10 Week Old Chicks will NOT go into the coop

LoLoGarrett

Chirping
May 21, 2020
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4 Days ago I brought home 6 10 week old chicks (2 Golden Wyandottes, 1 Lavender Orpington and 3 Gray Barred Rocks). I already have 5 Sex Links that are a 1 year old. When I brought the new girls home, I set their cardboard boxes inside the coop and let them come out at their leisure. Here is where I may have made a mistake! The little ones came outside slowly that same day and went out into the yard where the older girls are. The older girls have not and do not chase them down, but when the little ones try to join into the group of the older chickens, they chase them away. I cannot get the little girls to go into the coop for nothing! The older ones go into their coop to roost at night, but the little ones stay outside. I tried setting up a crate and made it cozy for them, thinking that I could get inside the crate and then move it into the coop. Well now the little ones are roosting on top of the coop in the evenings. Whenever I try to pick them up to get them inside the coop, I am only able to manage picking up the Lavender Orphington, forget being able to pickup the other little buggers! They are too fast! :D

How the heck do I get these little ones to go inside in the evening??? Ughhh.... I keep running around the coop at night for a good half an hour, but I am afraid that terrifies them even more, so last night I just let them be. The coop yard is secure, so they are safe from predators, but worry about when a rain storm comes in and the stubborn stinkers still won't go in. I have tried moving their food closer and closer to the coop to see if that gets them motivated to check the coop out again, but as soon as I get the food close to the coop door, they back off.

How the heck do I get these girls back into the coop? And if I am able to get them in the coop during the day, this means I need to keep the older girls outside, so that I can keep the coop closed up for a day or two? Or do I just close them all in there together? The Sex Links are pretty laid back girls, and as I said right now they just chase the little ones off if they run up next to them. I think the older girls will get over doing that here soon... hopefully?
 

DobieLover

Easily distracted by chickens
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Jul 23, 2018
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4 Days ago I brought home 6 10 week old chicks (2 Golden Wyandottes, 1 Lavender Orpington and 3 Gray Barred Rocks). I already have 5 Sex Links that are a 1 year old. When I brought the new girls home, I set their cardboard boxes inside the coop and let them come out at their leisure. Here is where I may have made a mistake! The little ones came outside slowly that same day and went out into the yard where the older girls are. The older girls have not and do not chase them down, but when the little ones try to join into the group of the older chickens, they chase them away. I cannot get the little girls to go into the coop for nothing! The older ones go into their coop to roost at night, but the little ones stay outside. I tried setting up a crate and made it cozy for them, thinking that I could get inside the crate and then move it into the coop. Well now the little ones are roosting on top of the coop in the evenings. Whenever I try to pick them up to get them inside the coop, I am only able to manage picking up the Lavender Orphington, forget being able to pickup the other little buggers! They are too fast! :D

How the heck do I get these little ones to go inside in the evening??? Ughhh.... I keep running around the coop at night for a good half an hour, but I am afraid that terrifies them even more, so last night I just let them be. The coop yard is secure, so they are safe from predators, but worry about when a rain storm comes in and the stubborn stinkers still won't go in. I have tried moving their food closer and closer to the coop to see if that gets them motivated to check the coop out again, but as soon as I get the food close to the coop door, they back off.

How the heck do I get these girls back into the coop? And if I am able to get them in the coop during the day, this means I need to keep the older girls outside, so that I can keep the coop closed up for a day or two? Or do I just close them all in there together? The Sex Links are pretty laid back girls, and as I said right now they just chase the little ones off if they run up next to them. I think the older girls will get over doing that here soon... hopefully?
Can you please post pictures of the coop? The number one resource you need when integrating is SPACE.
You haven't given the hens nearly enough time to acclimate to the pullets. The 'look don't touch' portion of integration should be weeks and then it will take many more weeks before the flock fully integrates.
 

3KillerBs

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Jul 10, 2009
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Yes, pictures, please. :)

It's recommended to home new chickens to their coop by shutting them in there for several days before letting them out.

Also, is it dark yet when you're trying to put them in? I find that I have the most trouble getting chickens into their coop when my idea of "time to close up the chickens" is earlier than their idea of "time to go to roost".

Just last night I had to go down the line of chicks roosting on the run clutter to pick them up and tuck them through the pop door (it was nearly full dark so I had a headlamp with a red light).
 

DobieLover

Easily distracted by chickens
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Jul 23, 2018
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It's recommended to home new chickens to their coop by shutting them in there for several days before letting them out.
That's not a viable option when the coop is currently occupied by 4 senior hens that are driving the pullets out because they have not been properly acclimated to each other. Locking them in will result in injury or death.
 

LoLoGarrett

Chirping
May 21, 2020
57
118
82
Can you please post pictures of the coop? The number one resource you need when integrating is SPACE.
You haven't given the hens nearly enough time to acclimate to the pullets. The 'look don't touch' portion of integration should be weeks and then it will take many more weeks before the flock fully integrates.

Can you please post pictures of the coop? The number one resource you need when integrating is SPACE.
You haven't given the hens nearly enough time to acclimate to the pullets. The 'look don't touch' portion of integration should be weeks and then it will take many more weeks before the flock fully integrates.
I will get out to the coop this afternoon and post some pictures. They do have quite a bit of space, so the older flock and the younger flock have been keeping to themselves with plenty of room for each flock to run around freely without being trapped or not having room to roam. Also their coop is a fairly decent size. The have 8 large nesting boxes, 3 roosting post and plenty of room in the center. I am horrible with math, so not even going to try to guess the Sq. Ft., but they do have the room.

Also I am wondering if part of the reason that they want to stay outside is because they have been raised in grass and dirt with a green house type covering for the inside. They do not know anything about hard surfaces yet, so just need some training?
 

LoLoGarrett

Chirping
May 21, 2020
57
118
82
Yes, pictures, please. :)

It's recommended to home new chickens to their coop by shutting them in there for several days before letting them out.

Also, is it dark yet when you're trying to put them in? I find that I have the most trouble getting chickens into their coop when my idea of "time to close up the chickens" is earlier than their idea of "time to go to roost".

Just last night I had to go down the line of chicks roosting on the run clutter to pick them up and tuck them through the pop door (it was nearly full dark so I had a headlamp with a red light).

In the past I have kept them in their coop for a few days before letting them out; however with the summer being so hot and the other girls needing to get into the coop to lay in the mornings and roost at nights, I did not think it work out as well this time, but hind site, I should have kept the little ones in there for the first day and into the night, it would have been easier to transition them into the crate while inside the coop, rather trying after the fact!

Good point on when I am trying to gather them into the coop. I have been doing it at dusk after the older girls are already inside and roosting, but maybe would have better luck in the dark. Also headlamp with a red light could do wonders! :)
 

LoLoGarrett

Chirping
May 21, 2020
57
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82
That's not a viable option when the coop is currently occupied by 4 senior hens that are driving the pullets out because they have not been properly acclimated to each other. Locking them in will result in injury or death.
Yes, thinking that I will be pushing everyone's luck if I lock them all in the coop at the same time. My older girls are gentle, but that maybe crossing the line with them.
 

rosemarythyme

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Jul 3, 2016
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Also their coop is a fairly decent size. The have 8 large nesting boxes, 3 roosting post and plenty of room in the center. I am horrible with math, so not even going to try to guess the Sq. Ft., but they do have the room.
Do not lock in the new birds with the old - that only works if you're homing an entire group to a coop and you already have an existing flock. You're lucky the old girls didn't attack the new ones since you added them without introduction.

Get a tape measure and measure your coop and run, and/or post photos of the setup so we can see what you're working with.

For the time being, if the run really is predator secure, might be best to just let the newbies stay in the run at night. Once they've been there a while, they'll be more comfortable with the older birds, they may start taking cues from them and follow them in, and/or they'll be comfortable enough around you to permit you to put them in.
 

LoLoGarrett

Chirping
May 21, 2020
57
118
82
Girls went in last night! Stayed inside their crate. Everyone seems to be interacting a little better, although young girls are still intimidated by older ones. Young ones are staying in coop this morning and have not ventured out with the others. Just need to give them some time. Mean while I am checking every hour right now.
 

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