost.
If I don't close off the apartment, however, they all jump up onto the two crisscrossing roosts in the upper area of the apartment and snuggle down into a big fluffy ball of feathers and go to sleep. I'd leave them there but for two main concerns. One, two of those "bantams" are actually my Brahma chicks. I can't imagine how this arrangement is going to work out long term when they are 10 to 15 lbs and still trying to snuggle up there with the bantams. And most importantly, the apartment is not fully enclosed. It has a solid water proof roof that it shares with the rest of the run area and main coop. The back wall is closed off on the bottom by the old quail coop and the outer wall is a solid piece of beadboard. But the floor, front and inside wall that faces the main coop are all open hardware cloth and chicken wire. I'm now trying to figure out if I leave it as is for the summer and leave them choose to sleep in there if they want, is it ok? And I guess I could just work on enclosing the front bottom and inside wall and make it into a full blown mini coop for the winter. I still don't know if I should try to make the Brahmas go into the coop with the full sized chickens or leave them in there with the bantams to keep them warm.
Here's a couple of pics of the little apartment where they all want to roost to sleep at night to give you an idea of what I'm talking about.