Consolidated Kansas - Page 3451
For creatures with tiny brains, I am constantly amazed by how fast they can learn. I sometimes have to teach juveniles to get on the roosts, if they were brooder raised and didn't have a mama to show them. The first night is chaos as I pluck them from their group nest on the floor and place them one by one on the roosts. Some will jump down and have to be lifted up again several times that first night. By the second night, several of them have made it up onto the roost by themselves. And typically by the third night they all have it figured out.
It is a natural instinct. But sometimes juveniles don't want to compete with the mature birds by getting up on the roosts so keep with the habit of nesting on the floor, since that's all they could do as chicks. But they retrain really easily and, left to their own devices, they'll all eventually get up the nerve to get up their for the first time on their own anyway. I don't like them sleeping too long on the floor as they get the bedding in that corner too wet to try out, so I speed the process along by training them when I feel they are old enough.
All it takes is putting them up on the roost one or two nights - they figure it out really quickly! If these are your first chicks, I wouldn't worry about it - they will start roosting when they're old enough. The only reason I have to train mine now is that I have a LOT of birds and the juveniles get intimidated by the older birds and lack the confidence to compete with them for roost space. But once I put them up there for a night or two, they get the hang of it and after that they get up on their own. If you add chicks in future years, you might need to help them gain the confidence but without older birds to intimidate yours, they will start roosting when they're ready, without any training.
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HEChicken I've never trained a bird to roost. Many of my birds due to their weight, prefer to sit on the floor. But I have multiple coops and places to put birds in various stages of growth so I can see if they are all going in one coop it would be necessary. I can't even remember what it was like to have just one coop.
I'm trying to get back down to less and less but it's a hard thing to do.
Why is it that when getting more housing and pens and reducing housing and pens both take gobs of work and building. Doesn't make sense!!
I had another really busy day yesterday but didn't get any more garden planted like I hoped. I guess it can wait until it dries up. I moved hundreds of birds around. I've still got some very overcrowded pens for sure. I had one more brooder pen to get cleaned up in the house but ran out of time and I couldn't hose it out in the rain during the evening anyway.
Unfortunately we got a pounding rain instead of a light one like I had hopes would happen. That means a really muddy clay mess out there without all that much benefit for the garden and grass. It will all run off. We live way too close to a creek so everything runs to the creek. Except of course around the house. The gutters never get cleaned cause I am too unstable to be up on a ladder doing much. DH never thinks about these things. So the water pools at the corners of the house and ends up leaking into the basement at the floor/wall seams. The sump pump is running full time this morning which is another concern. Sure hope it keeps up. Before I bought this house the basement was finished and they had mold issues. They hired a company to come in and "fix" the problem. Obviously they weren't as experienced as they believed. The put in metal posts all around the outside walls, I assume to keep them from shifting. However where they cut into the concrete and refilled it they didn't seal it or use hydraulic cement. So when the water level raises it leaks at every one of those places. How dumb can you be? If I had been the one to pay them I would have made sure they got it fixed right.
The biggest problem was that I had a home warranty on the house for a year but that year we got very little rain so until the warranty was up I never knew there were problems. Same way with the septic system that was covered. No rain.. no problem. It needs a bunch of tile septic line replaced from the house to the septic tank. It's a major expense and means tearing up the yard and driveway to fix it.
That's life I guess. Maybe some day.
I've got so many birds I need to get sold. Hopefully this week I'll find time to put up some new postings and move some of these.
As always, thanks!
Those are the ones I would train if it were me. Many of mine are big, heavy birds as well but they can still roost. What I've found is if I let them sit on the floor, the bedding gets very wet in that spot, which leads to issues with odor. So I train them to get up on the roosts instead, which spreads out the poop throughout the coop, meaning I don't have to clean it out as often. It typically only takes a night or two with juveniles, for them to learn to get up on the roosts. If yours are adults who have always slept on the floor, it might take a few extra lessons. You might also check that your roosts aren't too high. The big, heavy birds can injure themselves jumping down if they're too high, which might be another reason they haven't voluntarily learned to roost by now. My roosts are 3' off the coop floor, which becomes less as the bedding layer builds up. I lowered them to this level after finding I was having issues with bumble foot when the roosts were higher.
Next question, lol! My chickens will be inside the coop at night and the run only during the day. Still just planning in my head, but I need opinions on the use of "chicken wire" for the run. The run will be 8' tall and 8'x10' in size. The coop, of course will be as secure as Fort Knox. Probably should add that I'm a general contractor and electrician.
Your skills will sure come in handy! The run doesn't need to be 8' tall unless its just what you prefer. Chickens benefit more from the available area on the ground as they don't fly much, so you really only need the run to be tall enough for you to walk in their comfortably. 6' is sufficient for most people, 7' if you are a basketball player
Chicken wire is great at keeping chickens in - not so good at keeping predators out. Though most predators are more active at night, foxes will hunt by day and others will also try by day if they find they can't get to them at night. Raccoons can reach through chicken wire and entice a hen to come over to it, then pull its head right through the hole in the wire. Your best bet is hardware cloth. It is more expensive, but will give you peace of mind. And, as a contractor, you know its usually cheaper to do it right the first time than use the cheap stuff and then have to redo it with the expensive stuff later on anyway