G'day from Tasmania, Australia

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by peabody, Oct 6, 2011.

  1. peabody

    peabody Hatching

    Oct 6, 2011
    G'day, from a new chicken owner of about 3 weeks now. I live with my husband and 4 dogs on an acre property in a rural area of Tasmania, Australia. We have 8 chickens (2 x gold laced wyandottes, 1 x welsummer/wyandotte mix, 1 x silver pencilled wyandotte, 1 x columbian buff wyandotte and 3 lang shans); we have 1 rooster (lang shan) - all beautiful birds and, we are finding, with some interesting personalities (we have two porcelain dummy eggs we place in two separate nest boxes, yet each time we collect our eggs both porcelain eggs are together! At first my husband thought I was tricking him, 'til we realised it had to be one of the chickens doing the moving!

    CHICKENS NOT GOING INTO COOP AT NIGHT: It has been interesting to check out the information provided on the BYC forum - our chickens have a good sized outdoor run, with the chook house having its own smaller enclosed wire mesh area. Currently we are finding that at night the chickens are moving from the outdoor run into the meshed chook house area, however they are not going up the ramp and into the house and onto the roosts.

    For about a week now, after nightfall, we pick up each bird and put it through the 'front door', though even once inside they choose not to go onto the perches, instead sitting on the sawdust floor. Thinking the perches were too narrow from what they have been used to (they are about 9 months old and have been roosting on a 4 x 2 size plank) we installed wider perches; they have still stayed on the floor even though we have tried a number of nights to place them directly onto the roosts.

    Last night before nightfall we placed a light within the coop after deciding that the interior of the house at dusk has been frighteningly dark for them, thus stopping them from going in. Although we had to still manually pick them up and put them through the doorway once it got dark, when my husband went to the coop later to switch off the light he found all but one sitting pretty on the perches . From reading the forum notes tonight it looks like we are on the right track with having a light inside the house. They don't seem to mind being manhandled each evening, and certainly through the day in the run they appear to be the happiest of birds; they are all laying really well (the nest boxes are inside the chook house so we know that it is not the house itself that they don't like); admittedly the interior through the small doorway does look ominously dark at dusk and someone on your forum did mention that chooks don't like the dark and will not enter a pitch black roosting area.

    We will persevere and see how we go. We get spotted quolls here, a nocturnal australian native-cat type animal that loves chickens and if given half a chance to get into a chicken house could easily destroy the whole flock; so we want to make sure our birds are beyond its reach and safely locked away inside the chicken house each night. We have not only tiled the chicken mesh area flooring, but have also installed wire mesh under the tiles in order to prevent it entering the house.

    We only got our rooster today, a gorgeous shining black lang shan with bright red upright comb; he received a lovely welcome from the girls who all knew him as we got all our chickens from the same breeder. It has been a delight to watch them all together in the main run today and to hear him crowing!

    Look forward to referring to BYC in future for information and guidance on keeping happy and contented chickens!

    Cheers [​IMG]

  2. SilkieBantams

    SilkieBantams Songster

    Sep 23, 2011
    Houston, TX
    [​IMG] Texas
  3. Theeggboxtoo

    Theeggboxtoo Songster

    Oct 5, 2010
  4. theoldchick

    theoldchick The Chicken Whisperer Premium Member 8 Years

    May 11, 2010
    [​IMG] Loved the story!

  5. froggie71

    froggie71 Songster

    Apr 18, 2009
    Shamong, NJ
    [​IMG] and [​IMG] from New Jersey! It's fun to watch the chickens developing personalities and to see how chicken dynamics work. [​IMG]
  6. Kelsey2017

    Kelsey2017 Songster

    Jan 30, 2011
    Two Harbors, MN
    HI from Minnesota! A friend of mine from high school lives over there, I think in the town of Meander. It was a beautiful place from what I could see in the photos he shared, rainforest type lushness, waterfalls, Oh just paradise! I am having the same issue with my birds not roosting where they are supposed to as well. Mine were raised in the coop but only come inside to eat and lay eggs (thank heavens for that at least). Every evening they are up on the fence or on top of the arbors. I have a window I can open and then pluck each hen from her chosen spot and line them up on the roosts and shut the window. I have been doing it everynight for a week with no change in where they start out. I will have to try the light. I just bought a few things to run electrical for the coop, so I can safely plug in brooder lamps and an aquarium heater for the water set-up. I came across an outdoor grade outlet timer thing that has a photoelectric eye which comes on at dusk and either stays on 'til morning or goes off 2, 4, 6, 8 hours later. It is nice to have the light come on and go off whether I am here or not. I don't suppose you NEED to provide extra light or heat in the winter, but we do! I figure the girls will get it once it is colder out but they are tough I don't know. They stay out in the nastiest conditions. Welcome to BYC! [​IMG]
  7. redsoxs

    redsoxs Crowing

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    Hello from the States, peabody and [​IMG]. Great to have you aboard. [​IMG] Chickens are sometime slow to use the coop but once they get used to it, it's "home." Best of luck to you and thanks for joining!!

  8. greymane

    greymane Songster

    Jun 2, 2011
    Snyder County, PA
    [​IMG] from the Finger Lakes of New York! We are having a similar problem with our new Silkies. Hang in there. They will "get it".

  9. silkymom1986

    silkymom1986 The Silkie Villa

    Sep 28, 2011
    Byhalia, MS
    [​IMG] and [​IMG] from North MS! Sounds like you are on the right track to getting your goal accomplished. I have silkies as well, and mine are just now starting to roost, well 2 of the 4 are anyways, the other 2 still like it on the ground getting pooped on for some reason. We just put in our light yesterday so hoping this will help as the days are getting shorter here! Enjoyed your story, good luck in the future!

  10. Nmarine1057

    Nmarine1057 Songster 7 Years

    May 31, 2011
    Byhalia Ms
    [​IMG] from Mississippi sounds like you coop is good and secure! [​IMG] hope they start going inside at night soon good luck!

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