Unusual behavior by my hens

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Rick0716, May 20, 2017.

  1. Rick0716

    Rick0716 New Egg

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    May 20, 2017
    I have 7 hens. They are about 13 weeks old. While it was cooler they used to lay under the heat lamp. Now that the light is moved up they don't really use it anymore. My question is now six hens huddle into one of the laying boxes. I don't know how they huddle in there plus I don't know why they're doing this. I can't even get a good count because they are in the box. Isn't it awfully unusual that they crowd in the box? I'm really surprised that one hasn't suffocated yet. This is been going on for the last week and I'm in amazement of what they are doing. Is this normal chicken behavior?
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Let It Snow Premium Member

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    At 13 weeks your chicks don't need extra heat. How big is the coop? I would block the nests off to break the habit now. They should be starting to roost at their age.
     
    KikisGirls likes this.
  3. KikisGirls

    KikisGirls I'll be back after Christmas Premium Member Project Manager

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    Um...13 weeks...is a little over 3 months right?
    Can I ask why you use a heat lamp still...what is your weather like?

    Could something have frightened them?
    Could you block of the box for a while too they learn to roost and not crowd in there. This would be the best thing to do imo.
     
  4. RoosterCogburn7

    RoosterCogburn7 Chicken Atlas Farm NPIP 74-4231 Premium Member

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    True, chickens need to roost, if they don't have one, they will try to improvise.
     
  5. jolly wattles

    jolly wattles Chillin' With My Peeps

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    At 13 weeks they should be roosting. What is your setup? Roost bars? Nest box heights?
     
  6. Rick0716

    Rick0716 New Egg

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    The coop is 15X5 and then they have an outdoor run as well.
     
  7. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Let It Snow Premium Member

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    Than definitely block off those boxes to chop encourage them towards the roosts. How high off the ground are your roosts? The first should be no more than a foot off the floor.
     
  8. jvls1942

    jvls1942 Chicken Obsessed

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    I would definitely block off the nest.
    they will start to lay eggs soon.
    open the nests during the daytime.

    chickens learn by example.
    If you have a loner, or a dominant one, put her on the roost. keep doing it until she gets the idea. the rest will follow her after a little while, it might take days.
    In the mean time, they probably will huddle on the floor. but they will use the roosts eventually.
     
  9. Rick0716

    Rick0716 New Egg

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    I have blocked the roost and will now wait until I begin feeding layer feed which will be in about 5-6 weeks. Then I hope they will start to use them correctly. I have three boxes; two a few inches off the floor and another stacked on top of the ground layer. Thanks to all for your help.
     
  10. jolly wattles

    jolly wattles Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Why did you block off the roosts? Think they said block off the nesting boxes during the day. You want them to be able to check out the roosts. Not get them in the habit of sleeping in the nest boxes.
     

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