Two Questions, Need Advice Please

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by dbounds10, Jul 13, 2011.

  1. dbounds10

    dbounds10 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 15, 2011
    Fort Worth, Tx
    I have 6 18 week old ladies. 2EE, 2BR, 2BB

    Question 1 - They all roosted from day one in the big girl house (7 weeks). Would jossle for position by the window, now all the sudden the last week or two they have all been sleeping on the floor UNDER the roosts. I am at a loss. We have round closet pole one roost higher than the other. We are thinking of replacing it with 2x4 layed flat to see if that changes anything. I want to open up the nest boxes since they are close to laying but since they started sleeping on the floor I am worried they will start sleeping in there. Any idea's on why they stopped roosting and what I can do to get them back up there? Below is the only pic I have of the roost.

    [​IMG]

    Question 2 - Like I said they are all 18 weeks and the 2 BR's have red combs and waddles so I think they should be close to laying. I want to open the boxes up and put in the wooden eggs. My question is it has been over 100 every day here in N Texas. I am doing everything I can to help with the heat. They have a shade cloth covered run and also under trees, fans and misters. I also keep frozen jugs of water for them to lay against. Will they start laying in this heat or will I be doomed to wait till fall for my first egg?

    [​IMG]
     
  2. colebarnhart

    colebarnhart Chillin' With My Peeps

    I've heard egg production can go down in the summer heat, but also in the winter because of less sun, so who knows??? I just got my 1st egg(s) this week from my BR hen and she is right at 6 months, so 18 wks might still be early. She laid the 1st one in the run, then the next 2 in the middle of the coop and now every day after has been the same nest box, so I guess she has picked her favorite one and I never used the fake eggs, but won't hurt to try.

    The reason they may not be roosting is because of the temp, maybe??? You're in TX, so I know how hot it is and the new spot they have picked out might be cooler and that's why they like it. If you can try putting a fan in your coop blowing the air out of a vent window and see if that changes things and maybe they'll start roosting again.
     
  3. dbounds10

    dbounds10 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 15, 2011
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    The coop has windows on each side for cross breeze and I have a fan blowing in the window on the far side of the coop directed at the roosts. Not sure how it could be cooler on the floor. I dont think the fan is bothering them because they used to roost up there with the fan blowing on them, and they lay in front of the one that is outside. Its really strange....
     
  4. briteday

    briteday Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 16, 2008
    Northern NV
    I usually put a baby roost in my brooder after the first few days, just to get them used to sleeping on a roost right from the start. My first flock was a bunch of RIR's that I bought at POL and had never had a roost until they came to me and were already laying age. They slept in nest boxes until I re-homed them a few years later, and I cursed dirty eggs every day. So...that being said, I would start putting the birds up on the roosts when you go out to close up or check on things at dusk when they have moved into the coop for the night.

    As far as age they will start laying, I'm guessing you will see more around 24-26 weeks for their first eggs.
     
  5. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    I would say the sand is cooler at night than the hot air that has risen to the height of your roosts. If they roosted previously but now do not, then it's all in their little chickeny minds and this will change eventually. I wouldn't worry about it and let them roost wherever they are most comfortable.

    I'd say they will still lay for you but all chickens tend to slow down when it's this hot and they start to molt a little. It sounds like they have the dream life for chickens when it comes to beating the heat, so I wouldn't worry too much. Just let nature happen. [​IMG]

    I don't know where you are located and I can't tell if your closet dowel roosts are metal, but you may want to rethink metal roosts if it gets cold in your winters. The round nature of the roost is just fine, I've never had flat roosts in all the years I've raised chickens.
     
  6. dbounds10

    dbounds10 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 15, 2011
    Fort Worth, Tx
    Thanks for the input, the roosts are wooden closet poles that are painted, and like I said they loved it before. Chickens are crazy and they are making me crazy!!! [​IMG]
     
  7. NewOldMotherHen

    NewOldMotherHen Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 23, 2011
    Shenandoah Valley
    Copied from a post that was copied from Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens: "Roosts should be 2x4s flat side down and should have rounded edges. Allow at least 10 inches space for each regular-sized chicken, 12 inces for larger breeds."
     
  8. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    Quote:I've never been real impressed with Storey's guide to raising chickens but everyone else seems to think they are gospel. Birds roosts on branches...yes, even chickens. Branches are round, not flat. The problem, I'm sure, is not a bit about the OP's round roosts. Three generations of raising chickens on round roosts tells me so....of course, I've never written a book about it but I'm pretty darn sure most old chicken farmers haven't either.
     
  9. NewOldMotherHen

    NewOldMotherHen Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 23, 2011
    Shenandoah Valley
    What I have read from various sources is that the larger breeds of chickens like the wider board to support their breast when they are sleeping. I guess it's similar to a support bra. [​IMG]
     
  10. dbounds10

    dbounds10 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 15, 2011
    Fort Worth, Tx
    The DH screwed some 2x4 over the poles last night and when I went to close them up, one was up there, so I grabbed the meal worms and lured the others up there. When I went out 20 minutes later to look, 4 were up there and 2 on the floor. Dont know if they were just curious or they liked it better. Gonna keep an eye on them over the next week. If they stay up there I will assume they did not like the poles now that they are fat. If they are still on the floor I may take the 2x4 out because they way it is set up, the 2x4 make the roosts several inches higher and I dont want any leg issues.
     

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