How Do I Get My New Baby's In An Occupied Coop

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Jakenhoss, Jun 10, 2010.

  1. Jakenhoss

    Jakenhoss Chillin' With My Peeps

    Well I tried to put four of the seven new chicks in the coop and no go! they freaked out. I can't lock them in because I have 6 other grown chicks in there and I don't want to wake up to a massacre. I will figure out how to get them in there without locking them in.
    Is there anyone that has any suggestions on how to put them in the coop with out locking them in? If I didn't have to have the coop open in the daytime for the other girls to go in and lay I would be able to lock them in. During the daytime the little ones are in a pen next to the old pen. They watch the older chicks and there seems to be no problems through the fence but I am really terrified to mix them together because of the RR Red that I have. She is real territorial and defiantly the "BOSS".
    PLEASE HELP ME!! [​IMG]
    Thank you -- Jakenhoss
     
  2. ChooksChick

    ChooksChick BeakHouse's Mad Chicken Scientist

    7,738
    97
    321
    Aug 17, 2008
    Larry, KS
    My Coop
    You're right to be wary, and you should do the introduction when you can be there to witness and intervene.

    Give them lots of space, give the kids a place to go that the big girls won't fit (leave their pen open?) and put out treats so everyone is distracted.

    Here's an article about it: Introducing new birds to the flock
     
  3. westernmainecoop

    westernmainecoop Out Of The Brooder

    19
    1
    24
    May 20, 2010
    I made a little 3 sided pen with a slanted roof. Put a little door on it, and put the open side against the wall in the coop. It is made out of scraps, 2x4 ripped in half, 1/2" welded wire mesh, plywood and hardware cloth for the top as I placed it under a roost (actually helps with cleanout like a litter board).

    It serves as a temporary little pen. After the big birds are out of the coop I open their door. At first I had to shoo them out of a nest box into their pen, But they get the idea after 2-3 nights. The little door allows only them inside and since it is just a wire cage it lets the older ones get used to having them around.

    So far I have used it for 2 sets of chicks so it works for introduction. I have 3 different aged groups, 1 year, 7 weeks and 5 weeks. Each group stays with their own outside of the coop, however I think(hope) when they mature they will all stay together.
     
  4. Jakenhoss

    Jakenhoss Chillin' With My Peeps

    ChooksChick
    Urban Chicken Diva--
    Thank you for the advise. I read both of your articles and I am going to try your method of letting them ALL free range for a while and see if all of them will first, get along, second go back into the coop with the older birds and lastly, have no problems once they are all in the coop. My chicks don't get out much because of my dogs but we built a little pen that they can go into and I can move it around the yard when the dogs are out. The pen is about 10x10x2 1/2 tall. It has wheels on one end and chicken wire completely around and on top so there are no worries with the dogs.
    Thanks again -- Jakenhoss

    Sorry about the repeat. I am still learning how to use this forum. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2010
  5. Jakenhoss

    Jakenhoss Chillin' With My Peeps

    westernmainecoop--
    That is a really good idea. I think I will start making one tomorrow while every one is out of the coop, then when they go back in I will put the chicks in their new home. For now I have made a temp pen next to the main one so everyone can see each other. there hasn't been any problems through the fence as of yet. But I can't put it under the roost because the coop is not big enough, but I can put it in the pen. How do you get the chicks to go into the coop to roost? I tried last night and the freaked out. All they wanted to do was get back into their basket and go back to their bathtub inside. They were literally grabbing onto my arm and screaming. Just as I had two of the four in there the first two walked down the ramp and jumped back into the basket so I gave up. Someone had a suggestion of leaving them in the basket in the pen over night so everyone would wake up together. I'm not sure how well that would work. I think they would just be scared all night. we had a little bit of rain today and they didn't mind the rain but the thunder really scared them because they have never heard it before. Heck my five dogs barking scare them. Let me know about roosting please. Thanks for the info on a temp pen.
    Jakenhoss - [​IMG]

    Sorry about the repeat. I am still learning how to use this forum. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2010
  6. Jakenhoss

    Jakenhoss Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:ChooksChick
    Urban Chicken Diva--
    Thank you for the advise. I read both of your articles and I am going to try your method of letting them ALL free range for a while and see if all of them will first, get along, second go back into the coop with the older birds and lastly, have no problems once they are all in the coop. My chicks don't get out much because of my dogs but we built a little pen that they can go into and I can move it around the yard when the dogs are out. The pen is about 10x10x2 1/2 tall. It has wheels on one end and chicken wire completely around and on top so there are no worries with the dogs.
    Thanks again -- Jakenhoss

    Last edited by Jakenhoss (Today 9:30 pm)
     
  7. Jakenhoss

    Jakenhoss Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:westernmainecoop--
    That is a really good idea. I think I will start making one tomorrow while every one is out of the coop, then when they go back in I will put the chicks in their new home. For now I have made a temp pen next to the main one so everyone can see each other. there hasn't been any problems through the fence as of yet. But I can't put it under the roost because the coop is not big enough, but I can put it in the pen. How do you get the chicks to go into the coop to roost? I tried last night and the freaked out. All they wanted to do was get back into their basket and go back to their bathtub inside. They were literally grabbing onto my arm and screaming. Just as I had two of the four in there the first two walked down the ramp and jumped back into the basket so I gave up. Someone had a suggestion of leaving them in the basket in the pen over night so everyone would wake up together. I'm not sure how well that would work. I think they would just be scared all night. we had a little bit of rain today and they didn't mind the rain but the thunder really scared them because they have never heard it before. Heck my five dogs barking scare them. Let me know about roosting please. Thanks for the info on a temp pen.
    Jakenhoss - [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2010
  8. westernmainecoop

    westernmainecoop Out Of The Brooder

    19
    1
    24
    May 20, 2010
    I usually wait until just before dusk to close up the coop door.My ginnea hen likes staying out. The chicks are always inside by this time. They don't go into the temporay pen anymore at nite, but I still leave it in there for now incase they need some place to get away from the pecking order endurance. Currently both sets of chicks sleep together on a couple squares of hay.

    It will take a few days for your chicks to get used to their new home, You could try putting them up a little earlier, before your older birds start to roost so the older ones don't add to the scene.
    Mine would rather run into their little pen than let me pick them up, but that is the first place I put them in the coop, and I didn't open their little door until the second full day.
    Good luck!
     
  9. Jakenhoss

    Jakenhoss Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:westernmainecoop- First of all I would like to thank you for the quick response. I really appreciate it when I don't have to wait days for a response. I put all 13 chicks, 6 old and 7 new, out to roam today and there was only two instances where there could have been a problem but they solved it themselves. I have a 16 X 20ish pen completely fenced top and sides and a 51" X 43" X 46.5" Chick-N- Barn with three egg doors from Critter Cages. com From Phoenix, AZ. I can build a little coop as you stated you did inside the pen but it is the nights that I am not sure about. I guess after they have been in there a while they would see the other chicks going up the ramp to get inside and on the roost that they would, hopefully, get the hang of it.
    I already have straw inside the coop to keep the breeze down to a minimum which sits on top of hardware cloth and a table that we made especially for the chick-n-barn. That makes for easy clean up because I don't always have to empty the coop to clean the old straw and poo. It falls through for the most part. You said to try putting them up a little earlier than the big birds, do you mean in there little coop or try putting them in the big coop?

    Anyway, I think in time it would be possible to just set them inside the coop, or hopefully they will go in on there own, and just let them bed down in a corner or something. Eventually I believe they will figure out that they can get up on the roost and be comfortable with the others.
    When they were out today the little ones ventured inside the pen on there own and I studiedly shooed them out to try to get them to be with the others. I really should have left them in there so when the big chicks came back in they would all be together. I will try it again tomorrow.

    I have to get the little coop made while they are all out because my roo is real bad about attacking me when ever he sees me. I am hoping by adding 7 more girls he will be too busy to worry about me. He is a Bantam Silkie ( called Boots) and meaner that the devil . He has only been this way for about 9 months to a year. Today both my roos were at each others throats almost literally. I also have a bantam leghorn named Sam. He is just the opposite of the other one. Every time I go inyto the pen he jumps on my back and stays there until I tell him to get down and then he waits for me to hold him. He's a real coot.

    You say your ginnea stays out at night. That funny because I have an Americauna named ginnea, that stays out on top of the coop during the summer months. Sometimes the little bantams will roost with her.
    Well thank you very much for your information and sorry about writing your ear off. I could talk about my chicks all day as I'm sure there are many people here that could do the same.

    Thank you again for the advise and I will keep you posted on the progress.
    Jakenhoss [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2010
  10. ChooksChick

    ChooksChick BeakHouse's Mad Chicken Scientist

    7,738
    97
    321
    Aug 17, 2008
    Larry, KS
    My Coop
    I should've subscribed so I could see further conversation!

    I have an integration pen in my coop. I have 20 in an 8'x8' coop at night and out in a 9000 sq ft yard during the day. When integrating new girls to our permanent home flock, I put the new kids in this area under one of the roosts.

    I don't have a current shot, but this is the under frame, and atop the frame is a kitchen counter-top that is used for a poop board.

    [​IMG]

    12" above this is a 2"x4" roost. I scrape the counter-top every few days to cut down on coop cleaning. The whole bottom area under this frame is chicken-wired in with its own little roost, and used to house broodies who have trouble defending and new birds during a few days of integration. When not in use for one of these two things, it' s open for a place to walk around.

    The other side is set up with a poop board, but the under area is set up with 6 nest-boxes, with another line of nest-boxes as an island in the middle of the coop.

    [​IMG]

    It's rare for the birds to spend any time in the coop, even during inclement weather, bitter cold, etc. I have no windows, but have a giant fan that circulates air during the blistering summer nights. Despite lots of new birds cycling into the group, there isn't much of a reaction when they get to see each other through the chicken wire for a few days, and then running free in the yard. Once I release them after 3 days in the pen in the coop, they are just one of the flock, no real notice paid by anyone!

    Regarding your Silkie roo- you might try nabbing him in the morning and night when they're still groggy for a week or so and forcing him to let him hold you. After a bit he'll quit being a turkey. I'd hold him for at least 15 minutes at a time. Once he trusts you not to eat him, he'll quit trying to intimidate you and threaten you constantly.

    Good luck!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by