First night in the coop

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by eds500, Mar 12, 2011.

  1. eds500

    eds500 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 27, 2010
    Raleigh, NC
    Moving on from my thread in the Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance section,

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=351072

    Tonight is the first night for the hens in their new home. 1 of the 6 is sleeping in one of the next boxes and the other 5 are huddled close to each other underneath the house in the run. I tried to get them to walk up the ramp but no avail. Several attempted to follow the 1 who did go in but the 2nd in line hesitated and the 3rd and 4th jumped off after waiting. I figure they'll be OK huddled but I would like to get them trained to go in the house.
     
  2. Nostalchic

    Nostalchic Chillin' With My Peeps

    Your coop and run are just fabulous. I would keep your hens shut into the coop itself for a few days so that they could explore and adjust, and only then give them access to the outside. Once they know where home and roost are, they will find their way back there, but they need a few days to "bond" with their new home. Lucky girls! (PS: do NOT let them sleep in the nest boxes. Cover the nests at night if necessary, and move any hens that are inclined to sleep there. That is a very bad habit, and will mean icky, slimy, poopy eggs for you (yuck!), but can be circumvented at this point. Make sure your roost is of a height that they can get to easily, and that it is higher than the nest boxes.)

    Wow, I looked again, that is really a nice, bright, airy coop, and your nest boxes ARE lower than those roosts. So stick a piece of cardboard or something over them in the evening so those spoiled rotten chickens will learn to roost on the roost - they will. Nice job.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2011
  3. wannabchick

    wannabchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 27, 2010
    Northen Va
    [​IMG]

    It's the first night for all my chicks to in their coop..me iam freaking out..lol
    Because I have no heat lamp in there

    Iam just going to try old school and see how it goes..ayayaya

    Welcome to byc too
     
  4. eds500

    eds500 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 27, 2010
    Raleigh, NC
    Thanks for the advice. With help from my wife, I've moved the remaining 5 into the house. I got one on a roost, hoping the others will follow and I have a light on in there for the next hour to give them time to get used to it. I placed cardboard in front of the nesting boxes and cardboard in front of the pop door. I'll remove both early in the morning. I feel better about them being in the house for the first night.

    Ed
     
  5. Sheepy

    Sheepy Out Of The Brooder

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    May 20, 2009
    Usually when my chickens are scared in a new place, I will put up a lamp in there, for the first week. They'll willingly go in the coop then, and after they get used to it, I take the light out, and they're fine without it.
     
  6. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Another thing I've noticed (and it might just be my chicks, who knows, but it's been the same for EACH batch of new chicks I've moved out into their grow-out coops), is that they love perching on the roosts during the day time - like Big Chickens! - but they won't sleep up there until they are around 16, 17 weeks old. A few started a bit earlier, but hardly ANY of my chickens spent the night on their roosts until they were at least 12 weeks old. It's like they need to build their confidence first. They prefer the floor.

    Eventually they stay on the roosts. But not for several weeks. I suspect it takes practice to be able to sleep up off the floor without falling off the roost, which would be embarrassing. (Kinda like the late thumb-sucker in kindergarten - "Kenny is a baby, Kenny is a BABY!")
     
  7. eds500

    eds500 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 27, 2010
    Raleigh, NC
    Today was very good. All 6 marched down the ramp when I removed the cardboard door this morning. And all used the ramp a lot throughout the day. I got 4 eggs, 1 in the bedding and 3 in the same nest box. I turned on the light before dusk and slowly, one by one, they hopped the ramp and are on the roosts. So I'm hoping they've gotten comfortable in the new digs. Overall very happy with their behavior.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2011

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