Putting your flock to bed.

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by cantraig, Aug 5, 2014.

  1. cantraig

    cantraig Out Of The Brooder

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    May 19, 2014
    Wrexham, Wales GB
    Hi all, I am recently new to keeping chickens, I have 3 warrens, 2 Sussex stars and 2 Poland (all hens) the Poland's are a year old, the rest where point of lay when I got them around 3 months ago.
    A brief description on behaviour etc -
    After quite a few squabbles and picking on to start, my flock are now getting on quite well. I'm now getting 5/6 eggs per day and have done for about 3 weeks now but I still haven't had the maximum of 7 yet, I'm also getting a lot of very large double yolkers (at least 3 per week!), in the 12 weeks I have also had 3 or 4 latex eggs in the first few weeks (so I call it, just half an egg with a ribbon of egg shell hanging) very soft like a medical glove.

    There coop is for 12 chickens with 3 nest boxes but I only wanted 7 hens.
    There run is 4m by 6m and 2.5m high (covered), I have made several perches 1m off the ground and lots of tree stumps. There is also a temporary shelter from rain which is a fence panel (in pic) which is in there as we have had unexpected rain and storms, I'm getting around to building a permanent one soon.

    They are let out of the coop at 7am and have the run all day, when we get home at around 4pm they are then let out of the run into our garden to free range on vegetation as there is now none left in their run. They are put back in the run when ever we are not about or around 7pm. We then wait until it starts getting dark to shut up the coop.

    Now that you know their routine and general lifestyle here's my question....
    All my hens except two go in on there own, as soon as it starts getting dark the 3 warrens and the 2 Sussex stars go in there coop to roost for the night, but the two Poland's always choose to roost on the fence panel that I have put in there. I put them in the coop myself every night. Should I leave them to roost there if they choose to? Or should I keep putting them in? If I should leave them out do I leave the coop open??
    It's summer here in the Uk and night temps falling around 15c to 18c in the winter it's around -5c to 7c which I know is too cold. [​IMG]
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  2. LRH97

    LRH97 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 29, 2013
    Southern Illinois
    Personally, I would keep them roosted in the coop just to be safe. That way you won't have to worry about any critters getting to them. Repetition will work, just keep sticking them in the coop and they'll eventually get the point. You could also try a day or two locked in the coop for reinforcement if you wish. Best of luck!
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. cackleberrycam

    cackleberrycam Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 28, 2013
    I agree. They can learn to use the roost. :)
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    I suspect that your coop is not big enough for 7 hens. From what I can see of it, it looks to be one of those prefab coops that always overstates occupancy numbers.

    Each bird should have a foot (0.3m) of roost length and plenty of room to shuffle around one another whilst settling in for the night.
     
  5. cantraig

    cantraig Out Of The Brooder

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    May 19, 2014
    Wrexham, Wales GB
    Hi thanks for your reply, the coop is approx 1m by 1m (not including nest boxes) with two 1m perches,
    They all always seem to roost in the same places,
    • on the back perch there is always 1 Sussex and 2 warrens,
    • on the front perch there is just the 2nd Sussex (I then add the two Poland's on here when I put them in)
    • the last warren always sleeps in the middle nest box
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    Very Tight Fit....... plain and simple, they need more room.
    That coop is really only big enough to comfortably fit 3 Large Fowl birds, minimum.
    That's why the two are roosting outside.
     
  7. cackleberrycam

    cackleberrycam Chillin' With My Peeps

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    x2
     

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