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Moving from brooder to coop

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Hey everyone! I'm a new chicken owner so I appreciate any and all feedback! My chicks are just about ready to be outdoors & since the weather here in Indy is finally warming up I've decided to make the transition. I've read a few different strategies on moving chicks from the brooder box to the coop. My coop isn't very big, and I don't feel right keeping them inside for several days without access to the run. I was wondering if you guys had any tips/suggestions. Thanks!!
post #2 of 5

It would be good to know how old the chicks are. Let's assume they are four weeks old and mostly feathered out already, but your nights are still quite cool.

 

Go ahead and move them into the coop with food and water and a heat source for just at night. They will probably want to stay in the coop for the first day so these are important.

 

The next day, the chicks may wander out into the run, so have food and water out there, as well as inside the coop. Once the chicks are spending most of their time in the run, you can remove the food and water from the coop.

 

The chicks may need to be taught to go back inside at night. The coop will look different to them from outside so it will seem like a strange place to them, especially if it's darker inside the coop than outside. A night light inside the coop is a big help for these first few days while the chicks are learning to go in at night.

 

If they don't get it right away, you may need to get inside the coop and coax them in using their favorite treat. Resist the urge to chase them down and stuff them in. It just makes the process more stressful than it needs to be, and it actually takes longer for them to learn.

post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much! I have four chicks, two are 6 1/2 weeks old and fully feathered. The other two are 4 1/2 weeks old and are almost fully feathered. I wanted to move them all at the same time. Nights here are still in the 50's, but I think the body heat of all four would keep them warm enough inside the coop. I'll make the transition today!
post #4 of 5
How big is your coop versus your brooder? For most people moving them from the brooder to the coop gives them a lot more room. There is no reason to feel guilty about leaving them locked in the coop for a few days if it is bigger. They will enjoy the extra room.

It sounds like you may have an elevated coop? I’ve found that when I move chickens into a coop on the ground they tend to go inside at night without a problem, but with an elevated coop they tend to go to bed on the ground outside the coop. If I leave them locked in the coop a few days before I let them out to the run (my usual practive), they tend to go to sleep right under the door. I think their instinct is to sleep in as low a place as they can until they start to roost. Mine tend to start to roost somewhere around 10 to 12 weeks of age, though some are quicker and some are slower.

My coop area is pretty dark at night. If they don’t go in on their own near sunset, I wait until it is dark and just pick them up and put them inside. No stress on them and no running around and chasing for me. But if your area doesn’t get that dark it could be more of a challenge getting them inside. We are all different with different set-ups and conditions. Good luck on finding what works for you.

When I’m ready to let mine in their run, I just open the pop door and walk away. Sometimes they are all in the run within fifteen minutes. Sometimes it takes them a day or even two to build up the courage and curiosity to go outside. Don’t stress about it, they will go when they are ready.

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

 

"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

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

 

"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 #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
It's a small coop, only fits 4 chickens. That's why I feel bad leaving them in there. But I put them out this AM, blocked off the nesting boxes and gave them food and water. They still have enough room to move around and it's well ventilated. I think I'm going to keep them in there until tomorrow and in the morning I'll let them out into the run.
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