Building onto coop with chickens inside?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by sunflour, Mar 7, 2014.

  1. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member Project Manager

    Jan 10, 2013
    I am planning to increase the size of my chicken's living area. They reside in a Wichita type cabin coop/run. I don't have anywhere to move them during the process and know they will freak out. Has anyone ever tried building onto your coop/run while the chickens are in close proximity. They are one week away for being Hens and the hormones do fly before daily laying. Cannot do this at nite. Any suggestions on how to reduce the stress reactions that I am fearful will happen ???????
  2. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 8, 2013
    Don't stress about it, if you're worried. All domestic animals are quite attuned to our reactions and our stress often becomes their stress since if we're stressing it usually means they have good cause to as well!

    I have built onto (and within) coops with chickens in them and never had any issues. This is with broody hens as well. They are quite curious about it, for the most part. Very rarely does one take a fright.

    Mostly, I have trouble building because roosters and hens stop freeranging to come and investigate the new nests I'm making for them, getting under my feet and occupying bare boxes etc that I've not even fastened into place properly, strolling into and out of cages I'm making, even perching on logs I'm carrying or trying to secure. Some even sit on my shoulders or head when I work, if I let them. They quite enjoy it when I build and hang around more often than not to watch; they all seem to like the idea of having the choice between various nesting, brooding and roosting cages. Chooks are generally smarter birds than given credit for and will quickly calm down when they realize the banging, drilling etc does not represent a threat to them.

    There are some foods you can feed to settle their nerves. Rolled oats are a great one. Poppy seed is also great, if you get a loaf of poppy seed bread or yoghurt or whatever, and give them some treats to work on while you work, will probably help. Any food they love will take precedence over your banging or whatever.

    I definitely wouldn't work at night, though, that would disturb them quite badly in all likelihood.

    I don't know how flighty your birds are but talking to animals, even wild ones, is surprisingly helpful. They can ascertain much from our tones. Just like we don't need to speak animal to understand an angry noise or a happy one when an animal is making noises at us. Chances are there will be some carrying on, but don't worry about it, some birds just love the sounds of their own voices and others love inciting panic. Some just like to raise the alarm, even over trivial things.

    Anyway, long story short, it won't harm them, and like any other animal they can get used to all manner of unnatural noises. Overprotecting them from such human-made stimuli is probably more cause for stress than exposing them. Even wild animals can get totally blase about all manner of artificial noises. As long as no harm comes to them they will get over it and get on with their day.

    Best wishes with your building.
    2 people like this.
  3. BrickWall Honey

    BrickWall Honey Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 24, 2013
    Accomac, Va.
    Don't bother our flock building anything near them or inside the coop during the day. Even with pneumatic nailers they all come over and see what's up. Usually getting in the way. go for it
  4. Beekissed

    Beekissed Flock Master

    Quote: This exactly. I have and have always had in my flocks, a few hens that will supervise the work, no matter how loud it gets. They will thoroughly inspect the work, add their two cents on how level or square you've got it and generally act like most supervisors...a lot of standing around and some yakking but no true help or sensible solutions and mostly just getting in the way. [​IMG]

    No your build and they will be fine after the initial noise and activity has ceased to be a novelty.
  5. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member Project Manager

    Jan 10, 2013
    Thank you all for your helpful responses. Hate to admit it, but your opinions are what my husband thinks. I know the girls will be so excited once this is accomplished, it will double the size of their protected run. Gonna get my plans finalized and get the work started.
  6. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member Project Manager

    Jan 10, 2013
    UPDATE: Coop addition was begun last week, and all hens just went into their penthouse coop and watched the action from their window. So glad I go the advice to go ahead and just build it!
  7. vehve

    vehve The Token Finn

    I installed bitumen roofing on the coop with 6-week-old's inside. They didn't seem to react to the banging in any way.
  8. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member Project Manager

    Jan 10, 2013
    Thanks to all the helpful comments, the coop addition is completed. The biggest challenge was my fear of building onto the coop with the gals inside, but they did accept the building process with little fuss. As the structure was being completed, they showed increasing interest in the project. When we were adding the sand, they acted as excited as they do when a mealy worm jar arrives! As soon as all was chicken ready, we opened the door to the new living area and they all ran in and began exploring. Again, quite a surprise how they moved in immediately without their usual chicken attitudes.

    Again, thanks for the encouragement to JUST BUILD IT!

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Original coop 5x10 feet New coop addition added 7x10 feet more room.
    1 person likes this.
  9. 6of6chicks

    6of6chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 9, 2014
    That's a gorgeous addition! I'm sure your chickens are loving their new space!
  10. Nexxus6

    Nexxus6 Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 28, 2014
    lol. I have 2 BO's that come running over to watch my cordless drill.

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