Do my chickens need me?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Round Mountain Farm, May 19, 2010.

  1. Round Mountain Farm

    Round Mountain Farm In the Brooder

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    May 9, 2010
    Cherryfield Maine
    I have three chickens that are now about 17 weeks old.

    I got them at about 12 weeks old.

    They are in a small coop about 4x8 but only 3' tall. The coop is off the ground and they have a 15X15 size run with lotsa grass.

    Today they stayed out side the coop all day in the rain. At bedtime they came up to me and just looked at me like they wanted something.
    I put the food in the coop to keep it dry(usually its in the run).

    They would not go in the coop untill I made a trail of food up the ramp and into the coop...this still took a half an hour.

    I hope they are ok.
     

  2. BankerJohn

    BankerJohn Songster

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    Apr 2, 2010
    Lecanto, Florida
    you have a VERY smart group of chickens. They are so smart, they are training you on how they want to be fed [​IMG]
     
  3. acid_chipmunk

    acid_chipmunk Polish Silkies d'Uccles O my!

    Mar 29, 2010
    Try putting a light in the coop for them to see when it gets dark. That may have been the problem.
     
  4. Round Mountain Farm

    Round Mountain Farm In the Brooder

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    May 9, 2010
    Cherryfield Maine
    Thanks for the input!

    Since my coop is so small I think I need to build big bigger one.

    They seem happy this am!!
     
  5. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Well, a 4 x 8 coop is certainly not too small for three chickens, so that's not it. Is their coop elevated enough to place their feeder/water under it for rainy weather???? Maybe they just wanted attention??? I know mine love to hang out with me when I'm walking out and about the yard. I think they see me as the rooster or boss or whatever, because they hang close even when they know I have no treats with me. Keep a fold-up chair handy, and just sit in the run with them for a little while daily; they'll probably begin to jump up on your lap soon enough... [​IMG]
     
  6. hipeatall

    hipeatall Songster

    Mar 2, 2009
    I closed all of the shutters on the wire windows of my coop when the weather started getting chilly... but after doing that I had a couple of hens that were not getting in at night - I have an automatic door... thankfully I check on them when I make any coop changes [​IMG]. I had alot going on, so it took me a bit to figure out that they didn't want to go in because it was so dark... once I cracked open a couple of the windows they all made it in just fine. I think a night light in the coop is a great idea... I've been looking at the solar powered shed lights.
    Oh and in answer to your original question... Yes, I think they do need you [​IMG] - gotta love those chickies!
     
  7. Round Mountain Farm

    Round Mountain Farm In the Brooder

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    May 9, 2010
    Cherryfield Maine
    The coop is only about three feet tall inside. Is that tall enough? Do they need to be able to get up high in the coop?
    I did build a 12X16" box inside the coop for them to lay eggs. Do I need more than one box and is that box big enough?

    Will they figure out where to lay the eggs?

    How often do I need to change the straw in the coop?....its about 10 days old now.
     

  8. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Quote:Chickens do like to be up high, but in a three foot coop, you can still place a roost at 18 inches with plenty of head space. Try placing a wooden egg or golf ball inside the nest box (you did put bedding in the nest box, right??? lol); this helps chickens know that X marks the spot. Your chickens probably won't lay for another month or so, as many breeds are 21-25 weeks old before they lay (some younger, but many older than that). Your box size is fine, and you should only need one for three hens.

    I use pine wood shavings for bedding and a dropping board, so I get almost no poop in my bedding, and only change is out twice a year. I would go by smell and looks. If you can smell stinkiness, I'd replace. I'm not crazy about straw because it's hard to spot clean (it kind of clumps up).

    ETA: Oh...you might consider sprinkling some DE (check your feed store) around in their bedding, even in the nest box. It helps prevent mites.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2010

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