How do transition the ladies from the old coop to the new one?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Kelly G, Feb 8, 2009.

  1. Kelly G

    Kelly G It's like herding cats!

    My 5 hens are upgrading from thier condo to a full size chicken house. We are in the process of retrofitting a shed into a coop. It will probably take us one more weekend to finish the project.

    The new coop is about 10'x10' with six nest boxes. It will be completely closed (by the time we're done working on it) with two framed doors with hardware cloth "windows" to protect them from predation (raccons in our neighborhood). Fear not, security will be tight (I lost one early on to a raccoon - we are taking all precautions to not loose another).

    The run is 40'x40' and is fenced with an 8' chain link fence. The fence is then extended another 2' in height with a non-barbed wire (this used to be an enclosure for 3 fallow deer that the previous owner kept as pets). It's the perfect chicken run area!

    My question is this: how do I convince them to roost in the new coop? How do I convince them that this is now home?
  2. CityGirlintheCountry

    CityGirlintheCountry Green Eggs and Hamlet

    Jul 7, 2007
    Middle TN
    You should spend hours and hours and zillions of dollars to make the new coop just right. And then you very carefully at dusk (so everyone is calmer) pick them up the first one and gently place her on the new roost in the new coop. And then you go back for the second one and gently place her on the new roost. And then you try to herd the first one back in the new coop because she will have left the roost to run screaming around the beautiful new run. Then you try to herd the second one back in the new coop because she too will have left the roost to run around screeching. Repeat as needed for the number of hens you are trying to redistribute. They will then all huddle up in the corner of the run closest to the old coop and frantically throw themselves at the wire trying to get to their old roost. Try to do this process on either the hottest night possible or the coldest. You get bonus points if it by chance raining. Continue to try to herd all the chickens into the new coop until you are threatening to make stew out of the lot of them. Go get a strong drink and wait for the sun to completely go down. Wait another half hour. Start over. At some point along the way the chickens will go comatose and you will be able to move them successfully. What you will want to do is wring their ungrateful little necks.
    Others may have better suggestions, but this is how we decided to do it.

    Good luck.
  3. heyeddah

    heyeddah Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 15, 2008
    Milford Ct
    Very funny but true.
    Just put them in the upgraded coop at sundown and lock them in. Keep doing it until they get the idea that this is home. It may take a few days, but it will work out.
    Then start building your new bigger, better coop to move them next year.
  4. rigagirl

    rigagirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 28, 2008
    churchville ny
  5. Rte.66_chicks

    Rte.66_chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 22, 2008
    Kingman, AZ
    Since I'm lazy, and don't like trying to herd chickens in semi-light, I wait until dark, have DH hold the flashlight, and move them from the old roost to the new. They're so asleep then that they really give no trouble.

    Same thing works when clipping wings.
  6. Kelly G

    Kelly G It's like herding cats!

    Quote:Okay - that was just flippin laugh-out-loud funny! [​IMG] It is pretty much how I imagine things are going to go. It may be necessary to begin drinking prior to moving the ingrates!
  7. Kelly G

    Kelly G It's like herding cats!

    Quote:Now THIS is NOT funny [​IMG] !!!

    Hmmm...but 12'x12' would be better....

    See what you've done?!!!

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