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Crying and panic at sundown...

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Jaxdrisc, Jul 31, 2014.

  1. Jaxdrisc

    Jaxdrisc Chirping

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    I have looked at other threads about this subject, but would like to see if any other input can be offered. I have 2, 5 week old chicks that have spent the last 5 days in a grow out pen within the main run, in order to let the flocks get to know each other....I also have 4 thirteen week old pullets raised from day olds. The two 5 week olds were purchased when they were already 2 weeks old. Since I have gotten them, they cry at sundown, almost frantic in their behavior. It has happened in the brooder with a red lamp, white lamp, and now outside in their special area. The brooder box had a roost bar that they learned to hop onto, but slept in the corner instead. Their grow out pen, which includes a little run, also has a roost bar that they easily fly on and off of at will, so I know they can reach it. They still sleep in the corner. Anyway, their behavior is still crying and panicked outside as well. I scootch them into the little coop before I shut their pop door, and they too, have flown at the windows. It does stop after about 20 minutes or so and they are fine all other times. I have tried waiting until dark and placed them on the roost bar, but they won't stay there. So.....just wait it out, or any other suggestions?? I plan on releasing them to the main flock at about 8 weeks or so of age...they need more size on them so that will be what really determines when they can be with the big girls. I am assuming, the big girls will show them the way...no? Yes? Thanks for the help! I don't want the neighbors upset with the "noise"![​IMG]
     

  2. Gatsbysmum

    Gatsbysmum Chirping

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    Just seems like they've been having a lot to adjust to recently. I'd just wait it out.
     
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    So you have three age groups of chickens, one group of 2 is 5 weeks old, one group of 4 is 13 weeks old and a main flock?
    They are in separate coops/runs?
    5 week olds would rather cuddle on the floor than roost, nothing wrong with that.
    Integration is best done when the birds are of the same physical size.
     
  4. Jaxdrisc

    Jaxdrisc Chirping

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    Sorry if I was confusing! No, 2 groups; the thirteen week olds and the 5 week olds. I have a main run that is attached to the main coop and within that space, I built a "mini coop and run" for the 5 week olds in order to put them next to the big ones without the flocks actually mixing at this point. I went with the main opinion of doing such and I have to say, it has worked out well. The little ones LOVE being outside and seeing the older ones. And the tolerance of the older ones is improving. I know to let the little ones get much bigger...I don't want them overly harmed, and it is way too early at this point. Anyway, I also wanted to mention, that 4 nights before both groups were moved outside( the older ones also went out at about 5 weeks of age), I turned off the light at night to allow them to get used to night time before introducing a new environment( lots of feathers, warm temps). The older ones were fine. This little crew, as I said, has struggled with that time of night regardless of whether the light was on or off....same behavior. Reminds me of my oldest son, when he was a newborn and had colic, crying for 4 hours every night![​IMG]
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Oh ok........my chicks chattered a lot at night when they were huddling up to sleep, it was a relief to get them outside where I didn't have to listen to it.

    Maybe just being the 2 of them they feel less safe than if it were a group of more?
    They'll probably get over it.
     
  6. Jaxdrisc

    Jaxdrisc Chirping

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    Here is a photo of my set up....just snapped it. It might help!
    [​IMG]
    You can see the grow out to the right of the run, but inside. BTW, it's sized to handle an injured or sick hen, should the need arise. Multipurposed!
    [​IMG]
    The little ones with Hilda photo bombing!
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Nice little set up...having multiple enclosures really helps.
    Do they free range at all?
     

  8. Jaxdrisc

    Jaxdrisc Chirping

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    Oh yeah! You bet. But, I am with them when they do because I have a very narrow lot....66 feet wide. So, I let them out for an hour or so, several times a week and they happily munch, and interestingly enough, they mostly go back into the run when their crops are full. If I need them in sooner, they are trained to the sound of scratch/oatmeal in a container, shaking, and me calling them and they come running. Love that I took the time to teach them that. I only hope the little ones do the same when it is their turn to free range! Right now, the little ones go into a large dog crate while the others are loose so they have grass and bug time and stay protected, yet both are "free ranging" together. Thanks for the compliment, btw!
     
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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  10. Jaxdrisc

    Jaxdrisc Chirping

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    Gosh! I hope so! I'm bumbling my way about, a bit, but for the most part, all of the advice I find on here has been extremely helpful! Wish there was something like this for raising kids when I had mine! [​IMG] I've got to say, though, despite the challenges, I just LOVE having chickens! They are the neatest animals and so much smarter than the average Joe gives credit for! Quite the learning experience! Thanks for the support!
     

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