Integrating 4 pullets to Single Hen

MrLeeHo

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May 28, 2020
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Just checked after sunset, all 5 are in the coop…bigs and 2 girls are on the roost. Now, the next issue. The other 2 littles are huddled in one of the nesting boxes. I only have 2 boxes, they are about 8 inches below the roost. There is plenty of space on the roost (the 3 on there are taking about 25% of the space).

Any thoughts on how to keep the girls out of the box without blocking it from Bigs? I havent had this issue before because inhavent integrated laying hens with pullets. Ive always blocked the boxes until close to pol and never had any birds sleep there.

Thanks again! I am so happy they are all already sleeping together after 2 nights!
 

NatJ

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Any thoughts on how to keep the girls out of the box without blocking it from Bigs? I havent had this issue before because inhavent integrated laying hens with pullets. Ive always blocked the boxes until close to pol and never had any birds sleep there.
One option, although it requires you to mess with it several times a day:

Each time you collect an egg laid by Bigs, block the nest for the rest of that day, then unblock it after dark. That would keep the littles from going to sleep in the nestbox at roosting time, but the box would be available to Bigs when she needs to lay the next day.
 

3KillerBs

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Any thoughts on how to keep the girls out of the box without blocking it

I'm having this problem with my Welp chicks. They are determined to sleep in the boxes and I have to keep throwing them out after dark and moving them to the juvenile roost.

I may have to add more roosts at the same height as the others since my juveniles don't want to use the low ones they're supposed to use.

(Some of them are jumping into the empty spaces on the main roost already but the rest try to pile into the nests).
 

Ridgerunner

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Just checked after sunset, all 5 are in the coop…bigs and 2 girls are on the roost.
:thumbsup

Any thoughts on how to keep the girls out of the box without blocking it from Bigs?
NatJ's suggestion is certainly one possibility. Just figure out how it can fit your schedule. One possible downside is you don't know when they have switched and will put themselves to bed on the roosts until you skip doing this once. But as well as things are going you're probably willing to invest a little work. I would not expect it to take that long.

The way I handle this is to go down after dark when I lock up and toss them out of the nest onto the coop floor. Let them know it is not a safe place to sleep. That usually works for me after a couple of nights. Most people are nicer than I am and set them on the roost when they take them out of the nest. I think it helps with this if the coop does get dark enough that they can't see to go back, With windows and security lights some coops don't get that dark.

On a side note, I made a couple of my nests so I could lock chickens in the nest if I want to. That's come in handy for a few different things. I used a guillotine type door but hinges work great too. If you decide to go with the blocking you might think about that.
 

3KillerBs

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The way I handle this is to go down after dark when I lock up and toss them out of the nest onto the coop floor. Let them know it is not a safe place to sleep.

That's what I've been doing with my babies -- I toss them (gently) over to the other side of the coop where the juvenille roosts are.

They haven't changed their behavior in over 2 weeks so we have to add a nest-blocking mechanism. *sigh*.

Or add more high-level roosts, perhaps.
 

MrLeeHo

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Girls are still inhabiting the nesting box, 3 of them squeezed in there this morning. They have scratched all the bedding out and i have to go out every morning to replace it. On top of that, i am pretty sure 3 of the 4 have not left the coop in 3 days. I am not sure if they are stubborn enough to kill themselves from thirst (the waterers are in the run). Should i move a waterer into the coop or leave it out and assume they are going to venture out to the run when they are thirsty. I have only witnessed 1 of the new girls in the run the last 2 days (unfortunately i can't tell them apart to know if it is the same one or not).

Bigs isn't bullying them, i have seen her walk into the coop and eat out of the feeder without paying them any mind. I am debating whether to leave them alone (i have read more than once on these forums that "chickens are much better at being chickens than we are") or kicking them out and locking the coop during the day to force them to get used to their new home.

Thanks again.
 

3KillerBs

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Girls are still inhabiting the nesting box, 3 of them squeezed in there this morning. They have scratched all the bedding out and i have to go out every morning to replace it. On top of that, i am pretty sure 3 of the 4 have not left the coop in 3 days. I am not sure if they are stubborn enough to kill themselves from thirst (the waterers are in the run). Should i move a waterer into the coop or leave it out and assume they are going to venture out to the run when they are thirsty. I have only witnessed 1 of the new girls in the run the last 2 days (unfortunately i can't tell them apart to know if it is the same one or not).

Bigs isn't bullying them, i have seen her walk into the coop and eat out of the feeder without paying them any mind. I am debating whether to leave them alone (i have read more than once on these forums that "chickens are much better at being chickens than we are") or kicking them out and locking the coop during the day to force them to get used to their new home.

Thanks again.

Can you add some cover in the run so that they don't feel so exposed out there?

After several days like that I'd be inclined to gently pick them up, carry them out to where the food and water are, and make sure they know where to eat.

They might be sneaking out when you're not looking, but it might not hurt to make sure.
 

MrLeeHo

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May 28, 2020
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Can you add some cover in the run so that they don't feel so exposed out there?

After several days like that I'd be inclined to gently pick them up, carry them out to where the food and water are, and make sure they know where to eat.

They might be sneaking out when you're not looking, but it might not hurt to make sure.
I have added several pallets, plywood box, and there is a brooder that provides cover. I hope you are right about them sneaking out when i am not looking. If i go out this afternoon to remove them and show them the water and other feeders, should i close the pop door to prevent them from going right back in and let them spend the rest of the day outside? I don't want to stress them more but would like to show them that their entire run is a safe space and their home.
 

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