Dithering...good or bad sign?

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rick
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Re: Dithering...good or bad sign?

Post by rick » Fri Jun 22, 2018 9:08 pm

Mine are just making their way up to the perch (Mo turned in first tonight.) Its sweet how they are so dutiful about going to bed :)
If yours seem in doubt about where to go you can encourage them to the right place with a wind up touch in the coop - they will follow the light which then slowly dims out. Or just pick them up and put them in if they are roosting somewhere else - like on top of the coop, thats a favorite trick!
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Marigold
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Re: Dithering...good or bad sign?

Post by Marigold » Fri Jun 22, 2018 9:43 pm

Brilliant! Well done, ditherer! Do you know how many weeks old they are? Hybrids usually start laying at around 20-22 weeks, but if they have already started they may go off lay for a week or two until they've settled in, as changing homes is always stressful for chickens, however much they are going to love living with you.
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LadyA
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Re: Dithering...good or bad sign?

Post by LadyA » Sat Jun 23, 2018 10:32 am

How lovely! Just keep an eye on their bedtime habits until you are sure that everyone is going in safely. I had a hen one time that was perfectly fine during the day, but at bedtime, she turned into a right bully. She would go into the house early herself (she was the oldest hen by a couple of years), and would then stand just inside the door and not allow any of the others in! For several nights, I was puzzled as to why the others were all queued up on the ramp as it got darker and darker, but wouldn't go in! And then I discovered madam bossyboots attacking anyone who tried! So, every evening from then on, whatever the weather, I had to go and take her out of the henhouse, and hold her until the others had gone in and got settled, and then put her in last. And then, she would just happily take her place on the perch and settle down without a bother.
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Marigold
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Re: Dithering...good or bad sign?

Post by Marigold » Sat Jun 23, 2018 10:44 am

Don’t worry, that’s not very usual! They’ll be OK once they’ve found the way in, but do sometimes seem to find it tricky to work out where the door is. They go to bed at sundown, so this changes until at the winter solstice they’ll be tucked up by about 3.45pm. and not emerge until around 8.00. In winter it helps them through this long 15-16 hour fast if you give them a warm mash in late afternoon - but more about that in a few months’ time. Anyway, if you look up sunset time for your area you’ll know when they want to go to bed, and it’s very late ATM.
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Re: Dithering...good or bad sign?

Post by MrsBiscuit » Sat Jun 23, 2018 12:58 pm

Yes, sometimes its a bit embarrassing in the summer when you want to go to bed but you have to stay up to put the chickens away!

Congratulations on your new girls, I'm sure you will have a lot of fun with them!
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Re: Dithering...good or bad sign?

Post by Margaid » Sat Jun 23, 2018 2:04 pm

That's why I fitted a battery operated opener. I could set it to work on the later of a light level OR a time, which was brilliant as on a dull overcast day the pop-hole didn't shut early by accident. I used to alter the time about once a month as the daylight hours changed.
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Re: Dithering...good or bad sign?

Post by Icemaiden » Sat Jun 23, 2018 6:33 pm

Yes, I use one too. I've had a VSB for a number of years (though it doesn't work so well with the Green Frog coop- it prefers a door that opens vertically). You can set the light sensitivity so that it closes at or after dusk & lets the girls out in the morning while I'm snuggled under my duvet!
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Re: Dithering...good or bad sign?

Post by Margaid » Sat Jun 23, 2018 8:58 pm

The Hensafe, which is what I had, also worked best with a vertical door. I bought it because I could set both light sensitivity and time which allowed for the stragglers (time later than dusk in the evening). When I sold up, I was able to transfer the remaining guarantee to the new owner.
Bantams=Banter
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Re: Dithering...good or bad sign?

Post by Bantams=Banter » Sat Jun 23, 2018 9:10 pm

LadyA wrote:
Sat Jun 23, 2018 10:32 am
How lovely! Just keep an eye on their bedtime habits until you are sure that everyone is going in safely. I had a hen one time that was perfectly fine during the day, but at bedtime, she turned into a right bully. She would go into the house early herself (she was the oldest hen by a couple of years), and would then stand just inside the door and not allow any of the others in! For several nights, I was puzzled as to why the others were all queued up on the ramp as it got darker and darker, but wouldn't go in! And then I discovered madam bossyboots attacking anyone who tried! So, every evening from then on, whatever the weather, I had to go and take her out of the henhouse, and hold her until the others had gone in and got settled, and then put her in last. And then, she would just happily take her place on the perch and settle down without a bother.
The Bluebelle, (Margo) is being an absolute swine to the Speckledy (Mondi) this bedtime! Chasing her, pecking her, jumping on her... They were all trying to jump up on the roof of the coop, so I read that as they wanted to go in, so I put them all in the house tonight.
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Bantams=Banter
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Re: Dithering...good or bad sign?

Post by Bantams=Banter » Sat Jun 23, 2018 9:14 pm

Marigold wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 9:43 pm
Brilliant! Well done, ditherer! Do you know how many weeks old they are? Hybrids usually start laying at around 20-22 weeks, but if they have already started they may go off lay for a week or two until they've settled in, as changing homes is always stressful for chickens, however much they are going to love living with you.
Apparently they're 18 weeks old.

I'm stressed already. They're so big! I'm feeling guilty that they're not happy in their run and that they're going to get out of the garden somehow. How do you know if hens are happy?
1 x hubby
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3 x cats
5 x guinea pigs
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