New hens not sleeping in the coop

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by strong440, Sep 11, 2011.

  1. strong440

    strong440 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 26, 2009
    Bristol, UK
    Last week I introduced 2 POLs to our existing flock of 2. There is quite a bit of bullying going on, but no blood drawn thankfully. I introduced them into the coop at night, but every evening since the newbies have slept outside - even when its raining! I go out every evening once its dark and pop them into the coop. I'm worried that when they start to lay - one of them doesn't look far away by the size of her comb - that they won't know where to go. Any ideas???
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I'm not sure of your set-up. With that few hens your coop may be pretty small. If you can, I'd make sure I had two nests. In normal circumstances, you would only need one nest for four hens, but this situation is not quite normal. They will soon fully integrate with your two older hens when they finish maturing, but more mature chickens can be pretty bad bullies toward younger ones. They will probably eventually all use the same nest but a second one might come in handy for the transition. But if you cannot give them a second nest, don't obsess about it. They will work it out but there might be a transition period.

    Put a fake egg, such as a golf ball, ceramic egg, wooden egg, something like that, in each nest to show them where to lay.

    When I raise new pullets with the flock, some often use different nests than the older hens when they first start to lay. Some start off using the same nests as the older hens. I find very little consistent with chickens. Most may normally do one thing, but I always have some that will do something different.
     
  3. wayne1614

    wayne1614 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 24, 2011
    I had 8 hens and TRIED to bring in 2 newbies. Not a good plan, they hid in a corner nest box when the older girls were outside and the newbies would jump down to eat or drink the old ones would come pickin on them. That lasted for a week then I just sold them. Good luck
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    People integrate new chickens all the time. Sometimes it goes so smoothly you wonder what all the worry was about. Sometimes it ends in disaster. Usually it is somewhere in between, but ultimately successful.
     
  5. strong440

    strong440 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 26, 2009
    Bristol, UK
    I did think about putting a fake egg in there but was a bit worried it might encourage somebody to go broody, which I dont want (been there before!).

    The coop is plenty big enough for 4 chickens, I've had 4 before and they've been comfortable enough. There are 2 perches, long enough for 4 chickens on each, and 2 nest boxes.

    I guess I just need to keep up with the bed-time routine until they get the hang of it and put themselves to bed properly.
     
  6. shanal

    shanal New Egg

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    Aug 28, 2011
    It took almost 2 weeks before my new hens would go up the ramp to the coop w/the rest of the flock. I would go out each night @ dusk and walk them up the ramp, then lift them over the 2 roos that like to sit in the door way- to guard it, I guess. We have a larger than needed coop, so it wasn't a crowding issue, they just didn't know where to go. When I originally put my young flock out, I had to guide them up every night for about a week before they started going in by themselves. With the new girls, it was a gradual process- a couple of times, I found them sleeping on the ramp.[​IMG] Now, everyone goes in like clockwork.
     
  7. Malita

    Malita Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 23, 2011
    McKinney, TX
    I had 4 banties and introduced 4 adult big girls (1 BR,1 PR, 2 RIR). 3 of the big girls sleep on the perch outside and one inside. One night one of the banties slept outside. They all go in to use the nesting boxes except for one banty that prefers to lay in the garage. I'm hoping they all go inside once it cools off. It's been so hot this summer in north Texas I don't blame them for sleeping outside and hoping for a breeze.
     
  8. strong440

    strong440 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 26, 2009
    Bristol, UK
    Good new! The 2 newbies have gone into the coop themselves [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG] Theyre all getting on better now, and their tarp blew away in the wind last night so with the weather getting colder all of a sudden they've obviously decided it'll be warmer indoors! Just need some eggs now [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
  9. Florida_country_boy

    Florida_country_boy Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 17, 2011
    Tampa, Fl
    I had the same problem as well, except I introduced 2 adult girls. The new adults decided they wanted to roost on my deck at night, and now my young girls are doing it too. I have to go out each night and carry them to the coop, and this has been happening for a month.
     
  10. LovinChicknFarmn

    LovinChicknFarmn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 17, 2011
    North Carolina
    When we got two new hens this spring, I had to go out after dark multiple times and put one of them in the coop. Eventually, she would go in on her own. Now we have three bantams that we're trying to "train" for bedtime. It takes some time for them to learn. If you go out and put them in every night, one night soon you'll go out and they'll be in on their own. I've not had a hen who learned after one try. Some are more stubborn than others! Good luck.
     

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