BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Raising BackYard Chickens › Managing Your Flock › What time do you let them in/out of henhouse?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

What time do you let them in/out of henhouse?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Morning everyone!
My 7 week old chicks spent their first night in the new coop last night! I have a manual pop door and scooped them all up the chicken ramp last night at about 7:30 and closed the door behind them. What time do you guys let them in/out of the henhouse to the run?
post #2 of 6

I leave the door to the run open and they put themselves out and in. 

Chickens off and on for 25+ years and still learning.

Reply

Chickens off and on for 25+ years and still learning.

Reply
post #3 of 6
I consider my run predator-resistant not predator-proof so I lock them up at night.

I feed and water in the coop as well as the run and my coop is pretty big so I don’t feel in any rush to get down there in the morning. Some mornings it’s nine o’clock. But I don’t think that’s what you are asking.

I generally keep them in the grow-out coop about a week before I let them into the run. Sometimes I wonder why I bother. I have an elevated grow-out coop and they still practically always put themselves to bed under the pop door instead of in the coop. I have to physically move them into the coop every night until they catch on that they need to sleep in the coop. On rare occasions it only takes moving them once, but a week to convince the last one is more normal. I’ve had some stubborn ones take closer to three weeks. I’ll be moving some to that grow-out coop in a few days. I’ll probably not even bother locking them in there, just to see how it goes.

 I grow a little impatient when people seem to think that they are unique in the world. Of course they are. Just like everyone else.

 

"If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." — former North Carolina coach Dean Smith

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

Reply

 I grow a little impatient when people seem to think that they are unique in the world. Of course they are. Just like everyone else.

 

"If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." — former North Carolina coach Dean Smith

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

Reply
post #4 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ridgerunner View Post

I consider my run predator-resistant not predator-proof so I lock them up at night.

I feed and water in the coop as well as the run and my coop is pretty big so I don’t feel in any rush to get down there in the morning. Some mornings it’s nine o’clock. But I don’t think that’s what you are asking.

I generally keep them in the grow-out coop about a week before I let them into the run. Sometimes I wonder why I bother. I have an elevated grow-out coop and they still practically always put themselves to bed under the pop door instead of in the coop. I have to physically move them into the coop every night until they catch on that they need to sleep in the coop. On rare occasions it only takes moving them once, but a week to convince the last one is more normal. I’ve had some stubborn ones take closer to three weeks. I’ll be moving some to that grow-out coop in a few days. I’ll probably not even bother locking them in there, just to see how it goes.

Honestly, my run is not predator-proof, and some day that will probably come back to bite me. It's got 2x4" welded wire on all sides and the top, so something like a weasel could get in, maybe a mink. I'm not sure how much of a hole they can squeeze through. But in all the years I've done it this way, I have not had a problem. Yet. The only time anything did get in at night was early on when I actually had the whole thing closed up for the night. 

 

OP, forgive me for hijacking your thread, but I'd like to ask RR a question - I plan on starting integrating my current babies with the older ones at about 5-6 weeks. Do you think they would just follow the older ones into the coop at night? I've honestly only had to put my Freedom Rangers in at night. Otherwise, the younger chickens always seemed to figure it out on their own. I have never integrated this young before, though. They've always been kept separately from the older birds until they were a couple of months old. 

Chickens off and on for 25+ years and still learning.

Reply

Chickens off and on for 25+ years and still learning.

Reply
post #5 of 6
Bobbi, predators are hard to predict. You can go forever without a problem then suddenly something happens. Just because something can get in doesn’t mean it will. I’d think snakes getting into your coop through that 2x4 wire and into the coop to eat eggs even during the day is a much bigger threat than a weasel though if a weasel gets in it will cause more damage.

Where are you keeping the chicks during the day and how long have they been there? Is your coop elevated? I think they have been in that coop for a few weeks and that is a walk-in coop, much like mine. I don’t always use my elevated grow-out coop. Sometimes I just open the brooder door about the time they are five weeks old. It may take them a day or two to take themselves outside the coop but mine always come in that coop on their own at night. They will probably wait until the adults are on the roosts to come in, but they do come in. It’s never been a problem.

I have a separate juvenile roost lower than the main roosts and separated horizontally. Once they start to roost they use that, they are not going to go close to the adults on the main roost even though there is plenty of room. Before I put that juvenile roost in I had some try sleeping outside to stay away from the older bullies.

I’m convinced the reason I have problems in that grow-out coop is because it is elevated. I think they instinctively want to sleep in a group on the ground in some protected area until they start to roost. They have been too consistent over the years for me to believe anything else.

 I grow a little impatient when people seem to think that they are unique in the world. Of course they are. Just like everyone else.

 

"If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." — former North Carolina coach Dean Smith

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

Reply

 I grow a little impatient when people seem to think that they are unique in the world. Of course they are. Just like everyone else.

 

"If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." — former North Carolina coach Dean Smith

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

Reply
post #6 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ridgerunner View Post

Bobbi, predators are hard to predict. That they are! I went for several years without an attack, then 3 years ago, our dog died in June and we went on a 2-week vacation in July. My mom was letting the chickens out to free range in the morning, locking them up at night. She let them out one day, was over at noon for something or other, came back a few hours later and my rooster and 4 hens had vanished. The only sign of them was one feather from my rooster's tail. I'm guessing coyotes. It was the middle of the afternoon, but I think they figured out that there was no dog, and no humans present during the day. They got my chickens the day before we came home..You can go forever without a problem then suddenly something happens. Just because something can get in doesn’t mean it will. I’d think snakes getting into your coop through that 2x4 wire and into the coop to eat eggs even during the day is a much bigger threat than a weasel though if a weasel gets in it will cause more damage. I don't think we have any snakes here that would be a threat. I'm in west central MN, and the only snake I've ever seen is a garter snake. Never had one in the coop. The night time slaughter that I mentioned previously was a weasel. It killed about a dozen 6-week old chicks. No blood, no dismemberment or evisceration, just two little "vampire marks" under a wing or on the neck. Dead chicks scattered all over the coop. Worst part about that was, we had a visitor who had never been on a farm before and wanted to see some animals. I hadn't been to the coop yet that day, so I invited her to accompany me to do chores... Well, she got a taste of the reality of farm life. 

Where are you keeping the chicks during the day and how long have they been there? Currently, the chicks are in a brooder in the coop. It's divided with the hens on one side, chicks in brooder on the other. Chicks are only a week old at this point. Another week or two, and I will remove the sides from the brooder and let them loose in their side of the coop. The hens will then be able to see them, and if I want, can make it so they can get right up to the dividing fence. Is your coop elevated? Coop is not elevated. Maybe a foot or so off the ground, but there are rocks for them to jump up on to get into the coop. I think they have been in that coop for a few weeks and that is a walk-in coop, much like mine. I don’t always use my elevated grow-out coop. Sometimes I just open the brooder door about the time they are five weeks old. It may take them a day or two to take themselves outside the coop but mine always come in that coop on their own at night. They will probably wait until the adults are on the roosts to come in, but they do come in. It’s never been a problem.

I have a separate juvenile roost lower than the main roosts and separated horizontally. Once they start to roost they use that, they are not going to go close to the adults on the main roost even though there is plenty of room. Before I put that juvenile roost in I had some try sleeping outside to stay away from the older bullies. I haven't integrated at such a young age before (except with a broody hen, and I let her take care of introductions and mean old biddies), but am guessing that the youngsters will go into "their" side of the coop to roost at night. I have some lower roosts set up on that side. 

I’m convinced the reason I have problems in that grow-out coop is because it is elevated. I think they instinctively want to sleep in a group on the ground in some protected area until they start to roost. They have been too consistent over the years for me to believe anything else.

 

 

 

Old picture of the coop the chicks are in currently. They are on the right side, old biddies are on the left side. There is a run built onto the left side, accessed by a pop door. Coop is about a foot off the ground to discourage things like rats, skunks and other critters from moving in under there. I don't want to give anything a place to hide. There is a space as wide as the doorway between the two pens, but by opening both doors of the pens, the chickens have access to both sides if necessary. My plan is to open the big girls' door when I let the babies out of the brooder so they can get used to one another through the chicken wire for a few weeks before attempting integration. At that time, I will have one or two panic doors for the babies to go in and out through, and their food and water on their side of the coop. Anything else I should be thinking about?

 

Again, OP - sorry for hijacking your thread. Hopefully this is helpful to you, too. :/


Edited by bobbi-j - 4/2/16 at 12:58pm

Chickens off and on for 25+ years and still learning.

Reply

Chickens off and on for 25+ years and still learning.

Reply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Managing Your Flock
BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Raising BackYard Chickens › Managing Your Flock › What time do you let them in/out of henhouse?