are our hens normal!?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by NewbyJan, Sep 29, 2010.

  1. NewbyJan

    NewbyJan Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 26, 2010
    Littleborough
    we have 4 hens, all about 15 weeks old, 1 sussex and 3 bantams. AT night they all like to snuggle up together on a shelf about a foot off the floor. Very often the bantams will be under the wings of the sussex as if they were her chicks which is very cute! We have built nest boxes up higher with a closed ladder to reach them. None of the hens go up to the nest boxes despite us trying to entice them up with a food trail. When they start laying, will they climb up or are we just wishful thinking? ARe we likely to find them laying their eggs where they sleep? They do have a roost about the same height as the shelf and while they are happy sitting on that during the day, at night their preference is the shelf all snuggled up together.
     
  2. mgw

    mgw Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 29, 2010
    Eastern Wa.
    Our girls were doing that also, we started going out after dark with a flashlight and putting them on the roost they soon started using the roost on their own. There isn't anything wrong with them huddling together though, eventually they will start using the roost by themselves. If you want them to start using the roost maybe take the shelf down or some other way to keep them from getting on the shelf. They are just doing what feels right for them, if you don't have adult chickens then they have no example to follow.
    No worries
    Mike & angie
    P.S you want to make sure that the roosts are higher than the nest boxes you might be better off taking the shelf out completely to intice them to explore up higher. You still have a month or more before you have to worry about eggs then you will want to put fake eggs in the nest boxes so they will know where to lay.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2010
  3. bjash

    bjash Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 5, 2010
    Moline, MI
    Same here with our 11 RIRs. They chickpiled when they were younger, then when they turned juvenile, they started laying together on the floor of the coop (with a few on the roost, but not many). Now, most of them are on the roost with only a few stragglers that may prefer the floor on occasion.
     
  4. kateseidel

    kateseidel Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 9, 2010
    My hens all started off piling together. Then at about 12-18 weeks they started spreading out onto the roosts. Now at 6 months, I have 4 who still like to pile and cuddle, and the rest are all roosters.
     

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