Built a new coop, old chickens won't go in it at night.

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by cupman, Mar 8, 2012.

  1. cupman

    cupman Songster

    Apr 12, 2011
    Portland, OR
    I have 9 chickens that are just shy of one year old. A rooster and eight hens. I recently built a deluxe 10x12 foot coop with perches, feeders, waterers, everything. The only problem is the old group is so set in their ways that come sun down they will kick and scream and become very frantic trying to get back into their old coop. They want nothing to do with the new coop. I considered grabbing ahold of them and just throwing them in the coop and locking the door except that still leaves my rooster. He isn't the most aggressive rooster in the world but he doesn't like when anyone gets too close to him(unless you have food, of course). The old coop is dark, narrow, needs to be cleaned... I just wish they would go in the new coop. There is so much more room and it's much nicer. Sometimes these chickens make me want to beat my head against the wall.

    I have no real run attached to the new coop. The run is about an acre big and it's just a fenced off area in the back of my house. It's big enough that the chickens will look for trees to hide in instead of going up the ramp into the new coop.

  2. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    Hello Cupman,

    I've changed coops, and I know the feeling. What I do, is I lock them in the new coop for about a week or maybe even two weeks. The reason I do this is because then they learn to feel right at home and they will consider the new coop their home.

    I have a small A-frame coop I call the "grow out" coop that I start chicks in, and then they eventually go to the big hen house. You will have that "coop confusion" if you don't lock them up in their new place for a week or two.

    If you can't do that, because your run isn't attached to the new coop, then I would advise you to let the flock go into the old coop at night, then transfer them to the new coop after dark. This will be a pain in the tush, but the'll be very easy to catch.

    Be sure to lock that old coop up during the day, so they can't get into it at all.

    With time, it'll all work out,
  3. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Songster

    Dec 15, 2011
    SE Pa.
    I agree with chicmom move em and lock em in. Lock em out of the old when you leave them out. Make them feel the pain, not your head. They'll get over it.
  4. audrey02026

    audrey02026 Songster

    Mar 25, 2011
    Dedham, Ma
    Yup that's what I did I bought a bigger coop and just put them all in it and locked them in there for about a week. Myabe before you throw them in put some treats in there so they will stay in ant eat and then let the roo see that you are putting treats in there and see that his ladies and tasty treats can entice him to go in himself then shut them in....just a thought.
  5. Yoke

    Yoke In the Brooder

    Feb 18, 2012
    Hay, if he wants to, let the rooster sleep in the old coop one night alone. I bet he will have a change of heart.

    Lock um in the new coop. You may start to get good results after a day or two of lockup. Clean any food out of the old coop and entice them with some scratch.
  6. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida
    That rooster will tear up those hens the next morning. Dont seperate the rooster from the hens. Chicmom has good advice.
  7. Yoke

    Yoke In the Brooder

    Feb 18, 2012

    I guess that was my point -- did not think about them going overboard. (Which we know they will do).

  8. highpointfarm

    highpointfarm Songster

    Feb 29, 2012
    Orange County NY
    Just keep them locked in the coop for a week or so.. It will help if they have something to do.... What i love doing is taking pine cones, covering them in peanut butter, and dipping it in bird seed. You then hang it 3 and a half feet off the ground THEY WILL BE HILLARIUS, you could also throw them some leftovers if you wish =]
    Hope this helps
  9. ECBW

    ECBW Songster

    Apr 12, 2011
    Same for me... sneak them into the new coop at night.

    Except mine did not take long to like the new coop. In fact, I don't think I had to lock them in, just a couple of morning waking up in the new dig and done. So, I would suggest the melo approach. It necessary then lock them up.
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2012
    1 person likes this.

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