What time do your chickens go to bed?

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labradors
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What time do your chickens go to bed?

Post by labradors » Mon Oct 02, 2017 3:17 pm

I've been putting my chickens in the coop just before sundown - around 6.45 pm recently. Until that time, they've been hanging out in a larger run which is made with plastic snow fencing - hardly secure!

Last night I took my dogs for a quick walk at 6.30 pm and they suddenly began barking, scaring a fox which ran across the road in front of us, and then I saw it again further down the road. Our short walk was shortened even more as I wanted to get home to put the chickens to bed where they would be safe!

All was well, but I think I'd better put them in the small (but secure) run an hour or two before sundown in future!

Linda
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Happy
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Re: What time do your chickens go to bed?

Post by Happy » Mon Oct 02, 2017 4:14 pm

Honestly I found out the hard way that fox/coyotes/racoons...(list goes on) can and will show up just as often in the middle of the day as in the evening. The only chickens I've lost to predators in 6 years were due to 2 separate coyote attacks in the middle of the day. Once was in December and once in June. My birds do still free range in my fenced backyard but only when the dogs can be out with them. If not they go in their secure pen. Mine all head inside between 6-6:30 right now because they know they get "mush" before bed and they are little pigs.
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kenya
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Re: What time do your chickens go to bed?

Post by kenya » Mon Oct 02, 2017 4:39 pm

Mine are out till about 5, then off to bed they go whether they like it or not. I have to head off to bed at 6 as I work nights so they are used to it.
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Killerbunny
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Re: What time do your chickens go to bed?

Post by Killerbunny » Mon Oct 02, 2017 4:41 pm

Mine go off to bed around dusk but the biddies are usually in earlier than the youngsters. Sister takes the babies in about an hour before that.
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labradors
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Re: What time do your chickens go to bed?

Post by labradors » Mon Oct 02, 2017 7:54 pm

Thanks folks and especially Happy! Thank doG for dawgs. Good idea to make sure they are outside when the chickens are vulnerable, although ours are pack hounds who want to be with us wherever we are......

What is mash? Mine go into the coop as I always fill up their feeder with food at bed time, but if I'm not quick to close the pop door, out they pop again {LOL}.

Linda
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Happy
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Re: What time do your chickens go to bed?

Post by Happy » Mon Oct 02, 2017 8:41 pm

Mush is just their pellets soaked in water to a thick oatmeal consistency. I use hot water in winter and mix in sunflower seeds and oatmeal
Flakes. Sometimes they get leftover potato or pasta or whatever mixed in. They act like it's a gourmet meal lol. I started this ritual during a bad molt where nobody seemed to feel good enough to eat and the temps dropped suddenly. They fill their faces and I'm much happier knowing their crops are full each night.
My lab doesn't appreciate being a chicken guardian either lol. He fully believes that is "the dog's job" meaning the beagle and that he belongs beside me wherever that might be.
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labradors
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Re: What time do your chickens go to bed?

Post by labradors » Tue Oct 03, 2017 11:36 am

Mash sounds great! I must try that. Dawg will be jealous :(

Linda
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windwalkingwolf
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Re: What time do your chickens go to bed?

Post by windwalkingwolf » Tue Oct 03, 2017 4:44 pm

Oldest birds are in by an hour before sunset, broodies with chicks about the same. Turkeys, older chicks and grow-outs push the envelope and don't go in until dusk, and geese and ducks would wander all night if I let them. I like them locked up before I leave for work, so I usually close doors before 7. I use a 45 gallon drum to hold feed, and they know when the lid rattles that it's suppertime, and come running in from far and wide. Chucky the rooster starts calling, which helps.
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KimChick
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Re: What time do your chickens go to bed?

Post by KimChick » Thu Nov 02, 2017 3:23 pm

Our Freys Special Dual Purpose rooster (Humphrey) and the 5 hens (our original meat chickens that started laying) go into their coop early, maybe as soon as sunset. The BSL' s now go in when it's starting to get dark, now that there is a rooster with them. The RSL's are the same time, only we just got them in the habit of going into the coop instead of on the roof of the coop. Now that it is getting colder and is rainy, they are getting less stubborn about staying outside. All of our chickens are in a secure,fenced enclosure. We let them out only if we are also working outside, then herd them back in when we want them in.
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Skinny rooster
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Re: What time do your chickens go to bed?

Post by Skinny rooster » Sun Dec 10, 2017 12:11 pm

I can't let mine out unless I am with them, twice I have had a wolf in the yard at noon so you never know what can happen. As of now December 10, with these cloudy days, my ladies are on the perches by 3pm getting ready for bed. No wonder chickens don't lay as much in the winter.
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