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New hens and no coup?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by KingOfFools, Jan 20, 2015.

  1. KingOfFools

    KingOfFools Chillin' With My Peeps

    Don't know if this needs it's own thread but I can't seem to find the answer on this...

    I have four established hens and four new hens, plus a young silkie rooster. The four old gals have a big coop to themselves because the new ones won't go in. Not sure what to do here. I really don't want to have to put in another coop. I did see one try to go in yesterday but the "queen bee," as I call her, taught her a nasty lesson about trespassing. Being where I'm at it isn't cold anymore, but I would like those girls to lay eggs inside and join the flock socially. That ever going to happen?
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2015
  2. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    How long have you had the new ones? Chickens can be pretty territorial, and there's also the pecking order to be established. Generally, they will eventually accept the new ones and allow them in the coop. Have you tried putting the new ones in on the roost after dark? Sometimes that will help. Unfortunately, there are no cut and dried answers when dealing with living animals. One thing to consider is coop size. How big is it? I'm only asking because "big" is a relative term. What I may call "big", someone else may see as tiny. When describing coop size, it's always good to do so in terms of how long, wide and high it is.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. KingOfFools

    KingOfFools Chillin' With My Peeps

    Three of the hens are new-new, as in two days. I know they will need time to adjust, but the two silkies have been here for 3 or 4 months and still will not go in at night. I have put the silkies in and they stay then, but if I don't then they are in a corner up against the house huddled. I just don't want the new girls to think they have to follow suit. One of the silkies just came of age and is crowing, so I wonder if he might think it is his job soon to go in there on his own. I've never had a roo either, though, so I have no clue here.
     
  4. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    On the MN prairie.
    What is the entrance to your coop like? How far off the ground is it? I don't really know much about silkies, but have heard they don't roost. I don't know if it's because they can't get up that high? Hopefully someone with silkies will chime in. How big is your coop? Is it elevated so they have room to be underneath? Can you show post a picture of it?
     
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  5. KingOfFools

    KingOfFools Chillin' With My Peeps

    In no particular order (apparently) here they are:

    The coup from afar. You can see 7 in this picture and how I have it off the ground. In this part of Cali, it doesn't rain much, but when it does it flood, and I almost lost some of these girls for lack of drainage and because we didn't know about flash flood yet (we are a military family so we came from Norfolk, VA).
    [​IMG]

    Here is out Silkie Rooster. He is a tiny dude and very light. He is on the starboard nesting box. This is where they try to sleep at night (the silkies and the new hens).
    [​IMG]

    There they are from afar. There is lots of room around and the silkies have made an effort to climb up to that nesting box.
    [​IMG]

    And here is an angle so you can see there is some room in this thing. The four hens that have been here more than a year sleep in the nesting box the others are on top of all piled together, and on the other side they only use the back port side to lay eggs. The front port side is not used by their choice.
    [​IMG]

    The coop is only on level but has a deep layer of bedding and I keep it clean for them. There are two roosting bars, I guess you'd call them that go across along the floor. You can get underneath the coup, but I don't know why they would want to. They are all really happy except for the three newbies, but they are getting there already and we just got them this last weekend.

    Thank you for taking a look.
     
  6. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    Could be that your coop isn't big enough for everyone to comfortably roost. I'm not sure what the 'rules' are for roost space. I think it's 1 or 2 feet per bird. I don't really pay much attention to that, I watch my birds instead. When there is plenty of space, they are all happy. When they're crowded, there are behavior problems. Eventually they'll all get along and the original girls should let the newcomers into the coop.
     
  7. KingOfFools

    KingOfFools Chillin' With My Peeps

    I actually went out of my way to make sure the originals could roost. I even built them a "thing" out of scrap wood and also hung up an old rake stick and they don't care for it I suppose. They all seem real happy, but they are crammed into the nest box when they sleep and they've been fully grown for ever.

    I wonder if, now that I have one, the rooster will help enforce all the females going in at night. I heard that they sometimes do that on a podcast today.

    I just hope they get over this stuff soon. I don't think there's much dangerous out here, but they do look ridiculous. As of right now, the roo isn't making a good impression though.
     
  8. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    On the MN prairie.
    How old is your rooster? He needs to establish his dominance before he can be the flockkmaster. If he's young, that will take some time.
     
  9. KingOfFools

    KingOfFools Chillin' With My Peeps

    He's very young, maybe four or five months. He just crowed yesterday for the first time.
     
  10. pdirt

    pdirt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We have about 5 Silkies and all of them roost. We have several tiered roosts, so even the silkies can make it to the highest roost.

    From the looks of your pic of your coop, your coop is likely too small for 9 chickens. It also doesn't look like it has much ventilation?

    Something we have had to do with birds who didn't want to roost in the coop, or had previously roosted in a different nearby coop, was to manually place them on the roosts. Over and over and over again. Sometimes it took 2-3 weeks before all of them would finally go in on there own. I'm sure part of it was pecking order stuff.
     

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