Silkies in...condo??

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by DragonflyFields, May 7, 2017.

  1. DragonflyFields

    DragonflyFields Just Hatched

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    Apr 23, 2017
    Maryland
    Ok so bear with me here...

    I'm a new chicken mama, just picked up 8 silkies from a local trusted yesterday- 6 pullets, 2 hens. We have our coop inside a massive stall in our barn. I found that when it was time to sleep the silkies began to nudge each other and try to pile together. After reading through the forums here I realized that not all silkies will roost, and this 'piling' is normal.

    Ok now the weird part. My mother had put a little cat condo with two hidey holes in the stall near the coop, thinking the silkies might like to climb it or steer off some boredom on snowy days when the girls can't go out. As I was watching them try to form a pile together, one walked into the condo...and then another....and then another! Eventually all 6 pullets were cozied into the condo on both levels and went to sleep. I'm baffled. Is this normal? Should I be moving them to their nesting boxes? Even the hens chose to sleep in the crate they arrived in. They don't seem to know how to get up the ladder to the nesting boxes.

    Here is what it looks like.

    [​IMG]

    Is this healthy for my girls to be sleeping in? And how can I get the hens to use the ladder? Or should I just put them in their nesting boxes?
     
  2. PD-Riverman

    PD-Riverman Overrun With Chickens

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    How old are the 6 pullets? When you say Nesting boxes-------nesting boxes are where they lay their eggs---not sleep. I would not want mine to sleep in the "nesting boxes"---poop in them. I would want them to sleep on the roost poles---you got roost poles?. Being you just got them-----they do not know where to roost----you have to show/place them. If the 6 pullets are old enough---just place them on the roost poles and the 2 hens-----you might have to do that 2 or 3 nights right after dark----they should learn. Getting to the roost poles should be made easy. My silkies do not like to fly up to a pole like a regular chicken. Sleeping in the cat tower will led to a filthy tower or a lot of cleaning plus it will be to hot on the warmer nights.
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2017
  3. GC-Raptor

    GC-Raptor Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yeah nest boxes will get nasty overnight from poop. The eggs will be covered in poop and may get broken.
    Here is my raised coop.[​IMG] My roosts are 12 and 18 inches high and they can jump from the lower roost to the upper roost. I put the girls in the coop at 40 days old and I put them on the roost after sunset for a few days before they roost on their own. GC
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2017
  4. DragonflyFields

    DragonflyFields Just Hatched

    13
    3
    19
    Apr 23, 2017
    Maryland
    The pullets are about 4 1/2 months old, the hens are almost 1 year old. They have roosting bars in their coop, but don't seem interested. The breeder I bought them from had no roosting poles in sight and kept them in shelters on the ground, so I think they're used to just sleeping in a pile. Can I acclimate them somehow? And the hens can't even walk up the ladder. Should I place then on the bars or show them how to walk up?
     
  5. PD-Riverman

    PD-Riverman Overrun With Chickens

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    Conway SC
    4 1/2 months----yes they do not need a snuggle area. I would place them on ""comfortable"" roost and they will learn to walk up and down on their own---if you got the ladder built right for them. I would wait till black dark and using a very dim light placing them on the roost poles side by side and cutting the light off fast or do not even use a light if you can see how to do it without one---the darker the better to start with---if they can see a little from a light they will probably jump off as fast as you place them. Work with the lower roost poles to start with----if you got roost 5ft high and they might hurt themselves if they jump off in the dark. This is the way I set my roost poles up-----yes those are small tree's cut out the woods---fit their feet better than a square edge or flat boards they can not wrap their feet around some.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2017

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