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We created the coop, now the nesting boxes....???

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by way2cross, Mar 12, 2007.

  1. way2cross

    way2cross Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 12, 2007
    South Georgia, USA
    We live in south Georgia and have eight biddies. I think they are about seven weeks old. They are acting like real chickens scratching and eating off the ground now. They are too cute and very friendly but try to run out the coop everytime the door opens. So next we have to make the nesting boxes. They are not sitting on any perches I have put out. At night they huddle up in the corner near the door. ??? How do I keep them from doing that???

    We plan on putting three nesting boxes up, but when do they go up there and roost? I thought instinctively they'd be climbing the ramp and sitting above ground level on the perches, but they just lay around on the ground when they sleep.

    Thanks for the input!

    Bethany
     
  2. allen wranch

    allen wranch Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    San Marcos, TX
    The birds don't need nest boxes until it is close to time for them to lay (20 weeks+). Also, you do not want to encourage them to roost or sleep in the nest box. They should be strictly to lay eggs in.

    Could your roosts be too high and they don't notice them? When do they go into the coop at night? It may be too dark when they go in and they don't see them. If you have electricity, try a night light. That helped mine. They started out huddling in a corner of the pen and not going into the coop at dusk. I turned on a night light, put them inside the coop and they eventually caught on.
     
  3. TheBigWRanch

    TheBigWRanch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Wenatchee, Washington
    I've heard that you should go into the coop every night, and pick up all the birds off the ground and put them on the perches. Eventually they'll figure out that's where they should be. Also, what are your perches made out of, and how high are they?
     
  4. way2cross

    way2cross Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 12, 2007
    South Georgia, USA
    For now I have a horse (saw bench) in there with a board running up to it. How do I make a good perch?

    At this age they will perch and sleep there and jump off in the morning.??

    The whole pen is an open run about 15 feet long with a barn at the end closed in on three sides with a roof. There is a door at the end of the pen but no closure for the barn part. And they are sleeping way at the other end near the door.

    I will not turn them out as I have a bassett hound that lives in the back yard and is very interested in them. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2007
  5. Llysse

    Llysse Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 11, 2007
    I can't exactly picture it. If the building is only closed in on three sides, could it be that the area where the perches are located is too drafty? Maybe the place where they like to sleep is the snuggest place they've found.
     
  6. way2cross

    way2cross Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 12, 2007
    South Georgia, USA
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    We have runners at the bottem of the wire now because they've been jumping out and bassetts been waiitng for them


    [​IMG]



    What should I do??Does the shed part need to be closed in ya think?? And I put the perch down low and they are hanging out down there now. They teeter and fall when I put them up high.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2007
  7. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Looks a bit too drafty for them in there because they still look so young. Seems like lots of drafts could get through the fence boards. I'm surprised that they can be outside but I guess it's not very cold where you are. Are they huddling at night in the corner because they are too cold? Mine still get 24/7 heat lamp at that age.

    If it was enclosed and non drafty, they would probably be happier to roost on the low part of the horse. I find my chicks don't roost until they are at least fully feathered. My younger birds prefer to sleep inside while my old ones for some reason will always sleep outside.

    On another note, does your pen have a cover on it? I'd be worried that a hawk could come down for chicken meals and that coons or other pests can go over the top and gobble up your chickies. Maybe line the inside of the fence on their side with some tarp or plywood?
     
  8. way2cross

    way2cross Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 12, 2007
    South Georgia, USA
    At night we are putting them in a large rabbit cage in the shed that's locked up. During the day it's been very warm so I'm turning them out in the pen. Yes we need to cover the top and any holes. We are working on what to put in there for housing the hens. We might drag the rabbit cage into the coop and create a ramp and boxes and also do that with a dog house.

    Do you lock them in at night to sleep or keep them free? I guess that's what I don't understand? Seems like people are putting theres to bed at night and closing them in. Clue me in please.[​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2007
  9. allen wranch

    allen wranch Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    San Marcos, TX
    They are locked in at night to keep them from becoming a meal. All predators like chicken and they are clever at finding ways to get to them. Some even kill for the fun of it. Check out the Predators and Pests section here for some of the horror stories.
     
  10. HenHappy

    HenHappy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    on my way to you....
    PREDITORS!!! I lock mine up so they are safe. Lot of nocturnal animals out there who whould love a chicken dinner. Plus I think they are happier to suggle up together at nite in a place they feel secure. Pretty scary being a walking meal. Thier coop is the refuge. Racoons all over the place here. Nasty beasts. Plus I feel better knowing they are somewhere safe.[​IMG]
     

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