Understanding Chicken Coop Behavior

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by adamsmba, May 3, 2016.

  1. adamsmba

    adamsmba Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 30, 2016
    First let me say, I am brand new to this. I have 3 Silkie Bantams and 1 Americauna that are 12 weeks old in a coop and 2 Buff Orpington's that are 2 weeks old (these are not in the coop yet). I bought the cool 2 story condo coop with the expansion pen, put chicken wire all on the bottom and around the edges on the ground to keep out any predators. The 4 chickens are roosting all night every night on a roost in the expansion pen. The ladder going to the 2nd story is often used for perching but they NEVER seem to go inside where I have a tray layered with shredded pine mulch. There is a screened window for ventilation on the 2nd story, and I have removed the nesting boxes (I read somewhere on here that I should until they were almost 5 months old). I'm concerned that they never go inside, and that once I do place the nesting boxes that they will never go there to lay their eggs. Someone local had told me I should be "locking them inside the coop" at night, but there is no door to do this. I guess I could make something. Am I worrying over nothing, or am I doing something wrong? I am really enjoying the experience, but definitely feeling a little out of my league with knowledge. Any help is appreciated. Thank you.
     
  2. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    [​IMG]

    Can you post a picture of your coop and run so we can see your set up?

    Silkies sometimes have a hard time figuring out a ramp [​IMG]. Since they're already roosting, I think you should be able to go out at night, after they're roosting, and move them to the roosts in the coop. I don't think you'll need to lock them in, once you put them there they'll probably stay put. They don't like to move around in the dark much. You may have to do it for a few days. If you can, watch them exit down the ramp and see if they seem to have trouble using it (too steep, etc).
     
  3. adamsmba

    adamsmba Out Of The Brooder

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    [​IMG]
     
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I can't see the actual coop/house part in the picture. Does it have any windows or ventilation? Is it maybe just a dark cave the birds can't see into? they might just be afraid to go in, or not really see a reason to enter. If there's a good amount of light, maybe try putting their food in there.



    That's a pretty tight set up already. Adding two more birds, especially nice large hens like Orpingtons, is going to severely stress your birds. Orps are usually pretty mellow, but being that crowded even those gentle birds might start having some bad behaviors toward your silkies. And the Easter egger, they don't always tolerate such close confinement well.

    Were it me, I'd use this cute little coop for just the silkies, and set up another coop for the Easter egger and the Orpingtons. If the birds aren't free ranged, you're best to go with a minimum of 4 square feet per bird inside the coop, and 10 square feet per bird in the run. Those numbers can be tweaked a bit, but if you try to lessen them by much you're running the risk of stress related behaviors and physical issues (less resistance to disease or parasites, for example).
     
  5. adamsmba

    adamsmba Out Of The Brooder

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    I did not know that. The coop was advertised as a 6 chicken coop before I added the expansion pen so I thought I would be fine. Ugh.
     
  6. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Yeah, we see that all the time. Folks that sell those coops just flat out lie about how many birds it can hold. Or, they use the commercial layer house standards of say 2 feet per bird. That's why those hens are all debeaked, cause otherwise they'd peck the ever-lovin crap out of each other [​IMG].

    I do love how you painted it, though [​IMG].
     
  7. adamsmba

    adamsmba Out Of The Brooder

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    [​IMG]
     
  8. adamsmba

    adamsmba Out Of The Brooder

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    I wanted to make it fun. Lol I sent a better pic of coop. I think the EE may be a roo and if so he will have to go
     
  9. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    It is fun!

    That's a lot more space in the run, so you may be okay. You can do the math and see where you sit.

    You can post a pic of the EE and we should be able to help you confirm gender.
     
  10. Badbart

    Badbart Out Of The Brooder

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    Love the paint color...
     

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