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moving chickens outside

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

I have a flock of 26 twelve-week-old chickens.  I kind of jumped into my whole chicken adventure not realizing how much time everything was going to take.  I ordered my chicks before I had a coop, then they outgrew the brooder before I could finish it.  Then It took me a few more weeks after I moved them into the coop (8'x12') to finish the run (40'x16').  Now everything is finished. Finally.  It only took 12 weeks, which I did not expect.  Anyway, now that the run is done I've been trying to encourage the chickens to go outside.  I picked them all up one by one and put them out through their door onto the ramp.  Then I put the back on the ramp and showed them how to go back inside.  I've gone out every morning and opened up the coop and they refuse to go outside.  I even moved their food outside to encourage them to use the run as well as put out some treats (corn, greens, oatmeal), but they seem to be willing to go hungry and stay inside.  Is this because its cold out and they're used to being inside?  Is there something I can do to, I don't know, train them to use their run?  I resorted to moving their water out of the coop today too and shutting them out of the coop for a few hours to let them get used to the new space.  Any help would be appreciated.

Thank you.

post #2 of 4
Put the food and water outside and lock them out during the daytime, provided it's not terribly stormy. They will get used to it. At twelve weeks they should have absolutely no problem with the cold, they're just getting used to being outside.

200 something birds. 8 species. ♥ Norman ♥ Norma ♥ Misha ♥ and ♥ Taylor ♥ are my babies.
Visit Norman the Rooster's Thread Here!
Breeding Sex Linked Silkies, Gamefowl, and EEs/OEs. Amateur genetics buff. Caponization practitioner/advocate.
Working at The Poultry Palace in Placerville, CA. Come see us for started pullets, chicks, Bar Ale feed, & more!

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200 something birds. 8 species. ♥ Norman ♥ Norma ♥ Misha ♥ and ♥ Taylor ♥ are my babies.
Visit Norman the Rooster's Thread Here!
Breeding Sex Linked Silkies, Gamefowl, and EEs/OEs. Amateur genetics buff. Caponization practitioner/advocate.
Working at The Poultry Palace in Placerville, CA. Come see us for started pullets, chicks, Bar Ale feed, & more!

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post #3 of 4
I always shag mine outside at least once a day, eventually they get used to it and go out without me, them I have to round them up every day because they don't want to come in. Chickens take a while to get used to things.
Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
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Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
Reply
post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 

Okay good to know that I'm on the right track then with locking them all out today. I did come back to find one outside the run tonight when I went to open the house back up, but it squeezed back through the fence when it saw me so that's not a huge deal, yet.  Guess I'll just have to keep at it and wait for them to get used to it.

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