3 different roosting issues

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by rcanz01, Sep 15, 2013.

  1. rcanz01

    rcanz01 Out Of The Brooder

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    :) 3 different chickens, 3 different "issues" not all bad I think, just curious

    Chicken 1
    Had sour crop quick is resolved-ish. After about a month if trying everything( acv, monistat, yougart, meds, diet) I came to the conclusion that this gal was either gonna make it or not, and she wanted to be with her sister sooooo bad that I just let her out of isolation. Surprisingly she is not vomiting and her crop feels better. Not normal but way better. Its been about a week since jail break. She was underweight but has been making up for it. But she won't roost. Problem is twofold. Its getting colder and she needs other chicken body heat, and when she poops at night it does not fall away from her butt. I've cleaned her off to keep bugs away and to prevent a clog but the cold weather and bath thing gives her the shakes. Ideas? She is a silver laced wyandotte so she has a puffy booty to complicate matters.

    Chicken 2
    The outcast. Not gonna mince words, she is a little stupid. I love her but there is something off. Nobody picks on her but they won't roost with her. She is always by herself on a lower bar. Also I really dont thinks she lays eggs. Born jan. 2013. She was a rescue.
    Chicken 3
    Sleepy head. First to roost, last to come out. Not worried that she is the first one up but sometime will chill in the coop for hours after everybody else has come out. We call her big Mama due to her size and thought that maybe she had a fear of heights coming down if that's possible because she isn't crouched, she stands in the a.m.. Like she is waiting for something. Ideas? Also have never seen this hen lay. Thought for a while she was too big to for the nesting box and she was laying from the roost. Also a rescue born in Jan 2013, but she has an ankle cuff and nine of the others I rescued did.
     
  2. GuppyTJ

    GuppyTJ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How many other chickens do you have besides these 3? Just curious about the overall flock size.

    For Chicken #1 and #2, have you tried lifting them up onto the roost? I ask because I have a chicken sort of like #2. She's the lowest chicken in the pecking order of 8 other chickens and she's just by herself a lot. When she roosts, she's sometimes by herself in the middle of the roost. There is a spot on the end next to the one chicken she sort of gets a long with that she also uses some times. If she's by herself, I have on occasion picked her up and moved her to that other spot. When I do this, she usually stays in that other spot next to her "friend" and I know she's happier and warmer there.

    For Chicken #3, is she low in the pecking order also? Sounds like she doesn't want to interact with the other chickens. I don't know what others think but you have 2 choices. One is to leave her be and the other is to encourage her to interact with the other chickens. You can do this by bating her with food, leading her out of the coop to the vicinity of where the other chickens are.

    Again, I do this sometimes with my chicken I mentioned above when I don't want her in the woods alone because she's too easy prey for predators all by herself. I'll either just pick her up and carry her (she's very docile and sweet) or I'll get her to follow me with food in my hand. This little chicken is so not aggressive that when I give the chickens a treat (say, scratch grains), I have to give her a little pile of her own behind some barrier, out of the view of the other chickens. She's now trained (or maybe she has me trained? [​IMG]) where when I'm giving the chickens a treat like table scraps, I'll call her name and walk go behind something (like a tractor tire or barn wall) and give her something by herself. She's watching for me to do this and I'm looking for my chance to sneak away with her and to give her her special stash.

    One thing for sure is they each have their own little personalities and every flock dynamic is different!

    Hope this helps,
    Guppy
     
  3. rcanz01

    rcanz01 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks! My flock size right now is 7 girls. It has varied a lot in the last few months though. Just gave my 2 roosters away last week. Had two deaths in the few weeks before that. In may I lost 12 to a fox.

    One problem I have is that I didn't get chickens 2 and 3 until about 2 months ago because they were rescues and they don't really let me pick them up. I have been trying to earn their trust with food and hanging out, but we are not there yet. I haven't tried lifting them. I will try.

    Chicken one used to be terrified of me but with all the handling from the sour crop, she is way better. I got her as a 3 month old and have since realized the benefits of having them since babies. I will defiantly lift her up. She still seems a little wobbly/weak from the sour crop, and she didn't roost for about a month in her isolation cage in the garage.

    I hung few garden gloves from the top perch to shorten available space so they have to make two rows. Maybe... If it works I'll try and find something more permenant.
     
  4. GuppyTJ

    GuppyTJ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I know what you mean about the benefits of raising them from small chicks. I have a similar situation, 5 hens added when they were 8 weeks old. The other 4, I raised from tiny chicks. I notice the same thing, that the ones I didn't raise I have a harder time with because they're more scared/less comfortable with me, such as catching them, picking them up, getting them to come when called. You're right, one upside (the only upside?) to having one get sick is they bond with you!

    Let me know how lifting them up on the roost goes for you. Hopefully, it won't create more drama than it's worth as you try it.

    I've had my share of illnesses too so I know what that's like. A fox got 12 of them? Wow, what happened? I free range and am always worried about predators so maybe I can learn from you. I have a very secure coop where I lock them at night but during the day, they run all around, into the woods, etc. I have 2 dogs that are a big help too but they are not up at the barn all day. They do bark off anything in the area, though so that certainly helps a lot.

    Guppy
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2013
  5. rcanz01

    rcanz01 Out Of The Brooder

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    Lifted "sweet but stupid" chicken up last night to the top roost where the others go, she couldn't get down. Looked terrified. Ill just forced the others down lower instead of lifting her up.
    The others were already in place so ill get them this week.
    12 lost to the fox was during the middle of the day and I was about 20 feet away. We turned the hose on the thing, threw rocks at it and it just dodged around us snapping necks left and right. The neighbor even came out with a slingshot and all 3 humans didn't even phase the fox. Dogs are very helpful I hear. I hope you don't have as bad of luck as we did. It was a massacre. Heartbreaking.
     
  6. GuppyTJ

    GuppyTJ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Just curious, how high off the ground is the roost? Chickens are sure silly sometimes!

    Wow! That encounter with the fox sounds absolutely TERRIBLE. I've never heard of such a thing. I do have 2 dogs that are very helpful with predator patrol. They run off most everything in the area, coyotes, fox, other dogs, deer, rabbits, etc. But they aren't up at the barn all the time, just when me or my husband go up there, which is several times a day but there are multiple hour blocks of time when the chickens are alone. And they free range WAY up in the woods often lately... Ugh. Scary.

    Guppy
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2013
  7. rcanz01

    rcanz01 Out Of The Brooder

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    Lowest is about 1 foot and the other about 10 inches higher and staggered back so they don't poop on each other. The entire coop it about 3 feet off the ground. So the highest roost is about eye level with me and I'm 5'11". It really seemed to make a difference when I shortened the top roost bar. I lifted the sleepy head chicken down this morning and brought her in the house to force her to hang out with me
    :) . couldn't feel and thing wrong with her. Sour crop chicken is still not roosting. I guess I'm not pushing her as hard. She is still a little underweight and sometimes trips. Maybe not back in full form.
    How many chicken do you have? They get along with your dogs?
     
  8. GuppyTJ

    GuppyTJ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, your roosts certainly are not too high at all. My roost is about 41/2 feet off the ground, with a ladder sort of thing for them to use to get up there. They use the ladder to ascend but all fly down with no problem. I have a link to "My coop" under my name on the left if you want to see it. The roost shown on the website is old, I've lowered it since taking these pictures. I'd say try lifting the chickens up and down off the roost a few nights in a row and if they still don't want to use the roost then just leave them wherever they want to sleep. As long as it's not in the nest boxes, of course.

    You said the one sour crop chicken sometimes trips? Have you by chance looked up the symptoms of Marek's? There are a bunch of good links on it from universities and vets that explain it thoroughly. Being unbalanced and losing weight are 2 of the more common symptoms. Marek's is fatal so hope it's not what your chicken has but you may want to check it out. I had a case of it and it's bad. It's also highly contagious. Rather than go into it here at length, maybe look it up and see if it sounds like what you're seeing.

    I have 9 chickens, 7 pullets, 2 are cockerals. I had 6 extra cockerals too, that I prepared for the dinner table. Yes, the dogs and chickens get along very well but it took a lot of work training one of the 2 dogs. Here's a link to a blog article I wrote about training them:

    http://www.littlewolf.org/preserve/dogs-and-chickens-harmony-and-predator-protection/

    Guppy
     

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