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ChucksNZ

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Everything posted by ChucksNZ

  1. It took my ladies a few days to get the hang of it. I put a light at the back of the Eglu for the first few nights, and that seemed to help. I got a cheap battery powered LED light with a remote control so I could switch it off once they were inside and had settled down.
  2. Out of interest, what are the differences between the old and new models?
  3. I have the same general philosophy as you do - I let my chickens decide for themselves how they want to live, and so long as they’re not in any danger, I let them get on with it. It’s great to hear that your four chickens are getting a much better life. Maybe they just feel safer close together, or prefer the cosiness of the nesting area. If they haven’t used the roosting bars in 2 months, I suspect they’re unlikely to change their routine by choice. In your situation, I’d be tempted to take the bars out and put in something like wood shavings to see what happens. If they make use of the extra space, that’s great. If they stay in the nesting area, you’ll know that’s what they prefer and you may as well put the roosting bars back for easier maintenance.
  4. I’m in New Zealand, so a bit cooler than Perth, but I leave my coop door open all the time. It can get reasonably hot, and hens struggle with heat. However, my coop is inside a secure run, and I have an autodoor on the outside of the run, so I know they’re secure at night even with the coop door open. if your run is secure, I’d leave the coop door open. I’ve noticed that my ladies all have a good drink before bedtime.
  5. After a few false starts, and a bit of squawking, all 4 managed to get into the coop tonight. Yay!
  6. Thanks! Gladys and Hilda are real characters, and I’ve become very attached to them. The two Wyandottes are still settling in, and are very quiet and nervous at the moment, but I’m sure they’ll also become part of the family in time.
  7. So the two Wyandottes seem to be getting on OK with Gladys and Hilda during the day....but Gladys and Hilda won’t let them into the Eglu at night. I guess I just have to be a bit more patient until they get their pecking order sorted out!
  8. Thank you! That's very useful information, and very encouraging! Thanks! It's looking good for these 2 being female. The council won't allow us to keep roosters here, so I really need them to be hens!!
  9. Thanks for the reply. I think you’re right that they’re probably younger. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that they are hens, and your thoughts are encouraging. We’re not allowed to keep roosters here, so I’d have to return them if they were male, and I really don’t want to have to do that!
  10. Would anyone be able to tell me if this pair are male or female please? I’m told they’re Wyandottes (although possibly a cross between 2 varieties), and about 6 months old. However, the previous owner had a fairly large and gloriously chaotic collection of free ranging chickens, and I’m not convinced he could keep track of what he had, so this may not be 100% accurate. They’re both still quite nervous and not used to people, so photos are a bit difficult to get. Any information would be appreciated!
  11. Yes, that's how it works if you have set it to close based on light levels. If you close it manually before the light level has been reached for automatic closing, it will open again. I've been caught out with that one too!
  12. I suspect you're right. I spotted Hilda sitting behind a Yucca this morning, and sure enough, there was an egg 10 minutes later. She seems happy, so I'm not too worried!
  13. Unfortunately, there’s no pattern to when she lays, just like there’s no pattern to where she lays. it can be literally any time of the day! I’ve seen her laying at all times from very early morning through to late afternoon. She’s a Polish chicken, and they’re not prolific layers. She does lay most days during the height of summer (it’s summer now here in New Zealand), but it’s usually more than 24 hours between eggs. Thanks for the suggestion though!
  14. Any tips on getting a chicken to use the nesting box in the Eglu Cube? Hilda free ranges all day with her best pal Gladys, and they both happily go to bed in the Cube every night without any fuss (it took them a few days to get used to it, but they seem to love it now). Gladys always lays her eggs in the nesting box, but Hilda likes to drop them everywhere. I’ve had her for just over a year, and she’s always been that way. I have lots of wood shavings in the nest box, and have even popped a couple of fake eggs in there to try and encourage her, but she prefers to lay al fresco, in a different place every time. She sees a nice flower bed, and she’s straight in there. I often find the eggs days later, in all manner of strange places. Any ideas, or maybe it’s just too late to change her ways?
  15. Yes, it only stays on for a couple of minutes after manually turning it on, that seems to be how it's designed. I guess it's intended to save the batteries. I've removed my light now - it isn't much use to me as it is. I'm planning on buying something else. If you figure out how to override the automatic switch off, please let me know!
  16. 100 is completely light, zero is completely dark, so you’ll need to lower the number if you want it to open earlier when it’s a bit darker. if you scroll down on the display, it tells you what the current light level is. It will usually say 100 during the day when it’s 100% light. There’s also a built in 20 minute delay when opening or closing, so the door will operate 20 minutes after it has reached the selected light level. They need to add some information about it in the manual, because it’s definitely not obvious!
  17. A quick update on Gladys and Hilda... I put a light at the back of the coop for 2 nights, and they shuffled a bit further inside each night. Tonight, they’re both safely tucked up all the way inside, with no light on at all. Success! Thanks for the advice!
  18. Thanks for the suggestions. Gladys laid an egg in the nesting box in the Cube today, so she’s ventured all the way inside at least once. Hilda likes to scatter her eggs all over the garden, so I don’t hold out much hope of her ever doing the same! I’ve got the Eglu light that attaches to the autodoor, but it seems a bit hopeless because you can’t switch it on and make it stay on for longer than a couple of minutes. It’s early evening here right now (I’m in New Zealand), so I’ve put a light in the back of the Cube. They’ve parked themselves in the doorway at the moment, but I’ll wait and see what they do in about an hour when it gets dark. Fingers crossed!!!
  19. Thanks, I’ll leave them for a few more nights, and hopefully they’ll adjust. They don’t like change, so maybe they just need a bit more time. I think I have a habit of worrying too much about them!
  20. Just reviving this old-ish thread, as I’m having a similar problem. I got a new Cube this week for my 2 ladies, Gladys and Hilda, and they both seem reluctant to venture very far into the coop. On the first night, Gladys parked her big butt in the doorway, and Hilda couldn’t get in at all. Hilda kept trying to force her way in, and they both just kept tumbling back down the ladder onto the floor in a big heap of feathers, accompanied by lots of squawking. After the first night, Hilda is pushing her way in, but then comes straight back out again, and ends up precariously balancing at the top of the ladder with Gladys immediately behind her, both of them sticking their heads out the door. They seem to struggle with the plastic roosting bars, slipping and sliding around, and I’m wondering whether to just take the bars out and put some shavings on the floor tray to see if they’ll go further in. I’ve tried a light inside as it’s darker than their old wooden coop (and the doorway is a lot narrower), and I’ve tried putting food at the back of the coop to tempt them in, but no luck there. Any ideas? I’ve spent a fortune on this, and I really don’t want it to fail!!

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