December 7, 2011 at 12:48 am #256208
I’ve had my 3 chooks (salmon faverolles) for 10 weeks now and are about 18 weeks old so are about to start laying -fingers crossed-. Tonight I cleaned out there little house and instead of wood shavings I put straw down in the area that they sleep. Ever since I got them they have slept in the little side hutch that is meant for them to lay their eggs in and seeing as they are about that age now I thought that straw would be softer/better for them to lay in. Here is a pic of the home they have
Tonight the chooks wouldn’t go to bed. They wouldn’t go to their home and wanted to roost on my outdoor furniture instead – they have never wanted to do this before, they have always taken themselves home and I can only put it down to the straw in their sleeping quarters. I had to pick each one up individually off my outdoor furniture and carry them down and put them in their home that they they are locked up each night – they normally take themselves to bed when it’s dark but tonight they didn’t. They spend the whole day free ranging in the backyard and always take themselves home to sleep until tonight.
I just went down to check on them to see if they were sleeping where they normally do and they weren’t! They were on their roosting poles and not on the straw where they normally would be.
What should I do? Should i remove the straw and replace it with wood shavings or persist?
I thought the straw would be a softer landing for the eggs.
Help!!December 7, 2011 at 1:17 am #515882
Mine like shredded paper + two of mine still dont roost after 3 yrsDecember 7, 2011 at 1:26 am #515883
I’ve recently had my babies just start to lay and although I am new to this chicken thing I would expect they just need to be reassured all is fine with their home and they will start going back in there. I’d persevere for another night or two putting them in by hand to show them what they are meant to do, or maybe you can do half and half – half straw, half wood shavings to give them a choice.
My girls are about 23 weeks now and 2 out of 5 are laying with 1 working up to it but I know they acted a little strangely when the were coming into lay. A couple of nights ago I noticed they were all perching instead of on their usual bed spot, except for one who had decided to make a nest box her bed… next morning i found a soft-shell (broken) egg underneath the perch. Mine tended to lay soft shell/no shell eggs for a day or two or three until they matured enough to get it right so I am hoping I have another soon to start laying regularly. They are back roosting in their normal spot now, it was just a once off so maybe the nestbox chicken messed with their routine??
Good luck. I hope your girls get some sleep – and you do too!December 7, 2011 at 1:50 am #515884
No expert either but I would think it’s good they are on the perches and not in the egg nest.Sleeping in nest boxes is not to be encouraged.How did they know about the straw? Did they go to bed and then come out again to roost on the furniture? Again no expert but I’d say just put them to bed by hand if necessary, or perhaps not let them out for a day?December 7, 2011 at 9:39 am #515885
Roosting is normal chook behaviour though you get the occasional one that won’t roost. Generally they like to get up off the ground at night. You don’t want them sleeping in laying boxes as chooks poo a lot at night and the nest boxes get dirty. If they have adequate roosting poles in the chook house, put them back in there at night till they get used to roosting in the chook house.December 7, 2011 at 10:33 am #515886
Thanks All – I’m not so concerned about them sleeping on the roosting poles in their house as I would prefer that to in their planned laying area, but more so that they didn’t want to go to their house to sleep and wanted to stay on my outdoor furniture instead. At least when they were roosting on the outdoor furniture they were easy to catch to take down to their home.
They saw me cleaning their house out and were poking their heads in and around the door once I’d finished so they could see that the straw had been put in there.December 7, 2011 at 11:00 pm #515887
Hoorah!!! My chooks took themselves to bed tonight in their home instead of trying to sleep on my outdoor furniture tonight!! So relieved!December 8, 2011 at 1:42 am #515888
Good girls!! :tup: :clap:December 8, 2011 at 11:32 am #515889
Yay!! Glad they went to bed on their own :tup: Chooks can sometimes get ‘upset’ by changes and new things and it puts them off for a short while. If you re-establish their routine with the change they are usually ok about it.
Roosting is good and that is what you want. You don’t want them sleeping in the nesting boxes. Nesting boxes are for egg laying (or brooding) not for sleeping. If they were still sleeping in the nesting boxes I would be suggesting picking them up and putting them on the perch each night until they ‘got it’. Putting the straw in sounds like it was a good thing as it encouraged them to do it. FWIW I use straw in my night houses both under the perches and in the nesting boxes. I find it good as the manure collects under the perch (they poo a LOT while sleeping 😆 ) and about once a week I can ‘fluff up’ the straw so it drops to the bottom. This freshens the straw a bit. I clean out about once every 2 weeks. The straw and droppings go on the gardens or around trees as mulch and the frequent change helps discourage mite infestation (I rotate with the straw in the nest boxes going under the perches with fresh straw in the boxes).
BTW, nice to see another Fav owner. They are a great breed :tup: Who did you get your birds from?December 8, 2011 at 12:33 pm #515890
espinay2 post=332225 wrote: Yay!! Glad they went to bed on their own :tup: Chooks can sometimes get ‘upset’ by changes and new things and it puts them off for a short while. If you re-establish their routine with the change they are usually ok about it.
I think that’s exactly what happened – I changed something and they were just unsure of it but once I showed them how it’s meant to be they got back into the routine again.
espinay2 post=332225 wrote: BTW, nice to see another Fav owner. They are a great breed :tup: Who did you get your birds from?
They are lovely aren’t they! I got them from abundant layers in Emerald in VictoriaDecember 8, 2011 at 12:36 pm #515891
btw here is a few pics of the girls – I have 3 and can’t tell them apartDecember 8, 2011 at 4:39 pm #515892
They look to be quite nice :tup:
You learn to tell them apart by subtle difference is feather colour usually – or habits :laugh:
(The picture may be deceptive, but it looks like you have one with a lightish head, one with a more even coloured head and one with a more speckled head. I think the top pic is one on the right in the middle photo. Bottom pic is one in the middle)December 8, 2011 at 5:21 pm #515893
As they are getting older their feathers are changing colours a bit but yes, one of them isn’t quite as dark on the back of her headDecember 9, 2011 at 10:52 pm #515894
My chooks have now decided that they aren’t scared or freaked out by the straw in their laying box and they are back to sleeping in there!!
Whatever makes them happy LOL!! I really need to get a picture of them in there as when they were 8 weeks old there was heaps of room but now they are 18 weeks old there isn’t much room at all :laugh:January 1, 2012 at 11:44 pm #515895
In my experience chooks won’t perch if they don’t like the perches. I have had a few different set ups and if they don’t like the perches they will sleep in the nesting boxes. I have spent so much time taking them from the nests and putting on the perches. some times in small situations. Never again!
Where they are now there are lots of perches, all the same height which is about 30cm off the ground, about 6 wooden beams about 2 metres long each and they sit atop uprights pushed into the concrete floor and about 30cm apart. So a line of these beams into the corner of their house, which is large.
I have converted an old set of kitchen cupboards into nesting boxes. Took off the cupboard doors and drawers out. Put in some dividers and some peieces along the fronts to keep the straw in. They have 4 at floor height and another four above.
It is facing away from the perches so the girls can’t see in them when they head for the perches, so they are not tempeted.
And they have never slept in the nesting boxes, so no dirty eggs. Sheer Bliss!
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