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Help for the Backwards Chicken

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by MrsBrightSide, Oct 21, 2015.

  1. MrsBrightSide

    MrsBrightSide Out Of The Brooder

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    Cheers! So I might seriously need someone to talk me off the ledge here and tell this newbie that chickens are in fact worth owning. I have 5 Wyandotts, almost 6 months, no eggs and a whole slew of non-functioning coop problems. One of my main ones right now is my chickens pooping on the opposite side of my poop board. At one time they were using it... then once we finished their run and have the small door open for 24hr access, they started turning their little selves around on the roost (facing the small door to the left) and pooping all over the bedding. What gives?!?! Additionally, they refuse to use their waterer... it is a nipple waterer following the plans here on BYC.... can chickens not be smart enough to figure out a nipple waterer? Winter is almost here in CO and I need a new watering idea to avoid freezing anyway... preferably one my chickens will actually use haha. Thanks for any tips and tricks! [​IMG]
     
  2. Folly's place

    Folly's place Overrun With Chickens

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    Welcome! Breeds and family lines of chickens vary widely in when they start to lay eggs, so try to be patient. I really like the Wyandottes, they are very nice birds. I use the metal heater base for the galvanized waterers in winter, and have a plastic heater waterer as backup. It's a pain to fill, so can't say that I like it. A heater dog bowl works fine, and you won't have chicks or cocks with big wattles to worry about. With no electricity, the rubber pans, emptied and refilled two or three times per day, will work. I've never bothered with a poop board, just deep bedding. Daily cleanout is way too much work for me! If you scatter a little scratch on the bedding, they will keep it worked up pretty well. Mary
     
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Easy, easy now, step back from the ledge....
    First year has steep learning curve...then it get much easier.

    Need more pics...I see some roosts, but no poop board nor a 'small door to left'.

    Poop boards need to be about 2 feet wide with the roost in the center,
    because, yeah, they don't always face the way you want them too.

    Do you have another waterer?
    How do you know they are not using the nipples?
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2015
  4. mechanic57

    mechanic57 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have wyandottes that hatched in May that are not laying yet. I read somewhere it takes them a long time to start laying eggs(6-8 months typically with good diet and normal health) where as some other breeds like the Red Sex linked and White Leghorns start around 20-24 weeks old.

    For the waterer, did you take them to it and push their beak into the stem to make it drip water? Is this their only source of water? They will remember there's water there and other birds will see them drink from it and follow suit. They teach each other. Just make it a height they can reach without squatting too low.

    I don't use poop boards, I use the deep litter this time of year since it's cooler outside at night.

    Much of this is trial and error so be patient and have fun learning from your mistakes and learning from your chickens.
     
  5. MrsBrightSide

    MrsBrightSide Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for the responses! These ladies seem to be teaching me quite a bit more than I was ready for lol I appreciate all feedback as I am sure most of the issues stem from me. I am including some new pictures to help with the visual... though thinking the poop board problem is because it ends at the edge of the roost and doesn't extend further out like "aart" suggested. I do a deep litter method so maybe I wont sweat the poop board right now.

    As for the waterer... I appreciate the mention of its height. Perhaps you can tell me from the picture if it might be too low? The pictures below basically explain why I think they don't use it. As soon as I let them out to roam they dash to the empty red feeder and squawk at me until I fill it... or if I leave it empty they find ANY water source in my yard (stagnant or like in the pic, my running hose) and drink from it. I have seen them at the nipple waterer taking a little drink before but if they used it regularly I feel like they wouldn't react that way to water when they are outside... does that sound normal?

    On the egg front... one of my girls has been visiting the nesting box for the past couple days and her comb is really red... so I am hoping that maybe there will be an egg soon... though I don't know enough to say if that is a "days away" or "years away" kind of action for laying haha

    Thanks again!
    [​IMG]
    (hole to go outside on left, roost with poop board above that... I guess you can't see it too well... sigh)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    Looking at the pics again, I think your roost is too close to the wall, should be at least 12" ......and looks to be maybe 6"?
    They may not be comfortable there even facing the wall.

    Vertical nipple buckets should be just over their head when they are standing in a normal stance...I'm betting yours are a bit too low
     
  7. MrsBrightSide

    MrsBrightSide Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks! I will measure today and adjust accordingly. Raised the water bucket last night so we will see if there is any improvement there. Appreciate it :)
     

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