Question about locking them in coop

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Ljc01, Nov 23, 2016.

  1. Ljc01

    Ljc01 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am located in Central Calif, so my coop and run are one and the same. I have a 6ft X10ft dog kennel that I put up roosting bars and put in nesting boxes. I have 8 birds. Four pullets and 4 older birds
    Two out of four of my pullets have started laying in the past month. Sometimes they lay in the nesting boxes and sometimes they lay in the yard. They free range all day.
    I am planning to leave them locked in the run over the 4 day Thanksgiving weekend because I will be home from work so I can keep an eye on them.
    The question I have is, is that a large enough space for 8 chickens if they are locked in all day? The other questions is, how unhappy have your chickens been after their freedom has been taking away?
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

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    It's enough temporarily and very unhappy.
    You could wait till mid afternoon to let them out because about 80+% of eggs are laid by afternoon.
     
  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Agree with Canoe. It's enough space for a few days. But, they will kick up a fuss. They simply don't like any change in their routine. They could have twice that space, and if you don't let them out when they're used to it, they'll fuss. But really, that's all it is. Them fussing doesn't hurt anything, they'll get over it.

    Or, as Canoe stated, you can wait and let them out in the afternoon. Keep an eye on production, and when the expected number of eggs are laid, let them out. Most birds lay in the morning, although that's by no means a hard and fast rule.
     
  4. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    Hi there Ljc01

    Is that a large enough space for 8 chickens if they are locked in all day?
    I agree in that temporarily it should be OK.

    How unhappy have your chickens been after their freedom has been taking away?
    Supersized, full on cranky and not shy to tell all and sundry that they are not impressed .. cranky chickens! [​IMG]

    I was just wondering, do your pullets that are "laying in the yard sometimes” have fluffy butts?

    Strange question I know, but I occasionally find eggs in the run or just outside it. All my gals lay in the nest box but because a couple of them have really fluffy butts, if they linger in the nest box the egg dries and sticks to their feathers, dropping off as they are walking back down the ramp, across the run or out into the garden etc.

    I had to bail up one of my girls a couple of months back as she was still dragging her egg along with her and it had not dropped off [​IMG]

    However, these are just eggs left laying wherever; your gals are actually laying them in a nest they have created or a hole they have dug? Do they lay in the same spot when they lay in the yard?
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2016
  5. Ljc01

    Ljc01 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They lay in nests that they have made. I left them locked in for a couple of extra hours and my EE laid in the nesting box.
    I think I will leave them locked up for a few extra hours in the morning and see if the solves the problem.
    Enjoy your Thanksgiving.
     
  6. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    Actually in the run they should have 10 sq.feet per bird and yours doesn't provide that much room. Crowded chickens are NOT happy campers
     
  7. Ljc01

    Ljc01 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    For the last couple of weeks, I have been keeping my birds locked in the coop/ run for a couple of extra hours a day. No more eggs laid in the yard! They are all using the nesting boxes, even when they lay latter in the afternoon. Glad I did not have to keep them locked up for too many extra hours, all they wanted was to be let out.
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Wonderful! Sounds like a little re-training was all they needed. Nice to not go on egg hunts every blessed day.......
     
  9. micstrachan

    micstrachan Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have four girls, also in California with mild weather. However, it's wet, which makes bathing a challenge. Their run is 10x16, where they hang out most of the time. The coop itself is 4.5x4.5 and about 6 feet tall where I lock them up at night. With these short hours of daylight, they are getting almost NO weekday free range time, since by the time I get home from work, they have already put themselves to bed. However, on the weekends, I let them run around free range as much as possible. We have predators though, so I stay outside with them. In fact, right now I'm outside in my pajamas, robe, and slippers with an umbrella so they can run around. I am happy to report that I have a very happy chickens! They are still laying, though not as much as in the summer. Yesterday I rushed home to let them out, even though it was only for about 20 minutes before dark. They were happy about that. Also, they get just a little treat most mornings when I let them out. It might be yogurt, sprouted grain, berries, whatever healthy treat I have on hand. on these wet weekend, they get lots and lots of worms! Sometimes I know if I know they're not gonna get any free range time, I put a few shovels full of fresh dirt containing greens, worms and other goodies in their pen. This can keep them busy and happy for hours. Where I live, it is very rustic, so it doesn't make a difference if I pull random shovels full of dirt out of anywhere in the yard. This is a long winded reply, but my point is, I still have very happy girls even though they are locked up most of the time. I highly recommend the shovels full of fresh dirt when you can throw them into the pen. [​IMG]
     

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