dividing up the coop and free ranging questions

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Its Just Us Chickens, May 27, 2010.

  1. Its Just Us Chickens

    Its Just Us Chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 24, 2008
    Mississippi
    I'm trying figure out what to do with all my birds here. Could use some suggestions.

    We have one coop and free range birds. My first flock of chickens are 2 RIR's and a BR, mature birds. The we got 2 little banties, mature, that will go into the coop to lay in the nest, but refuse to roost in the coop at night. They roost in the cherry tree outside the coop. They're a little wild, they don't like people we've had a really hard time trying to catch them.

    Now we've got these new 1 mo old chicks. The way our coop is, it's a rectangle. On the short ends on one side is the chicken hatch and the other side is the human door. On one of the long sides is sort of a closet, a little tiny room, with a roost. That's where flock 1 roost at night and lays eggs. Banties are laying eggs in there too. In between this room and the human door is a nice big corner. For now, I have the chicks enclosed in that corner. It's a temporary, rigged up deal till DH can build something for them tomorrow. RIght now, after the big chickens come out of the coop, we close the hatch and let the little ones out into the coop to eat and run around. Then a couple hours later we put the chicks up and open the hatch for the big birds to come in and lay eggs. Later we go back and close up the coop, let the littles out of their corner....

    Anyhow, if we make a little pen in that corner out of chicken wire, cut a door in it for them to go through, and the big chickens roosting in their closet.... think everyone will be OK? Will the big birds mess with the little ones, will they let them in and out of the coop OK?
    I've never had babies before, so these 1mo olds, now that they've been in the coop for a couple days, is it OK to let them out to forage? Or should I have a pen for them till they're older?
     
  2. Its Just Us Chickens

    Its Just Us Chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 24, 2008
    Mississippi
    [​IMG]
     
  3. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    I would not let 4 week old chicks free range. But that's just me. I'd pen them up until they were older.

    Your "pen within the coop" idea sounds like a good one. If you have a couple of holes in the chicken wire for the youngsters to get into it (and safety), which the big chickens can't get through, that would be best. It will give the littles some sanctuary if the big ones start harassing them. I would actually pen them there for a few weeks until everybody is very used to what they all sound like and look. THEN let them out with the others.
     
  4. Its Just Us Chickens

    Its Just Us Chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 24, 2008
    Mississippi
    Thanks! We'll try the pen in the coop then till they're older. [​IMG]


    Any ideas for getting the bantams out of the cherry tree?
     
  5. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Quote:Try getting them out of the tree at night, when they are all roosting. Then if at all possible, lock them in the coop for about a week, day and night. It should re-train their little brains to consider the coop "home" instead of the tree.
     
  6. Its Just Us Chickens

    Its Just Us Chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 24, 2008
    Mississippi
    My chickens have staged a rebellion. Seriously. I have some really ticked off hens and a rooster today.

    Yesterday dh built the pen inside the coop for the babies. The chicks figured out to get out of the pen and left the coop for a little while. Now they're all back in their pen eating and drinking.
    Today my older chickens have been cackling and carrying on something terrible. I think that it's because the way I had the chicks penned off before, they couldn't really see them, maybe? Now they're just behind chicken wire, and the RIR's know for sure there are strange chickens in there coop. That's all I can figure.

    So all morning the rooster has been sitting on my front steps making this honking noise that he makes when he's upset. The hens are sitting at various places in the yard making a similar noise. And it has been going on all morning.
     

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