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my separation anxiety part 2

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by PDXChickGirl, Sep 30, 2007.

  1. PDXChickGirl

    PDXChickGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 12, 2007
    Portland, Oregon
    Ok, chicks made it through their first night outside in the coop ok. 3 stayed on the roost, 1 didn't and she seemed cold this morning, but then ok once she started running around.

    3 questions:

    They've been out in the run all day getting wet in the rain (and it's in the 50s!). They don't stay in the dry area at all. Should I be concerned? They are only 6 weeks old.

    Also, they don't let me hold them anymore. They run away from me! This all happened overnight. (they did get upset when I put them in the roost box for the first time after they played in the run all day). Do they not like me anymore? They used to hang out on my shoulders and arms and snuggle in my lap. Have they reverted to wild chickens all of a sudden?

    Finally, they have no interest in their roost box and I know it will be a fight when I put them back in this evening (oh - side question - do I need to dry them off first?). Do chickens have to go to the roost box or can they stay outside in the coop? It's pretty secure - it's the "playhouse" type featured on the home page here with an extra 8 ft. run attached (with a hardware cloth roof on the run).

    Thanks for indulging me. I'm so out of sorts now![​IMG]
     
  2. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    I would put them inside at night. You would be amazed at how predators can get at your babies. And you don't have to dry them off, they'll dry off just fine. If you think they're getting chilled in really cool temps, you can put them inside on a raw day, but my chickens like to stand in the rain sometimes, too. If I think they're drenched enough and it's cold, I'll just lock them inside the coop.
     
  3. rosyposyosy

    rosyposyosy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 11, 2007
    rain sucks. i'm still nervous about my 10 wk old chick in the rain. what do you mean by roost box?
     
  4. PDXChickGirl

    PDXChickGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 12, 2007
    Portland, Oregon
    Figures our rainy season would start a month early.:eek:

    I haven't figured out how to post pictures yet, but my coop is like this one: https://www.backyardchickens.com/coops/images/playhouse-coop-2.jpg with an 8 foot run attached at the end.
    The box at the end is only big enough for them to sleep in, so I heard it's called a roost box. It's 2'x4'.


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  5. PDXChickGirl

    PDXChickGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 12, 2007
    Portland, Oregon
    Thanks again for your help. I have a 25watt red light bulb that I may turn on for the first hour they are in the roost box to help them warm up a bit. Is it normal for them to be so frightened of their roost box? The way they behave, you would think I'm handing them to wolves! I'm going to wear gloves this time. They really scratched me up last night. [​IMG] poor things...


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  6. rosyposyosy

    rosyposyosy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 11, 2007
    no wonder they dont want to sleep in there. that is called a nesting box, where they lay eggs, which they wont be doing until they are 18-22 weeks old. a roost is a bar (like a perch) that they sleep on. i got that wrong when i first got chickens too.... [​IMG]
     
  7. PDXChickGirl

    PDXChickGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 12, 2007
    Portland, Oregon
    No the nesting box is separate and I don't have it in there yet. This is a tiny little room and it has a roost bar in there too. (sorry I neglected to mention that). They just aren't excited about it at all. It was a fiasco getting them in again tonight. I needed my husband to help me because as soon as I got one in, it would fly out the second I turned my back to get the next one! grrr!

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  8. HenHaven

    HenHaven Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 3, 2007
    Coarsegold, CA
    Since your chicks are only 6 weeks old, I would make sure they are closed up at night. This will accomplish 3 things: they will learn where to go at roost time, they will stay warm, and they will stay safe.[​IMG]
     
  9. PDXChickGirl

    PDXChickGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 12, 2007
    Portland, Oregon
    This morning, they happily marched down the ladder from the roost box. It looks like they slept in the litter all night and didn't go to the roost bar! Is that something they learn to do over time? The first night, I just put them on the roost bar and 3 of them were still there the next morning (the other one spent the night in the litter by herself.) They also didn't seem comfortable getting down, and after 5 minutes, I just took them down. They can definitely fly that high, they just don't seem to know what to do with that bar.

    On a very happy note, the girls like me again! They are back to hanging out on my lap and shoulders![​IMG]
     

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