Wandering and nesting

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Mark, May 13, 2007.

  1. Mark

    Mark Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 13, 2007
    North Central Texas
    We have one hen and 5 acres for it to wander. We have had her for 5 or 6 months. Yesterday, I got a couple of chicks, so the chicken population around here is skyrocketing.

    I built a chicken tractor for our first hen, but I'm probably going to be back in the construction business, soon.

    Here is my question.
    1. I am assuming I can get all these birds to live together. Am I deluding myself?
    2. We like to let our hen wander, but she has taken a liking to laying her eggs in various hidden nests. If I build a better hen house, will she resume laying eggs where we can collect them?

    Thanks,

    Mark
     
  2. allen wranch

    allen wranch Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Jan 11, 2007
    San Marcos, TX
    1) Yes, your birds should be able to live together, but do not mix them until they are about the same size. Also, your hen is on a different diet than the chicks. The chicks don't need to eat the hen's food until they are about ready to lay. The calcium content is too high and could cause problems. If for some reason you have to switch them earlier, the hen can eat the chick food. Just have some oyster shell free choice for her.

    2) The best way to get her to start laying inside again is to shut her up in the tractor for a couple of weeks until she gets used to laying in there again. When you build your new coop, do the same thing. If it is too hot to lock her inside the coop, maybe you could make a temporary run around it so she is still confined to that area.
     
  3. Mark

    Mark Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 13, 2007
    North Central Texas
    Quote:Thanks,

    Ok. I get the idea. We have been locking her up in the tractor until she laid one egg, then letting her out. That wasn't long enough.

    I'm still wondering how to make the new coop's nesting area more attractive than 'the brush'. More room? More hidden? Higher off the ground?

    Any posts on the subject you can point me to?

    Mark
     
  4. allen wranch

    allen wranch Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Jan 11, 2007
    San Marcos, TX
    See what it is like where she is laying her eggs outside and go from there. She is probably laying where she feels safe from predators so you could try and copy that.

    However, she will get used to whatever you provide in the coop and it won't be a problem once she understands that's where she is supposed to lay.
     

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