Flock hiding in hay bale...

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by kitkatnoah, Oct 13, 2010.

  1. kitkatnoah

    kitkatnoah Chirping

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    99
    Sep 26, 2010
    Houston, Texas
    I'm stumped here....last night I went out to the coop to lock up the door & didn't see my flock of 2 month pullets in the coop & they weren't in the run either. I don't free range them yet, so the door to the run is always locked. During the day, I open up the coop door to allow more ventilation, it opens up into the run. After grabbing a flashlight, I shined all around the coop & made clucking noises & sure enough, all of the pullets were hiding & huddled between the hay bale & wall. It wasn't cold last night, about 65 degrees, with a very faint breeze. I checked the coop for any signs of what had them hiding & couldn't find anything that would suggest why they were. I checked the run & everything was tight & untampered with. I closed & locked the coop door and went back inside my house. This morning when I went to feed them, they were all out in their run & seemed fine, clucking for their morning feed. I have noticed that they are not using their roosting ladder in the coop & during the day they love to roost on the ladder in their run. I keep the hay bale inside the coop & spread it on the floor when I sweep out the coop. The coop is 6x6x6 and the run, which is attached to the coop is also the same dimensions, there are 5 pullets. So, my question is should I move the hay bale out of the coop or just leave it & let them figure out to use the roosting ladder on their own? I checked the area where they were hiding & they seem to have been sleeping there for several days, due to the poo buildup.

    Thank you!
     
  2. Dixiedoodle

    Dixiedoodle Songster

    Apr 14, 2007
    My flock of 4.5 month olds , JUST started going into the coop w/out help at 13 weeks old. Only 3 of 9 will use the roost--unless, I place them on there.. They huddle in the corner of the coop. You might want to wait until dark and place them each on the ladder.. 2 month is still very young, so maybe just a little help and time and they will get the idea..

    A few things to think about: how wide are the rungs on the ladder. They might like it better if it was a 2x4 w/ the 4" side for them to sit on..
    I wouldn't keep the bale in the coop.. It's a great place for a snake or rat to hide under or a larger predator to hide behind.
    Is there a window open that is even w/ the ladder? If so maybe there was a draft over it..
     
  3. kitkatnoah

    kitkatnoah Chirping

    140
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    99
    Sep 26, 2010
    Houston, Texas
    Thank you! I'll move the hay bale, never thought about predators hiding behind it & I'll try putting them on the small roosting ladder at night when I close their coop door. [​IMG]
     

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