Brand new to chickens... Adopting a flock from friend who's moving

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Lizboyles, Feb 1, 2016.

  1. Lizboyles

    Lizboyles Hatching

    Feb 1, 2016
    Good evening! Our family is brand new to chickens, but have spent the past year getting to know two hives of honeybees. We have wanted chickens for a while, and when this opportunity came along, we jumped- perhaps in over our heads! My first concern is with getting them used to our yard, as opposed to their old home. We are bringing their existing coop, so that will be familiar. They are used to free-ranging, which worries me some, as they will be in a new setting. Any guidance or advice? Should we try to keep them in a run for a while at first, when not in the coop? Ideas for inexpensive runs?

    Thanks for any thoughts/guidance... Chickens come home to roost this coming weekend, so time is short!

  2. Paganrose

    Paganrose Songster

    May 23, 2010
    Albany,, Wisconsin
    Welcome To BYC!

    I would keep the flock in a run for at least a week so they can establish where home is before you let them range, if at all. As for a run you will want to take into account the types of predators you have. Building one will most likely be the most economical. Check out the coop section for more ideas on run construction.

    My experience with moving my hens after having a free range to a fenced pasture range, was that they had not interest in staying in the pasture. They jumped over or squeezed through our sheep fence. For us this wasn't a big deal, the fence wan't really for them.
  3. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Crowing

    May 14, 2014
    Welcome to BYC. Glad you decided to join our flock. If you free range you will lose some of your flock to predators. It will be up to you to decide whether or not those losses are acceptable. If you keep them in an enclosed run to protect them from predators I wouldn't skimp on expense. Build the coop/run like Fort Knox and use hardware cloth instead of chicken wire. It will cost you more but it's cheaper than replacing your flock. There is a good article at on predator proofing your chickens. If you haven't done so already, definitely check out our Learning Center at There is lots of useful information there. Please feel free to ask any questions you may have. We are here to help in any way we can. Cheers.
    1 person likes this.
  4. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    agree with Michael wholeheartedly - Welcome to Backyard chickens.
  5. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockwit Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    Hi and a warm welcome to BYC. You have lots of great advice already. In my experience, keeping the chickens in the coop for 48 hours should give them sufficient time to know where "home" is and thereafter I let them free range. I've never had one chicken confused as to where to return on an evening to roost. Others will do things differently, but just thought i would share my experience.

    Wishing you all the best

  6. N F C

    N F C phooey! Premium Member Project Manager

    Dec 12, 2013

    Whether you free range or not, a covered run is useful as it lets the chickens out of their coop for fresh air and exercise but still protected from predators and weather. Be sure you build it tall enough you can stand up in it (make cleaning a lot easier) and bury the hardware cloth down in the dirt about a foot so digging predators can't tunnel under. The larger you make the run, the happier your chickens will be.

    Have fun with your new flock and if you have questions, feel free to ask.
  7. NickyKnack

    NickyKnack Love is Silkie soft!

    Welcome to BYC and the coop! There's a lot of great peeps here! Feel free to ask lots of questions. But most of all, make yourself at home. I'm so glad you decided to join the BYC family. I look forward to seeing you around BYC.
  8. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO. Premium Member

    Jun 15, 2012
    Welcome to BYC! I'm glad you joined us! :)
  9. Lizboyles

    Lizboyles Hatching

    Feb 1, 2016
    Thanks, everyone! I think we've figured out a plan to add a run onto the coop we're inheriting... Will keep you posted! Thanks for the advice & support!

  10. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Crowing

    May 14, 2014
    You're welcome.

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