One girl jumps, the other doesn't

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Ballerina Bird, Oct 8, 2014.

  1. Ballerina Bird

    Ballerina Bird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have two three-month-old pullets named Odette and Odile. Their roost is 21" off the coop floor (it is a raised coop). Odile is the alpha -- larger, more outgoing, and wants to do everything first -- but Odette is the only one who has mastered jumping off the roost. Odette is a little hesitant, but she can jump off by herself with no problem. Odile, however, really struggles and is scared, and when Odette jumps off before her, she looks so miserable that I feel sorry for her and carry her down. They both will delay for a long time, and if I don't intervene, I really don't know how long they would stay up here. Is the issue that Odile needs to go first and that's what's holding up the show? With such a short distance and a small coop, I really don't see how a ramp could fit in a helpful configuration (and I have no DIY skills anyway). Is there a way to help her learn to jump?
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    What breed? That's less than 2 feet. I sometimes have 8 week old chicks having no problem with that distance. They're all individuals though and do things in their own time. Is it possible that the coop is so small that there isn't enough horizontal distance to make them comfortable jumping down. They don't like to drop like a rock but rather flutter laterally.
    My advice is not to coddle them.
     
  3. Ballerina Bird

    Ballerina Bird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They are pita pintas. I think the coddling ship sailed with their aromatherapeutic coop herbs! [​IMG] I wondered about the flying vs. dropping issue, too, but when I see Odette do it, it seems quite easy for her -- there's no bumping or flapping or anything; she seems to have room to kind of flutter down. The coop is sold as having room for four to five hens, and I've got only two in there. I'm sure you're right that I should just wait them out and assume that they'll figure it out when they're hungry enough -- I just worry about their getting water in particular as it's still kind of hot where I live.
     
  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    I caution that coop manufacturers grossly exaggerate (lie) about how many birds can fit in their buildings.
    Use the rule of thumb of 4 sq. ft. per bird as a minimum space. If they told you it would hold 5 hens, I can guarantee the structure isn't 20 sq. ft. measured on the inside. That would be 5X4 or some other configuration.
    Deep bedding helps too. They need some cushion when they jump down.
     
  5. Ballerina Bird

    Ballerina Bird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It's actually 5' x 5', so 25 square feet total. Loads of pine shaving on the floor. It sounds like I just need to let Odile figure it out, as you suggested.
     
  6. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    So they were honest.
     
  7. Ballerina Bird

    Ballerina Bird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG] Reasonably! I realized after I wrote you that the upper part is more like 5' x 4' because there's a little planter taking up some of the footprint. Thanks very much for your helpful responses to me; much appreciated.
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Make them a ramp or add a box or crate or concrete block or something sturdy that's about a foot high for them to use as a step at first.
     
  9. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member

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    Could it be that Odile being larger is more clumsy at this age? Don't know if same situation, but my largest BO was always the last to leave the roost every am. She paced, clucked, looked down, acted fearful of the jump although roosts are not too high and soft large enough area to dismount. She was clumsy in many ways til she was a little older. We just gave her time and she did get progressively more sure of herself and got over it.

    Kinda like the child who grows taller faster is often clumsy til they mature.
     

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