City slickers move to the country and get some bantys...

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by TeamDavison, Apr 2, 2012.

  1. TeamDavison

    TeamDavison Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 2, 2012
    We just got 6 banty hens and one rooster... they are about 10 weeks old. We converted an open room at the back of our barn to a chicken house, put doors on it, build a huge run for them out side, built nesting boxes and a roost... I think we did a great job, but the chooks won't go in the nesting boxes, they just huddle in a corner and peck around the floor. The boxes are raised off the ground about 1.5 ft... we've placed them inside and they'll hang out there for a bit then hop back down to the floor. Is this normal? will they only start to use the boxes when they start laying?
    Also, we have suspended food and water dispensers, I have seen them drinking from the water but I've never seen them pecking at the food in the dispenser. When we moved them to our house, we brought the small dish they had been eating from before, and they like that, but keep tipping it out onto the floor. Im sure this is fine for them,but its inviting a small field mouse to join in the feast and Im not sure I want that to happen. How do I get them to eat from the dispenser? Tried moving their small dish to half-under the hanging one... they might be eating, but i haven't actually seen it...
    any and all help would be hugely appreciated.
    Next challenge- frightening off the large hawks that circle above, and even landed on the run yesterday. EEEK. We want to free range them eventually, but I'm so nervous the hawks will get them.
  2. JerseyGiantfolk

    JerseyGiantfolk Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 12, 2012
    Chickens are animals that like privacy and protection, My hens will lay behind the laying box, because there is too much light facing the laying box. Have you ever tried using plain cat treats? Fish kind are "egg"cellent for them, you can let the chickens try to test them, then stick some in their feeder. Also with the hawks, make sure the run is covered!

    I noticed my chickens don't like crumbles, it's very dusty. So if you are using crumbles try converting to pellets. The mice thing can be an issue, they could try to chew through the coop, I learned it that way!

    AND: [​IMG] from the chicken coop!
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2012
  3. TeamDavison

    TeamDavison Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 2, 2012
    thanks for the reply.. the run is covered and withstood the hawk on it yesterday, we used pretty tough wire mesh to build the run, still frightening!
    I will try the cat treats for sure. good idea. maybe i should rearrange the inside of the coop and put the laying boxes in the corner where they seem to like to huddle?
    I was told they won't start laying til around may, we've only had them a week... I'm so thrilled to have them, but I'm nervous they are going to get bored, aren't eating, and don't like their new home, they've only ventured out in to the run a couple times. :(
    I don't want to scatter food out there to coerce them, incase more rodents come... they have pellets now... so many questions.
  4. JerseyGiantfolk

    JerseyGiantfolk Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 12, 2012
    Oh yea! I've dealt with hawks, they act all "casual". How old are your chickens? Pullets start laying from 4 to even 9 months I noticed.

    A fun way to keep your chickens active is to hang fruit (like lettuce leaves, broccoli, apples slices) from the top of the coop. It keeps the chickens active and from pecking on each other.
  5. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Welcome to BYC.
  6. DDNONIN2016

    DDNONIN2016 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 27, 2012
    SW Ohio
    Hello and welcome from Ohio.....glad you joined us
  7. 3LilBirds

    3LilBirds Chillin' With My Peeps

    [​IMG] from Southern California! [​IMG]
  8. The Red Rooster

    The Red Rooster Poultry Observer

    Welcome to BYC! [​IMG]
  9. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Chicken Obsessed

    Mar 26, 2011
    Upper Peninsula Michigan
    [​IMG]Hi and welcome to BYC from northern Michigan
  10. weimarmama

    weimarmama Overrun With Chickens

    Jun 4, 2010
    My Coop
    [​IMG] & [​IMG] from Alabama. Glad you joined us.

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