Rain and pullets who can't use their ramp

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Ballerina Bird, Sep 25, 2014.

  1. Ballerina Bird

    Ballerina Bird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have two eleven-week-old pita pinta pullets that I brought home last week, and today is their first rain. They have a duplex coop and run structure but haven't yet learned to use the ramp from one to the other by themselves, so I've been putting them on the ramp and helping them go down in the morning and up and bedtime (after leaving them to figure it out for themselves for a while, but so far they haven't). This morning, an hour after I had lowered the ladder into the run, they were still nesting upstairs in the coop, so I put them on the ladder so they would go down and get some food and water (which are in the run). Now that they've eaten, they seem a little ruffled and chilly (it's 60 degrees F here right now). The run floor is sand, and while it's not actually wet, it feels a bit damp and cold to the touch. The run is obviously covered, since the coop is on top of it, so they are not getting rained on. But -- should I put them back upstairs in the coop? Or should I use this as an opportunity to get them to pull it together and go back upstairs themselves if they want to? Leave them alone since the rain will stop in an hour or so? Worry that an hour downstairs when they might want to be upstairs isn't good for them? Just don't want them to be uncomfortable or get sick. Thanks.
     
  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    They'll figure it out, as long as they are not directly getting wet I wouldn't worry too much.

    Have you seen them navigate the ladder once you get them started?

    Can you post a pic of the coop, run and ladder?
     
  3. Ballerina Bird

    Ballerina Bird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for helping out with this. They actually just climbed the ladder into the coop by themselves at sunset for the first time tonight. I took pics of the setup for you earlier, so I'll post them here in case they're interesting (and to show off my beautiful Odette and Odile). I'll be really interested to see if they come down on their own.
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  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    It's awfully steep and the cleats are too far apart, I can see why they had trouble with it, but they might get used to it.

    Add a cleat between each cleat there already and put something 8"-16" under the lower end and it will be easier for them to use.
    I use a concrete block sitting tallways under the ends of ramps, it really helps.
    Tho making it less steep might make the the opening in the floor a head banger, can't see the opening so not sure about that.
     
  5. fshinggrl

    fshinggrl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    the edge of insanity
    Ditto!
     
  6. Ballerina Bird

    Ballerina Bird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Many thanks to you both for the suggestions!
     
  7. Ballerina Bird

    Ballerina Bird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you!
     
  8. DaveOmak

    DaveOmak Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I sprinkled scratch from bottom to top of all the ramps in my coop... didn't take them long to use the ramps....

    And ditto on the spacing of the cleats.... closer would be better.....
     
  9. Ballerina Bird

    Ballerina Bird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you. MIne don't seem that interested in scratch, oddly (I tried that, too), but it definitely sounds like there is consensus about the cleats.
     

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