6 week old chicks- coop & pen use

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by axechix, May 18, 2010.

  1. axechix

    axechix Hatching

    May 18, 2010
    Hello fellow Chicken Folks!
    My name is Mike, and my son is Greg. We recently joined the Back Yard Chicken wave, and just signed up here at BYC. I have a question regarding our chicks and their introduction to their pen/coop. We have 9 chicks that were just introduced to their new living quarters a few days ago. I've noticed the first 3 nights now that they are bunching up in a corner of the pen instead of going into the coop which is available to them. [​IMG] We have had to put them inside individually each night so far. We did hours of research and talked to numerous experienced chicken owners to get our coop & pen necessities correct. We installed plenty of perch space inside. I've even tried moving the food and water inside to draw them in. They don't appear uncomfortable or different once they are inside. Is this something that is normal at this age? Any ideas or information on what to do, if anything, would be greatly appreciated!
    Mike [​IMG]
  2. LarryPQ

    LarryPQ Easter Hatch!!

    Jul 17, 2009
    Do they still need a heatlamp? Are they acting cold?

    And yes, it is normal. I go out everynight to put the stupid chicks back in the brooder with the smarter chicks. The dumb ones are always pretty warm, but snubbing the smart ones won't help with their social standing.
  3. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Free Ranging Staff Member Premium Member 9 Years

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    Lock them in their new coop for a few days, so they can adjust and know it as home. If they are not fully feathered (about 6 weeks old) they will still need a heat lamp. Adjust them to colder temperatures gradually.

    It took mine about a week or 2 of putting them in the coop at night before they went in on their own. I found it helped if I turned on the lamp right before dusk. They went in for the lamp when it got dark.
  4. Chook-A-Holic

    Chook-A-Holic Songster

    Oct 5, 2009
    Central, N.C.
    First of all [​IMG]

    It's quite normal for chicks(or grown chickens in a new place) to do this. Just keep putting them in the coop on the roosts at night and before long they will catch on. They have to learn where home is. If it's not too hot you can lock them in the coop for a few days, then let them out. I myself prefer to let them out everyday and physically put them through the pop-hole door at night so they learn the in/out routine. You can also put a light in the coop to encourage them to go in till they get used to it. Chickens can't see good in the dark so they avoid dark places.

    Good Luck!
  5. axechix

    axechix Hatching

    May 18, 2010
    Thanks to all who replied! I guess the little brains need "stimulating"! I appreciate it and will report as we progress. We have 2 light Brahmas, 2 dark Brahmas, 2 Araucanas, 2 Specled Sussex, and a silver laced wyandotte. All pretty birds so far!

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