Could use some thoughts

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by vegjet, Jul 19, 2010.

  1. vegjet

    vegjet Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 6, 2010
    Sidney, Montana
    Ok this is my first real post other then introductions. I am a newbie chicken owner [​IMG] and my girls are 16 weeks old. They have been free ranging for the last month and LOVE it! Question 1 is, do I wait to see an egg then lock them up until they learn to lay in the coop?

    Question 2, I fixed the laying box so they would not roost on it anymore, so now they are roosting IN the laying box (only about 8 of them, I have 23 pullets and 3 roosters), I blocked the boxes off for a few days but my DH said it was too close to them starting to lay, so I uncovered them. Do I let them roost on top? I have tried to get them on the roosts by placing them there, they laugh at me:lol:.[​IMG]

    Question 3 is My BSL roo is already bumpin' uglies with the hens and he holds them by the head and they scream (do chickens scream?). So is he inexperienced and will get better OR stewpot material?? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!! Oh btw I have a muti tiered roost in the coop and the rest of the chickens find their respective spot like good little chickens [​IMG]

    Question 4 My girls, especially the Australorps and BSL wattles and combs are VERY red, I know this is an indication they might lay soon, when do I need to look for eggs??
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2010
  2. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    [​IMG]

    Here are my thoughts:

    Put wooden eggs or golf balls or something like that in the nest boxes now. If the pullets come back and put themselves away at night in the coop like good girls, you don't need to lock them up in the coop. You may still find a "yard egg" or two while they figger it out; first eggs sometimes startle the girls and they don't make it back to the nest in time.

    I have found that it takes a while for young chickens to learn to roost at night (balance, coordination, practice! whilst SLEEPING!) and I leave 'em alone until they do figure out how to do it successfully. Roosting ON the nest boxes is fine as long as their night droppings don't fall INTO the nests.

    I also have a couple adult hens who sleep in nest boxes. Some people don't like this, but I don't mind cleaning the two nest boxes used for sleeping. The rest are used for eggs. Occasionally someone will lay in the 'sleeping' nest box, but I don't let poop stack up in em, and I gather eggs every day.... No biggie for me.

    Weeks are like years to roosters - your 16 week old BSL roo is a sixteen year old horny boy. No finesse. He'll learn. He just can't help it right now.

    Keep an eye out for eggs from week 18 or 19 on...... but don't hold your breath, because it still might be weeks 20 or later!
     
  3. Chook-A-Holic

    Chook-A-Holic Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 5, 2009
    Central, N.C.
    You can put golf balls in the nests as already suggested and block off the nests only at night for a few days. They will get the idea that the nests are for laying, not for sleeping.
     
  4. vegjet

    vegjet Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 6, 2010
    Sidney, Montana
    Wow, fast reply, thanks gryeyes! LOL I have a horny 16 year old, lawdy, I just don't wan't bareback hens. So you don't think I need to lock them in the run until they lay a few eggs? They have 8 nest boxes and use 3 to roost in, and sometimes, even is this heat I will find a huge rooster and 2 hens in one box. Now that's just nuts as it was HOT. I can see I am making much ado about nothin here. I have some golf balls and I found some plastic Easter eggs. I will soon be making a page with some pics I hope.
     
  5. vegjet

    vegjet Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 6, 2010
    Sidney, Montana
    Thanks Chook, that is a good idea! I guess I will keep the screw gun handy! I have one SLW roo who, bless his heart, has crooked toes and a stumpy tail so far, I am not sure how well he can roost, I can sit him on the roost and he seems ok, but he sure prefers the boxes over that.
     
  6. Year of the Rooster

    Year of the Rooster Sebright Savvy

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    West Central Ohio
    Another thing that may help with the roosting problem is to make sure the roosting poles are higher than the nest boxes. That's one thing I don't like about my coop design. The nest boxes are level or slight higher than the roosts so the birds like to sleep in or on the edges of them. Then they get filled with poo and it's a pain to clean [​IMG]
     
  7. Year of the Rooster

    Year of the Rooster Sebright Savvy

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    Jun 27, 2008
    West Central Ohio
    woops double post [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2010
  8. vegjet

    vegjet Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 6, 2010
    Sidney, Montana
    I really should take some pics and post them of the coop. The top two roosts are taller then the top of the boxes, the other two tier down to about 18" from the floor. My husband and I built the coop inside our barn with a tunnel going out and through the barn wall to the run. They are so funny, I open the door they run out and around and back in the barn looking for scratch [​IMG] He put a big window in and two little electric fans that I can turn on for ventilation. Still gets hot in there though. Anyway, thanks so much for the advice! I guess I will have to post a pic of my first egg! I am really getting excited now.. [​IMG]
     
  9. mickistoy

    mickistoy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 21, 2010
    northern ohio
    "Bumpin uglies" [​IMG] [​IMG]
    havent heard that in years! thanks....needed the laugh! [​IMG]
     
  10. oldchickenlady

    oldchickenlady Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 9, 2010
    Cabot, AR
    Are your roosts flat and wide (like 2x4 turned wide side up) or round, or 2x4 turned narrow side up? Chickens don't grip with their feet like birds do. They might roost better if the roost is wider. Just a thought.
     

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