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Snow and Flock Splitting

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by CackleBabies, Jan 6, 2017.

  1. CackleBabies

    CackleBabies Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 26, 2015
    I've had my original flock of 7 for two winters (this being their second), and three young hens since this spring. It snowed pretty hard Thursday afternoon/evening, and when I went to close up the hens at dark I only found 5 of the 9. So after searching in about 4 inches of snow I found the other four under my front porch. Too low to reach them, but big enough for a predator to get to. They came out briefly the next day but went back under the porch tonight to roost. (I work, and got home to late to prevent them from getting under there.) You should also know that two of the 9 are roosters who were raised together and do get along, and seem pretty happy with each of their hens. Breeds, if this is helpful: buff brahma bantam rooster, bantam partridge cochin hen, buff brahma/buff orpington mix hen, black silkie/white leghorn mix hen, black silkie rooster, Rhode Island red hen, buff orpington hen, buff brahma/buff orpington mix hen, white leghorn hen.

    Why would they roost under the porch? I know they didn't like the snow much last year and I had to lay down stray to coax them out, but they at least came out and went to their coop at night. My second question: is it just the snow, or are the roosters reaching an age where they need to be in different places with their hens? They free range on our property (2 acres) together, sometimes splitting off, but they always come back together in the coop. I'm wondering if I need a bigger coop? They've never had a problem getting in there before. How do I coax them out from the porch. They are way too vulnerable to predators at night to make it a permanent home. Any suggestions and insight would be appreciated.
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    It's all because of the snow. Hopefully you are off this weekend and can get them back into the coop.
     
  3. Talithahorse

    Talithahorse Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 5, 2012
    Hartselle, Al
    With my flock, when my young roosters got a bit spritely my lower hens would wait until late to enter the coop. If the rooster was a bit pushy, the young hens left and then were caught after curfew (when the automatic door closes) They then seek out the next best place to spend the night. I had one hen do this for four days in a row. I simply put her back in the coop each evening and after about 3 more days she was going back to the coop herself. I don't know how big your coop is or how many roosters you have as these may contribute to the change. Hopefully they will go back to the coop.

    As far as coax them out, I shine several flashlights to simulate sunlight and a bit of chicken goodies and they will come out most of the time. A long broomstick can also encourage them to come out if used carefully so as not to hurt them.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2017
  4. CackleBabies

    CackleBabies Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 26, 2015
    Thanks for your help. After some coaxing with treats and laying down straw I led them back to the coop before dark.
     
  5. Talithahorse

    Talithahorse Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 5, 2012
    Hartselle, Al
    Great to hear. It may take a couple of nights but they should return to the going to bed in the coop. [​IMG]
     

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