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.