Please help - baby upset at bed time - doesn't know where to sleep

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Aussie new mum, Oct 27, 2008.

  1. Aussie new mum

    Aussie new mum Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 21, 2008
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    Lolly my 11 month old pekin bantam and Olivia the 10 week old pekin bantam seem to be getting on ok. Sometimes Lolly just gives her a look and she runs away but then other times like today I put down 2 bowls of apple sauce and yoghurt and Lolly let Olivia eat out of hers.
    Olivia keeps going to our bin in the garage around the corner from the coop at nigh to sleep on the handle so I go and get her and put her in the coop. She squarks for a while then goes to sit on the top of the ramp that leads to the closed in area which is their nesting area where the older one sleeps. I've been going down about an hour later and putting her in the nesting box (it's just a drawer with sawdust in it in the closed in area upstairs in the coop) with Lolly. Lolly lunged at her last night so I went down a bit later and put her in. Tonight Lolly didn't lunge at her and she is fine but when I first put her in the coop after Lolly had put herself to bed she put on a bit of a turn and knocked her feed over.
    I'm wondering if I should keep going putting her in the coop then in the nesting box - will she learn eventually that this is her home and start putting herself to bed like Lolly does - or should I put another nesting box in the bottom area of the coop set up high so she can sleep separately?
    How long does it take before they start putting themselves to bed?
    My neighbour said they need to perch and I should take out the nesting area and put a perch in but Lolly the older one is used to sleeping in the box (I don't mind - I just clean it out every day).
    I'm sorry for all the posts but I'm paranoid about not doing the right thing. Temperature isn't a problem as we are in Australia.
    Thanks
     
  2. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Your neighbor is right. They need a roosting board. Chickens 'go to roost' at night. Don't teach them to sleep in the nesting boxes unless you want dirty eggs. Nesting boxes are for egg laying. Your bird is 'roosting' on the trash can because, well, she is looking to go to 'roost' at night. Keep putting her in the coop to train her were to sleep and give her a roost to sleep on. She is telling you what she needs if you will listen to her.
     
  3. Aussie new mum

    Aussie new mum Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 21, 2008
    Brisbane, Queensland
    Thanks Miss Prissy
    I appreciate the help. Should I try to get the older one to sleep on a perch (I have only had her for a hew months - I rescued her from my neighbour - she was getting pecked badly by their other chickens and had to hide from them all day so I adopted her) or should I just leave her where she is and make a high perch for the little one? If I put a high perch in for the little one, where will she lay her eggs - do I need to put a separate nesting box in for her when she is old enough to lay? My coop has a closed in area the chickens get to via a ramp - should I put a perch up there (thats where the older one sleeps and nests) or in the open main area of the coop? Sorry for all the questions.
     
  4. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    You can add another box if you want but they most likely will lay in the places. Chickens tend to do that. If you add a roosting board the other one might begin to roost. Chickens like to be at the highest point when they bed down for the night.
     
  5. SussexInSeattle

    SussexInSeattle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 6, 2008
    Washington
    I just thought that I would add that while you are putting all this together and adding the new roost, think about where the overnight droppings will land and keep it a distance from your nest box. I totally agree, you just do not want to get hens used to sleeping in those nest boxes and I think they only will if they can not find a higher perch.

    From what I have read, you want something about the size around of a broom handle although some of mine go all the way up to the rafters of the barn and those are square edges. I would say put in a couple of roosting spots, since the first one does not seem to be sharing well but you don't need so many extra nest boxes, they seem to lay in order and even with choices of nest boxes, it seems like they will wait to get to the one favorite nest box.

    Finally, you may be moving 2 chickens every night while you adjust the original chicken out of that nest box and up onto your new roost. What I have done when mine started thinking their new nest boxes were cool little bedrooms was to place a cardboard box in the nest box so they couldn't climb in there in the first place. You can remove the box in the morning or after they go to roost so the nest box is open for business during daylight hours, then put the cardboard box back in just before they turn in for the night until they have the roost spot figured out. It should only take a few days.
     
  6. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

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    My Coop
    Quote:I agree with 'MissPrissy'. I would make sure the roosts are somewhat higher than the nest boxes. The chickens will more likely to sleep on the roosts than in the nest boxes.
     

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