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In or out - conundrum...

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by cointoss, Jan 9, 2009.

  1. cointoss

    cointoss Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 1, 2008
    Gaylordsville, CT
    Now that we have no rooster (ate him last month due to excessive aggression) our two free-range girls seem more vulnerable to predators. They don't always stick together, and once every week or so they stay out at night instead of coming back to the coop. And now its winter, so no leaf coverage for them from above, and the hunters are hungrier... So DH & I talked about keeping them cooped up all the time (we usually only lock them in at night) but they HATE being confined for more than a day or so. They have more than enough room, but after couple days they stop laying eggs and this last time one started pecking at the other. So I'm going to see if they'll let me let them out for just an hour or two a day. The only potential problem is one minute they are there on my property, the next, who knows where they ran to (woods, neighbors who won't stop feeding them). They'll come back if I call them but only if they can see me. Ack. Never mind, I'm just venting. I'm giving them more protein to nip the pecking in the bud, just in case that is the problem, so we shall see. The one that is doing the pecking lost all her tail feathers a few days ago when something scared her, so maybe she's just jealous of the other one's tail, ha ha.
     
  2. BeckyLa

    BeckyLa Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2007
    N. Louisiana
    Do they have a run outside the coop? A large fenced in area where they can get out of the coop and into the sunshine? If not, consider building one. This will allow them to get outside and act like chickens but keep them where you can control them. And I'd put netting over the top to keep them from jumping/flying out and roosting in the trees.
     
  3. cointoss

    cointoss Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 1, 2008
    Gaylordsville, CT
    Yes, they have a run, they can go in and out as much as they like, and its all fenced in, above, below, sides and all [​IMG] They just are so used to their freedom, since they were just little babies, they get really cranky when they have to stay in.
     
  4. cointoss

    cointoss Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 1, 2008
    Gaylordsville, CT
    Of course, sunshine is non-existent here. Boy do I miss the sun! We don't really see it until April on our side of the mountain.
     
  5. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    You must mean 'out of the run'?

    I'm one of those who believes that for safety and disease prevention it's better to have them in...and you do have the facilities. The rooster probably herded them out of some trouble and they are missing that influence.
     
  6. Sissy

    Sissy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 18, 2007
    Sevier county, Tn.
    Maybe a 40 watt blub would keep them happy.
    while they are locked up.
     
  7. cointoss

    cointoss Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 1, 2008
    Gaylordsville, CT
    An update -- We've been letting our girls outside to freerange, but they seem to have decided that they hate the snow completely, and are staying very close to their pen. Their coop & pen are right up against a raised shed, and they spend a lot of time under there poking around for bugs. Every once in a while they poke thier little heads out to get some fresh air, lol. Sometimes they would walk over on the cleared path to the house, but I am encouraging them now to stay over near their pen by placing a little birm of snow across the path about i foot high. I can walk over, but they don't want to. When the ground clears a bit we are going to extend the fencing on our property to keep them in our yard and out of our neighbors (I hope). Our yard is full of bushes and plantings, and when they are on my property they saty under cover and much safer, plus our dog keeps out predators. Our dog stays off our neighbors property and he has no plantings, so they wander around in the open over there... All in all, they are doing very well now, and one of them is laying every day still. The other one, I think she may have actually had a juvenile molt, not been attacked, because she hasn't laid an egg since then (two weeks now!), even though they have good nutrition and a light in the coop.

    Thanks for the ideas, and blessings to all your chickens [​IMG]
     

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