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    • CommentAuthorhinge&bracket
    • CommentTimeMay 19th, 2009 3:19pm (May 19th 2009)
     
    Thank you everyone for being so welcoming! Our first couple of days with the girls have been exciting especially the first night when they decided to fly/jump on to the top of their fence (1 metre high that my husband spent days putting in) and started to run round the garden! I had no idea they could get over that height. Anyway a quick question. There is about a six inch gap between the back of the hen house and our garden fence. The hens seem to love roosting there during the day rather than going into their hen house to roost. Is this normal? Should we block the access off or if they're happy with it let them continue? Apologies if this is naive question but everything is so new and I want to be a good "mum"!!

    Wendy
    •  
      CommentAuthorneil
    • CommentTimeMay 19th, 2009 4:51pm (May 19th 2009)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    They probably feel 'cosy' and secure there, when you say roost, do you mean just to relax or do you mean to lay an egg behind the coop?

    We were advised to keep the hens locked in their coop for a couple of days so they would learn that the coop was their 'home' and to associate this with safety and where to go when they wanted to lay.

    Also, are your nest boxes / roosting areas inviting enough? If they are preferring another area then perhaps their roosting area is too dark / light, or maybe draughty? Probably an easy thing to fix but try looking at it from a hen's perspective and see what the differences between the two roosting areas are...

    Good luck and let us know how you get on - I'm sure someone will have some much better advise here soon!
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeMay 19th, 2009 6:47pm (May 19th 2009)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    As long as this area is safe and they're not getting stuck there they should be okay. Like my dad says, chickens like small compact spaces to lay or sleep as they feel secure.

    They should sleep in a hen house at night though to keep the foxes away!

    As for the flying, a 6 foot fence should definitely keep them in depending on their breeds - lighter and younger chickens can fly higher and further!

    Welcome again, glad you are enjoying your chucks :001_smile:
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeMay 19th, 2009 6:49pm (May 19th 2009)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Oh and I forgot to say, don't worry about asking questions, I worried about anything and everything when i first got our girls. There's no such thing as a stupid question! :)