Settling in for the night

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by wheelie, Nov 25, 2016.

  1. wheelie

    wheelie New Egg

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    Nov 23, 2016
    Southeast Michigan
    Newbie here. We just purchased 10, 8 month old hens 4 days ago. They are laying well and seem healthy. What does everyone's evenings look like? The first evening we had the outdoor coop light on as we were doing a modification on a door lock. Like clockwork, they all started roosting on the outside roost at or before dark. It was fairly nice that night. We moved them inside the roost for overnight. Second night was raining and colder. They were inside the roost and squatting. I hadn't yet suspended their food and it had tipped so they hadn't eaten that afternoon/evening. I feed them and then they flew up to roost and seemed content after the feed. Simular tonight only they were squatting in the roost by the small door again. I locked that, went around to the other side and shined my light in the big door and after a couple of minutes hanging out with them they started to fly up and settle in. Were they waiting for me to close up to feel settled? I was out there at dusk and they hadn't gone in yet. It was dark when I got out there. Thoughts? Are they still just getting used to new surroundings? There is a set up for a bulb inside the roost and a motion bulb outside the entire coop area.
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    [​IMG] They are adjusting to their new home. Don't be surprised if they take a break from laying. Moving to a new environment generally causes birds to take a break from laying. They will lay the first couple of days (eggs that were already in the reproductive tract) and then they will take a short break. Good luck with your flock.
     
  3. wheelie

    wheelie New Egg

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    Nov 23, 2016
    Southeast Michigan
    Ok thanks! WI'll they start to do the same thing at night like get up into their roosts at certain times or is this going to look different for everyone?
     
  4. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    They should develop a routine. Birds are creatures of habit and tend to dislike change.
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC!

    Sounds pretty normal....it will take time for them to settle in to their new home.
    I wonder if you have windows in the coop for natural light so they can see to get up on the roosts?

    Make sure your outside roost is lower than the inside roost, as they like to sleep as high as possible.
    Hopefully your coop is of good size and well ventilated, and you have 10 feet of roost length for them to get settled.
    They will sleep on less length but need that extra length to fly up and negotiate roosting places.

    Once they settle into a pattern....it can change, haha!
    Roost time can be raucous...I call it the RoostTimeRumble....they can peck and chatter and squawk as they all 'decide' who is going to sleep where.
    Can be fascinating to watch, but alarming for a newbie until they get used to how chickens communicate.

    Have fun with your new birds!
     
  6. wheelie

    wheelie New Egg

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    Nov 23, 2016
    Southeast Michigan
    I think that's part of it...coop is not ventilated at all! Bummed to buy this coop and there are some things like that missing. We are renovating our new home and building one was too much even though we could do it easily. Ugg if you want something done right do it yourself. Oh well, there is a learning curve to everything so there we go. Going to hopefully get that taken care of today and I need to spread out the roosts a bit. The top one is too close to the top.
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    I think that once have 10 posts here, you can post pics of coop as we could offer suggestions if you need them.
     
  8. wheelie

    wheelie New Egg

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    Nov 23, 2016
    Southeast Michigan
    Ok sounds good. Thanks! I'll get some pics later and read up on ventilation posts. There are a few places to put vents. Cut hole, put hardware cloth stapled to inside, make sure water can't get in. Is that basically what to do? Hardware cloth is that the right material? I also think I need more room and am looking at the bumped out, external nesting boxes. That may help with roost space and put the higher bar lower.
     
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Pretty much... it can be tricky, especially with smaller coops, and every coop and site is different.
    What is your climate?
    Putting your location in your profile can help folks give better answers/suggestions.

    Here's a couple links that are pretty good.
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1048597/ventilated-but-free-of-drafts

    This is a great video showing air flows, tho the roost in that coop is way to close to ceiling.
     
  10. wheelie

    wheelie New Egg

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    Nov 23, 2016
    Southeast Michigan
    Thanks for the links. I'll get my profile updated too. We are in southern Michigan. We put vents in yesterday maybe 4 square feet as high as possible as the roosts ate currently about 2 feet from them. Opened the door this morning and they seemed more content although this could be because they are getting used to their surroundings. They still didn't fly up on their own and the roost is still pretty dark so I'm toying with a window at the door.
     

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