Questions from a Newbee

mapa

In the Brooder
11 Years
Oct 5, 2008
12
0
22
Mc Gill, Nevada
I got my chickens in mid May - at that time they were 4 weeks old.
They live in an enclosed coop with access to an outdoor area (enclosed with chicken wire). I have several questions:
1. I seperated the roosters (from the hens-4) and put the roosters (3) outside the coop. Now they all roost together - roosters outside the fence and hens inside. The hens won't go in the coop at night. I have a hen house outside the coop - in hopes the roosters would go there at night for warmth. But, they just hang out outside the coop with the hens. Any suggestions?
2. One of the hens has a crooked beak - and is quite smaller than the other hens because she can't eat so well. Will she lay - or should we not keep her?
3. The hens have 9 nests for them to start roosting in - it is elevated abot 18" off the ground. So far the hens haven't gone in the nests. Will they eventually find them or is there something I can do to introduce them to the nests? (Now they roost in the fenced open area at night - and it is getting quite cold at night. )
4. I think they should start laying about November....am I right?
Thank you for any information you can give me!
 

Chicabee19

Songster
11 Years
Aug 8, 2008
2,585
12
189
n/a
greetings Mapa


At around 4-5 months of age (some later), hens begin to notice the nests and begin laying behavior. You can encourage them when it is time by placing golf balls in the nests. You definitely don't want them roosting in the nests because they poop at night. If they do begin to roost there, close the nests off until they are of laying age.

Your roost should sit high up inside the coop for them to stand on during the night. A 2 x 4 turned on its side does the trick. Maybe you have one already?

You will probably need to physically place the hens into the coop nightly for a while, and place the roosters into their little house as well, locking them in for the night. Place them each up on their roost so they understand what it is for.

After a week or so they should all get into the habit and go in and get on the roost by themselves. You may need to have a ramp for them to walk up if the roost is very high.

Pictures of your coops, run and chickens will really help you get some good advice!
 

mapa

In the Brooder
11 Years
Oct 5, 2008
12
0
22
Mc Gill, Nevada
Thank you for your information. There are roosts attached to the nests in the coop. Will that be ok - or should I provide additional roosts in the coop away from the nests?
 

Chicabee19

Songster
11 Years
Aug 8, 2008
2,585
12
189
n/a
The roosts attached to the nests are usually so the hens can get into and out of the nests easily.

I recommend placing a 2 x 4 long side up as high as you can get it in the coop, making sure there is plenty of head room for the chickens to stand and stretch if they want.

There are many pictures of roosts in the coop and run section of the forum.
 

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