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Getting used to new coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Leigti, Apr 15, 2016.

  1. Leigti

    Leigti Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I just built a new coop. I want to get my chickens used to it. The coop has a pocket door that leads to the run. At first do I just lock the chickens in the coop part or can I open the door to the run during the day? Eventually they will be free ranging in the yard during the day and locked in the coop at night.
     
  2. flyin-lowe

    flyin-lowe Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Is the run covered, or built so they can't fly out? If so give them access to the coop and the run. Thats how I did mine and I was surprised they didn't go out into the run much the first couple days. They came from a large breeder and hadn't been outside at all before I got them. I figured they would go to the grass and not go back in. I left them locked in for about three weeks before I let them free range. The first couple of times I let them out it was about 1/2 hour before dark so they didn't have time to wander to far away. After a couple weeks in the coop/run they should return to it at dark. How old are they?
     
  3. Leigti

    Leigti Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm putting the young ones in first, they are about 10 weeks old. I'm going to add the others which are two years old and around eight months old next weekend.
    Part of the run is under the coop, the rest of the run is not covered. There is chicken wire over the top to keep them in. I have to reinforce the bottom couple feet a little more before I let them out in it. Hopefully by tomorrow. Tonight I just put them in the coop part. None of my chickens have ever roosted, will they know how? The little ones keep looking up at the roost, I think they'll figure it out soon enough.
     
  4. Leigti

    Leigti Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, all the chickens are in the new coop now. I put them in last night. The youngest ones went into the coop and up on the roost by themselves. The older ones I had to show the ladder two and sort of walk them up it. They all slept on the floor of the coop.
    I started out with two water stations and three food bowls in the run. Today I added water and food in the coop as well because that's where the little ones were hanging out. Two of the older ones have figured out where to lather eggs however :) I was very happy about that. Now hopefully they go and tell the others.
    Should I take the food and water out of the coop? I don't plan on having it in there regularly. I was just concerned that the younger ones weren't getting enough to eat or drink.
    Eventually they will all free range in the yard and only go in the coop to lay eggs and sleep.
     
  5. Leigti

    Leigti Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Another update. They've all been in the coop now for a week. The adults are all laying their eggs in the proper places now :) The three younger ones pretty much stay in the coop itself, often up on the roosts. I think the older ones kind of scare them up there when they walk through to lather eggs in the nesting box.
    The younger ones will go down into the run if I pretty much force them to. There is a food bowl in the coop but water is only in the run. I don't know if I should just keep food and water in the run to sort of force them to go down there or have food and water in both the coop and the run. Any suggestions? I figured I would leave them all in there for at least one more week. Then hopefully start letting them out to free range. Any comments or suggestions are greatly appreciated.
     
  6. Gatewayto

    Gatewayto Out Of The Brooder

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    Seems like the younger one are still too fearful of the older one to be in the run (close quarter) with the older chickens. It is odd because the young and old share the same coop yet the young one still is fearful enough to not share a run.

    Are you able to close off the coop after all the hens had laid? If you can do that, force the young chicken out then close off access to the coop after all the hens had laid. Also open up the run so there are more room for the young chicken to hid from the older chicken. At night open up the coop to let them in. After 2 or 3 days, the coop door does not have to be close anymore, except for at high time.

    As for the food inside the coop, I would continue having food inside and outside of the coop (sometime I'm too busy in the morning with kids to open the coop door in a timely manner).
     
  7. Leigti

    Leigti Chillin' With My Peeps

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    OK thanks. I did notice today that they went down into the run a couple times. The two-year-old chickens could care less about the younger ones, but the others that are somewhere around eight months are the ones with the issues towards the younger ones. There are two in particular that are snotty. Should I continue to put the little ones up on the roost at night? Sometimes they go up there by themselves and sometimes they don't. It kind of depends on if the others are blocking their way up there.
    I plan to keep them in the coop and run for one more week. And then start letting them free range. Does this sound like a good timeline? This would give them a total of two weeks in the new coop. And give me one more week to finish tearing down the old one :)
     
  8. Gatewayto

    Gatewayto Out Of The Brooder

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    Should you continue to help the young up on the roost:
    Not needed, they can get up on their own. They currently do not get up there because they are fearful, once everyone does get along together as a flock, they will roost together no problem. With that said, personally I would still help them up on the roost to speed up the getting to know you part.

    1 more week before free range:
    That is up to you, one more week will not hurt the young one as long as they have enough food and water.
     
  9. Leigti

    Leigti Chillin' With My Peeps

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    OK, I will keep doing what I'm doing then. Thank you for the information.
     
  10. Leigti

    Leigti Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yesterday the younger ones spent more time in the run. And they jumped up on the roost at night after the other ones got settled. Progress :)
     

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