Originally Posted by Jensownzoo
I would have loved to have kept them in a room with a window! Unfortunately, I also do cat rescue and they pretty much have the run of the rest of the house with my two dogs. I actually had to frame in for a door to close the little basement room off (used to be the coal room way back when). Just built the foundation and floor of my coop last week...hoping to add walls early next week. I really hope that future broods will take place in there.
I don't know what you have for lights in the brooder room but I would suggest the following:
- if you have multiple lights that can be turned on and off individually, turn off one, wait 5 or 10 minutes (just winging it here), then turn off another, and another. Turn the night light off last.
- if you don't have that, replace the switch with a dimmer (one appropriate for the type of bulbs you have) and do the same thing. Turn it down some, come back later, turn it down some more, etc
- reverse in the morning
Originally Posted by WVForestGirl
I'm sorry if this has already been discussed but I was wondering if y'all find that the littles just naturally start going to bed in the big girls coop after they've been integrating for a while? If yes, roundabout what age does this usually happen? Or do you find that you have to move them out of the brooder yourself at some point?
My 7 from last June were broody raised. At 2 weeks she took them from the brooder to a nest box to sleep. The "lip" of the box is 2' high with an access perch at 18". They could already fly up 2' by then. At about 3 weeks some would visit their "Aunt" on the 4' high roost (with a parallel 2' high one) just before bedtime, then go back down to the nestbox with "mama" and the rest of their "sisters". Nearing 4 weeks some of those that visited started staying up on the roost so there was no Mama up there to keep them safe. They didn't seem to get much grief. When there were only 2 left in the box with "mama" the three of them vacated and all 16 chickens roosted on the 4' high roosts. Mostly the kids hung near mama, again no issues with the rest of the flock.
That changed when "mama" laid an egg and 100% forgot she had raised those chicks, wanted nothing to do with them in the coop or out. Before that food was not an issue because only the 2 hens "mama" trusted to be near the girls ever got anywhere near them. After "kick to the curb" day, the girls had to fend for themselves and several of the older girls WOULD chase them off their chosen roost place, then go settle down somewhere else and the little would return. But even my older girls have ALWAYS had to fuss at who slept where at roost time even though until last June they had never seen another chicken in the prior 3 years from the day they were shoved in a shipping box at the hatchery.
As far as food, the two 3 3/4 Y/O Cubalayas are again the smallest hens in the flock by far but one of them is a royal (insert alternate name for female mama dog here) chasing the younger birds away from scratch or BOSS even if I throw some right in front of her beak. Stupid bird. One day the big birds will tire of that and beat the feathers off her.
I FOR SURE do not understand the chicken brain.