Brooder to coop

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by cdbeare, Jul 31, 2011.

  1. cdbeare

    cdbeare Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 3, 2011
    Marin
    I have 4 pullets that are about 5 weeks old and I think they're about ready to move into the coop. I read that you need to keep them locked in the coop for a couple days in order to imprint their new home on them and that they will then return there without prodding at dusk. I'll need them to go back into the coop at night so that I can close the coop door and protect them from raccoons, etc. I've tried to build the run to be completely predator proof, but raccoons just have too much time on their grubby little paws for me to feel completely safe. Any other things I need to consider before moving them into the coop?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Blue_Myst

    Blue_Myst Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 5, 2009
    It sounds like you have a good plan! You shouldn't have to keep them in their coop for too long--after even two days you could start letting them out into their chicken pen. By that time they should be returning back to their coop to roost for the night and you can just sneak in and shut the door.

    There are a few ways to make the coop feel like home. Keep food and water in the coop instead of in the run, and make sure the highest roosting point is in the coop itself. Chickens want to roost in the tallest area possible--even if it means in the run or on top of the egg boxes. If you still have trouble with them going into their coop at night I know many people have had success plugging in a light. As it gets dark, the chickens will go to the source of the light and, viola, the coop.

    Something you might also want to consider is turning bedtime into treat-time. Even if it's just a few pieces of cracked corn or a few cheerios. The chickens will realize that the coop is a good place where food magically appears at night, and they'll come in readily.

    I hope this helps! Good luck! And don't be too alarmed if they start squawking and crying in the new coop--most chickens do for the first night, but by the next morning they should be fine.

    Oh, and [​IMG]
     
  3. cdbeare

    cdbeare Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 3, 2011
    Marin
    Thank you for the suggestions and the welcome. I followed your advice and hooked up a light in the coop. They spent the day in there and seemed pretty happy. I do have food and water for them in the coop. I think the light was a definite improvement as it doesn't seem to get a lot of direct light. Thanks again.
     

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