Now that they're outside....

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by cjstanman, Sep 13, 2008.

  1. cjstanman

    cjstanman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 3, 2008
    Just north of Raleigh
    Just moved my month-olds outside to the chicken tractor that's half run / half "house." Here's a noob question - in the brooder, they just slept on the pine shavings on the bottom. There are two nest boxes in the coop house - should I put shavings down in the nest boxes, or will that teach them bad habits, like "don't sleep in there, that's just for laying eggs"? There is also a roost/perch in the coop house but I don't know if they are smart enough to go sleep up there.

    What's a chickie mother to do? [​IMG]
     
  2. RioLindoAz

    RioLindoAz Sleeping

    Jul 8, 2007
    Yuma, Arizona
    Are the Nesting boxes off the ground? It will be fine if you put shavings in the nest box.

    To get them to sleep on the roost, I just put them on it at night for about a week until they get the hang of it. [​IMG]
     
  3. cjstanman

    cjstanman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 3, 2008
    Just north of Raleigh
    Here's a pic of the coop, looking in at the "house" end. The nesting boxes are right on the floor of this part. So it's off the grass, but it's sitting right on the wooden floor of the house. You can see the roost going across - that is actually in front of the nesting boxes, so if they ever DO make it up there, they won't poop into the nesting boxes. (Derrr, I don't know how to explain this! ha ha ha!)

    P.S. They still think I'm Freddy Kruger coming to kill them, so even if I physically put them up on the roost, I'm sure they will squawk and screech, and jump right off, ha ha!

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    Last edited: Sep 13, 2008
  4. ichoosehope

    ichoosehope Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 5, 2008
    Southeast MI suburb
    That's an interesting coop! What are you going to do for the open sides? Chicken wire? Plexiglass?
     
  5. miss_jayne

    miss_jayne Lady_Jayne

    Jun 26, 2008
    Columbiaville, MI
    giving them nesting boxes too early just encourages using them for the wrong reasons. until a few weeks before the 20 week mark, they aren't even necessary.

    cool coop!
     
  6. cjstanman

    cjstanman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    119
    Jun 3, 2008
    Just north of Raleigh
    Thanks!! The open sides have 1/2" hardware cloth, might not be able to see it well from the pic. I also found a 6" PVC pipe that was cut lengthwise - I put that over the peak of the roof. That should keep rain out, but let the fumes out and fresh air in.

    So the open part is open to the ground - they can scratch in the dirt and eat grass, while being protected by the hardware cloth. The entire bottom frame of the coop sits directly on the ground - no gaps.

    The house part is all painted plywood with a small door cut out. From what I've read, I may not need to herd them into the house part and close the (non-existent) door - these guys should keep warm with that. And for now, I still have their 85 watt red floodlight in there - it's supposed to get down to 70 tonight, so they should be fine.
     
  7. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    1 month olds? They will sleep in the nest boxes. Best to do as miss jayne says, no nest boxes yet. You might also try a lower, temporary roost for ones this little. Another thing that might help...I've noticed my young ones don't like to roost near an open door or window, but towards the back of the coop with the solid sides. Must feel safer to them!
     
  8. cjstanman

    cjstanman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    119
    Jun 3, 2008
    Just north of Raleigh
    Nest boxes are outta there and they are all just chillin' in the house, snuggled down on the floor. No major peeping - maybe there's hope for them yet and they've figured it out, ha ha! Tomorrow I'll see about making a training roost that's lower.

    Thanks to all for the advice!
     
  9. Bugcrusher

    Bugcrusher Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 23, 2008
    Lakeland, FL
    I just moved mine into the coop and run last week. No nest boxes and they are doing fine...in the run during the day and in the coop at night.

    [​IMG]

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