Another newbie question: http://www.wayfair.com/Deluxe-Portable-Backyard-Chicken-Coop-with-Nesting-

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Dgrundy14, Jul 13, 2016.

  1. Dgrundy14

    Dgrundy14 Chirping

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    May 28, 2016
    Leeds, Alabama
    First time chicken mom and have another question. I have a run separate from my coop that I build for the girls after they get a litlie bigger. When I move them to the run for the first time, do I have pick them up and take them or what? I'm just so scared to let them out for the first time. How do you let them roam for the first time? How did you make sure they stay around you? I would be so sad if I lost one! Help me, I just want to make sure I do it right.

    Thanks!
     

  2. 8MerryHens

    8MerryHens Chirping

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    Jun 27, 2016
    Iowa
    I am also new to chickens (eight mixed) but have had great results with using a bell and cracked corn as a cue and treat to get them where I want them. The first time I moved them from their daytime run to their temp night home (a secure run under the unfinished coop) I rang the bell and hand carried them over and gave them a little cracked corn when they got in their night home. The next night I rang the bell, opened the pen and all but two came running from their daytime pen. By the third night they all came running.

    I next started free-ranging them but locked them up when I left home. I used the bell and treat to get them to the run if I wanted to lock them up. They would hear the bell and come running to me then to the secure run to get their corn treat. When I got the coop done, I used the same bell cue and corn treat to get them to go up the ladder to the coop. It only took two evenings to get them all up the ladder without needing to pick up a couple of hesitant ones.

    I used a bell as I thought if someone else needed to gather them it would be consistent (versus a word cue). I don't give mine a lot of treats as they free range from early morn till evening, but of the things I have tried the cracked corn is something they really love so the reward is very desirable for them. I can gather them anytime of the day just by ringing the bell.

    I find my little flock like to be together so they tend to follow each other. I hand carried mine the first time, which maybe wasn't necessary, but I like to handle them and it seemed to help link the bell, me, moving and their treat. They have had several routine changes as parts of the run and coop were completed and the system made each change easy for them with very little anxiety on their part. I love bells so it also gives me an excuse to ring one on a regular basis!

    Good luck!
     
  3. I Love Layers

    I Love Layers Crowing

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    Apr 25, 2015
    North Dakota
    So are they free ranging? Or are you letting them out in a run?

    I trained my chickens to be called when I yell "Here chick chick chick chicken" Even the ducks come.
    I usually only call them if I have to put them in early before a storm.
    When I do call them I use bread also since my birds get rations of oats, whole corn, and layer feed.
     
  4. Dgrundy14

    Dgrundy14 Chirping

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    May 28, 2016
    Leeds, Alabama
    Not free ranging because we have too many predators and I'm so scared I will lose one! The bell is a great idea, but I just say treat treat treat. They love spinach and lettuce that I bring them when I say that. They are only 4 weeks old. I'll try to post a picture of the coop and run and how far away the run is from the coop.
     

  5. Dgrundy14

    Dgrundy14 Chirping

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    May 28, 2016
    Leeds, Alabama
    [​IMG]
    I can move my coop tractor closer but they will still have to walk over to the run. Maybe I'll try a bell when I do that and give them a treat too. Thanks!
     

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