Greetings! and already a hen behaviour question....

Bokbok85

Hatching
7 Years
May 23, 2012
1
0
7
Hellos Everybody!

I have already enjoyed this site quite a bit and it has helped me tremendously getting started. I finally fullfilled a long dream of having chickens - so last Friday I got 6 Red Sex hens and as of now they seem to be quite content and actually even friendly. My dog is protecting them fiercly - unfortunately not their lives but more as if he has to protect his next meal. So there is some work to do....

I am wondering about one thing - since I did not know anything about chickens I found the CConly.com site the best in terms of coop designs as well as price, I decided to buy the CC55, which claims to be able to house 6-10 hens depending on the size of the hens. Overall the design seems to be great in terms of the pull out trays for easy cleaning etc.... but at night my 6 girls seem to ALL crawl into the few nesting boxes and sleep there and barely use the roosting bar?!. I thought they usually sleep on the roosting bar?!! the first time I checked on them after dark the coop appeared empty and I got scared until I found them all in the boxes.
I have a total of 4 nesting boxes and the previous night 5 of them squeezed in there and one was out and lonley on the roosting bar. Last night I checked before going to bed and all 6 of them had squeezed themselves into four nesting boxes - most of them in the upper ones - I don`t know how they fit, but I guess they do - is this normal? I thought the coop was quite small, but maybe I could have gotten more hens, so they don`t feel so exposed on the roosting bar? The roosting bar is located only maybe 2 inches off the ground - is that too low for them?
if anybody has some time to look at it and give me some advise - here is a link to the website - I bought the CC55:
http://cconly.com/coop__hutches/chicken_coop

also am wondering if I could get two more hens - it looked so small to me, but the way they seem to like to cuddle I am wondering if I could have gotten 8 in total - any advise? the coop size is 77inches long x 32 inches wide and maybe 3 feet high at the inside center.

many thanks in advance to all the kind souls that are so generously sharing their experience.
 

chicmom

Dances with Chickens
10 Years
Feb 24, 2009
8,696
277
316
Strasburg Ohio
Hello!

First, how old are your hens? Have they layed any eggs yet? If not, I would block off the nesting boxes at night. You don't want them sleeping in the nest boxes, because then they poop in them. And once the egg laying starts, you don't want poop on your eggs.

The roost does seem a bit low. Is there any way you could raise it? I looked at your coop, and I would not buy more hens. The reason is, they will be overcrowded, and then that's a bad thing, because crowded hens are unhappy, mean hens, and they may peck eachother, become grouchy, and even develope bad habits like feather pulling.

The reason they are snuggling together right now, is that they're in a new place, and they feel insecure. They may relocate themselves to the roosting bar, but personally, I'd find a way to block the nest boxes at night so they couldn't get in there, thus forcing them to use the roost.

Good luck with your chickens and I'm so glad you're enjoying them! You picked a great breed for egglaying!

Take care, and I hope I've helped,
Sharon
 

1muttsfan

Up Northerner
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Mar 26, 2011
21,315
8,019
697
Upper Peninsula Michigan
Hi and welcome to BYC from northern Michigan


Chickmom gave some good advice. Young birds often feel more comfortable in nest boxes, but you really don't want them to get used to sleeping in them. Block them off until the birds are old enough to need them for laying.
 

4-H chicken mom

Crowing
13 Years
Aug 3, 2007
17,488
152
371
Oberlin, OH
Hi and :welcome from Ohio. So glad you joined. I would not add any more, that just creates another potential problem of pecking. It is better to have more room than not enough. You might not need 4 nest boxes. I have eleven hens and 5 boxes. They only use two of them. :he
 

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