A few things i'd like to clear up first..

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Panthus, Sep 24, 2011.

  1. Panthus

    Panthus Out Of The Brooder

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    Hey all,

    This is day 5 of owning my lovely ladies (2 Isa Browns) and i have a few things niggling at me that seem to be debatable topics from the research that i've done. Now i'd like your opinion.

    On my blog page you'll see the type of coop that i'm keeping. At the back doesn't have a specific nesting box but a spot that is now filled with straw that the birds are, theoretically, suppose to lay eggs on. Its dark, protected and cosy. However despite a roost being available to them (you can also see in the pic) my girls have decided to sleep there during the night. My coop isn't huge but its big enough for the girls however i have managed to waddle my way inside and pop them onto the roost whilst they are all dopey with sleep. They immediately wake up and wack me in the head with their wings and jump off within 30 seconds to a couple of minutes. Defeated! Its not the easiest of tasks given the size of the coop and the size of me! I should also note that the girls have come from quite a large chicken farm where they haven't had too much contact with humans. They were scared of me at first but this morning they were standing at their coop door waiting for me to let them out and just waddled past me like i didn't exist. I love it :)

    Anyway, i've read that its not going to do them any harm to sleep on the ground/nest however will that stop them from laying there? They are approximately 19 weeks of age and have only been in their quarters for 5 days now so i might be expecting eggs too early but the chicken dude who dropped them off said i'd get eggs within one day to a week. The girls get to free range in a decent sized hen run during the day and i have checked all the garden beds and they are definitely not laying any where else. i haven't heard them sing the "chicken song" yet either so i'm confident its not happening yet. I should also add this chicken dude has literally sold thousands of these coops with these birds so i can't imagine he'd sell me a bad set up. I also get my money back on the set up if it all turns to custard. Just interested in your thoughts and opinions.
     
  2. Lollipop

    Lollipop Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Pretty optimistic to expect eggs at 19 week. However, chickens are easily stressed and such a move can do it, thereby causing egg laying to cease temporarily. If they have not layed prior to their move, it`s possible that the move may delay the start. Personally, I would think that a little more time should be allowed. As far as the roosting behavior, some chickens just never "get it" and continue to sleep on the floor/ground. That is quite rare, though and normal roosting behavior should begin soon. Building a single, movable plywood nest box about 12x12x12 would be a good idea. A simple bucket on it`s side will do, or some folks use a covered cat litter box. Chances are, whether you provide a box or not, They will begin to roost where desired and lay eggs in the nest you have provided. Just a waiting game..........Pop
     
  3. chickensbythesea

    chickensbythesea Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sometimes it takes them a little while to adjust to new settings, and it's also at the beginning of their egg laying career, it might take a little bit to get into prime production.

    I'm not sure about your other question, good luck though! And welcome to chicken ownership, be careful, it's addictive!
     
  4. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Quote:Hi Panthus and [​IMG] I love your story about your girls and believe me this is just the beginning of a beautiful relationship. You coop is adorable and looks like it will accomidate your 2 girls with out any problems. As for laying that could start anytime from 20 weeks on, if you have only had them for 5 days it may still take them a while to feel settled in to their new digs especially if they are use to lots of other chickens, but they will probably love being the Only Girls [more treats and such just for them] did they roost where they were before? also you might want to somehow inclose your coop a little more so they feel more secure. right now even though they are closed up real tight something can still walk up to the coop and scare the well you know out of them. cover the back half and give them even more privacy and security. they will probably lay right in the place you have provided for them as long as they feel comfy doing so. Don't let them out too early in the morning either, after 8:00 if you can, but that part might not work since my hens lay all through the day. don't be surprised to see an egg or 2 at odd places when they first start laying, sometimes it takes a while for them to get the picture. But all in all this will be a wonderful experience for you and hubby. Make sure to feed them a good layer and also offer additional calcium supplementation, oyster shell is a good one. All the best to you and your new girls. before you know it they will be eating out of your hand [especially if mealworms are in it] [​IMG]
     
  5. turtlebird

    turtlebird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would give them a little bit of time to settle in. Hopefully they will choose the roost once they feel settled. What is the roost made of? 2x4 long side up?
    If they continue to sleep in the nesting area, it will be rather messy with droppings for laying eggs. Perhaps close the nesting area off to get them go choose a better place to slumber. I am guessing that they will choose the roost when they feel more comfortable in their surroundings.
     
  6. chickflick

    chickflick Overrun With Chickens

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    The hens look close to laying. Combs are a nice bright red. Do they squat when you come upon them?? That's another sign of them being close to laying. If your roost is too narrow, it might be uncomfortable for them to sit on. It should be a 2x4 with the wide side up. I would definately get them something to lay in. A plastic crate, bucket, milk box... something. You are going to have messy eggs if they lay their eggs where they sleep. Do the changes soon, so they could get into their routine.
     
  7. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think you'll want to make a different arrangement for the nest box. If I understand the setup correctly, the straw under the roost is where you expect them to lay, right? If they ever do start to use the roost, the area under it will be quickly soiled from droppings, and you certainly don't want them to start laying eggs there.
     
  8. Panthus

    Panthus Out Of The Brooder

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    Heres another picture that probably explains it a little better. This was taken the first night i got the girls so its still all neat and tidy with the new car smell ;-) The roost sits forward from the nest so i don't think it will get filthy from the pooping and i think the roost would be a 2x4 peice of wood.
    [​IMG]

    I thought i may have been a little optimistic. I'll promise to be a little more patient. I have read that the Isa Browns lay between 17 weeks and 20 weeks but i guess the move is quite upsetting. I have no idea the environment that they came from but i was told there would have been about 200 chooks. Did they roost there? No idea.

    So to understand properly, does the nesting box, lets say an over turned square bucket, need to be as big as the chook in height when she stands? or does she like it nice and squishy?

    Should i bother to keep trying to put them on their roost or they'll just work it out? Its pouring with rain tonight and whilst i have put them on sand and don't expect any rivers to rush through i can't help but think the perch would be much more comfortable.

    The area that the coop is in is an enclosed corner of the yard with high fences. Unlikely that they will have anything walk past their coop unless a cunning fox digs his way in or a local curious moggie jumps the fence for a look-see.
     
  9. chickflick

    chickflick Overrun With Chickens

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    The chickens actually stand to lay their egg, so it should be at least 12x12 or 14x14. I have a couple of newbies that hide in the nest box still. I go in after dark and move them to the roost. Eventually, they will get the hint. After dark so they can't see to return to the nest. I'm so surprised that they don't roost. Usually they like to get as high as possible. Be patient, it'll all be good in a little while. [​IMG]
     
  10. GracieMarie

    GracieMarie Out Of The Brooder

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    We have a similar setup. For boxes we have old drawers from when we remodeled the kitchen. I think your eggs will be less likely to get broken if they are laid in a box of some sort. Enjoy your ladies!!
     

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