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Coop Training

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by firsttimechic, Mar 19, 2015.

  1. firsttimechic

    firsttimechic Out Of The Brooder

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    This is our first go round with raising chicks into full grown fowl. We are building a pen with coop attached, is it necessary to train the chicks to go into the coop at night? If so, what is the best way to go about this? Also, while the chicks are still small do the nesting boxes need to be closed off?
     
  2. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC!

    For your first question, regarding coop training, the answer is you will probably find it necessary to teach them - but they *may* take to it well enough on their own. I've had both experiences, but the majority tend toward the former. The exact approach will depend on your setup. If your run is such that you are able to enter and move about inside it, you can go into the run and "herd" them into the coop at dusk and/or pick them up and place them inside the coop. Another option is to open the coop (or go into it if it is large enough) and call the birds into you (using treats and a "rattle can" can be a great way to get them trained to respond to the noise by coming running).
    On the second issue - I prefer to keep the boxes closed off to prevent them from developing a bad habit of nest sleeping/being in the nests before they are ready to avoid waste fouling the nests. This is more of a challenge if/when you add the next generation to your flock and have actively laying birds in with younger birds as closing the nests is not an option. In that case you would simply remove the younger birds from the nests if/when you catch them attempting to sleep in the boxes, etc.
     
  3. firsttimechic

    firsttimechic Out Of The Brooder

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  4. firsttimechic

    firsttimechic Out Of The Brooder

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    That's kind of what I thought on the coop training. Do you seal off the run at night then?
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2015
  5. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    I do close my coop at night, but many do not. For me, it is about knowing that my run itself is not 100% predator proof, so having that added barrier between any nighttime visitors (especially since many of the common predators are more active between dusk and dawn) and my flock when they are at roost and most vulnerable is an added sense of security for me.
     
  6. firsttimechic

    firsttimechic Out Of The Brooder

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    I kind of thought I might too but it does get extremely hot in AL in the summer, won't that be too hot you recon?
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2015
  7. firsttimechic

    firsttimechic Out Of The Brooder

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    [​IMG] Currently what we're doing and hoping to have the 3rd wall up by week end. I was just curious as to what kind of "training" I needed to be ready for. ALSO, I've read a lot about covering nest boxes with slitted cloth for privacy for egg laying...is this necessary or a big problem if not done?
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Make sure you have plenty of ventilation in your coop....you could even have on whole wall 1/2" mesh, probably north side.

    Nest curtains are used by some but I've never found it necessary.

    There are lots of different ways to do everything for your chickens, it can be a steep learning curve for the uninititaed...alot can depend on climate, some of it will only show as you go along.
     
  9. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    X 2 to all aart has said there [​IMG]
     
  10. csaylorchickens

    csaylorchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a small backyard coop. The coop had a nesting box attached to the back with two roostin bars and a removable tray. It's not big. I have four golden sexlinks and the are two weeks and three days old. I had them in the house for the first week. Then moved them out to the garage for the second week in a large galvanized cage. I have been letting the girls wonder for thirty min the last few days in the yard, closed off. Today I put the ecoglow in the coop, set up foo and water with shavings, left one roosting bar and a ramp to the roosting bar, and I dealing off the bottom of the coop so thy can't get down into the run below. I want them to get used to the coop. I was going to move them in the coop durning the day and back I garage at night this whole week. By the time thy are three weeks/4 weeks I was going to leave them out at night with the ecoglow. Does that sound ok??? I want to move them outside sooner rather than later. The galvanized cage is only 3/12 by 3 and I can tell they want to roam more
     

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