starting a flock, settling in issues?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by TheSlushie, Apr 5, 2009.

  1. TheSlushie

    TheSlushie New Egg

    Apr 5, 2009
    I have 4 new Australorps, 1 laying hen, 2 pullets, and 1 roo (the 3 young ones are 10wks). I brought them home today, not realizing how cold it would be tonight! I went outside 30min ago and the hen was asleep but the 2 pullets were huddled outside in the cold, and the roo practically looked dead sitting all alone in a corner! (luckily he wasn't but I bet my dog wished differently!)

    Simple solution: get a door for the coop...of course.

    Are they nervous around the older hen? And what's up with the rooster? I am really new at all of this so please help!

    Also, would it be best to put a heat lamp/light bulb in with them for warmth because it's going to get below freezing for the next couple nights? For now, they're staying in a box inside...I'm jealous, it's warmer where I put them than inside my house!

    *sigh* I hope this post is okay and I'm not just spazzing out over information that is easy to find....
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2009
  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    It's best when you first get chickens if you lock them in their coop for awhile for them to learn that's where they should roost at night. So yes, a door to the coop is in order.
    If your coop is draft free, again the door issue, they should be fine in there. You can hang a heat light if you're really worried about the cold, but please be sure to secure it in at least two ways; ex. by a clamp and zip ties. Coop fires can and do happen.
    Do you know what their living arrangements were like before you got them? They may already be acclimated to the cold.
    Did you get them all from the same place and have they been living together previously? If not, there's bound to be some pecking order issues; might still be some even if they were together in their previous home. The roo will take charge when he's mature enough. Until then he has to earn his place in the pecking order just like the hens do.

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