We will be on vacation when my girls are around 17-18 weeks. I'm willing to bet they start laying for the chicken-sitter & I'm going to miss the big event! Although, I'm thinking it may be good for them to be in "lock-down" in the coop that week so they can maybe make use of the nest boxes and learn where the right place to make the deposit is DH helped me put up new roosting poles last weekend. There are five 6' 2x4's for the flock of 41. I took a look in the coop the other night to find 14 birds squished on one board & 10 on the next board. A couple were on the other 3 boards and the rest were hanging out on top of the next box tops. Is it that they don't like the sound of the vent fan towards the back of the coop?? ...or do I just need to give them more time to get used to the new layout of the coop??