HOW do you move chickens at night into another coop?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Donna in Montana, Apr 28, 2011.

  1. Donna in Montana

    Donna in Montana Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 12, 2011
    Our last "chicks" (a hen and rooster) have been sleeping in the 'small' coop they grew up in although their mom went on back to the big coop with the rest of the foul. We now need these two to join the rest so we can put our new chicks out in the small coop (with a red heat light). These two free range with the rest of the chickens, guineas, duck and goose although there are a number of "clicks". The goose, duck and a rooster all hang out together... "The Three Amigos" [​IMG] There shouldn't be any problem, I wouldn't think, as there may be with new birds being introduced.

    I thought chickens were really groggy at night and it would be easy to pick them up and move them to their new home but they went crazy, the roo flew into the lean-to (much stuff stored there and unable to get him) and the hen flew out into the night.. hopefully to spend it safely under a car or better yet go back into the coop (we left the door open.. cross fingers no visitors tonight).

    I've spent a fair amount of time doing searches about the actual method for moving chickens on this forum but just could NOT find the answer...

    Hope I picked the correct subject to post this in.. I just found this site this weekend and LOVE IT! Never thought about looking for a forum on chickens... duh... and have had chickens for 6-7 years and on the Internet longer! [​IMG]

    Thanks for any help...
  2. jynnjynn

    jynnjynn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 5, 2010
    maybe youre trying to get them too early and they are not yet asleep? Mine barely even notice if I grab them at night.
  3. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

    Aug 13, 2007
    North/Central Florida
    Keep the light as dim as possible as well. Just enough to see what you're doing and no more.
  4. Donna in Montana

    Donna in Montana Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 12, 2011
    No, light is not the problem... There's no light in the little coop and it was totally dark (10pm). We had to use a flashlight to get out there...

    Thanks, though...

    Any other thoughts? We live out in the country. Maybe they're more alert because it's so quiet?????

    Hubby just told me he saw "Jack and Jill" this morning so it's nice to know they made it safely through the night!
  5. ScotianChick

    ScotianChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 27, 2010
    Even a strong flash light can wake them. If I have to do anything real delicate and don't want to wake mine, I use my head lamp which has a red light setting. I would take the rooster first too.
  6. Donna in Montana

    Donna in Montana Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 12, 2011
    Quote:Sorry the reply was so late... my computer mouse quit working yesterday morning.. bummer..

    Hubby tried the red light last night. The rooster was almost in reach when it went zooming out of the coop.. they could tell 'danger' was around, I guess.

    It is weird that other peoples chickens are so groggy at night (and again a pitch dark night) ... just light sleepers I guess. [​IMG]

    Hubby doesn't think these two chickens would hurt the eight chicks but I'm leery to try. The coop is low and narrow, not easy to get around in the fenced run should need be to protect a chick if necessary.

    We have seen them in the 'run' of the main coop eating grain but never inside the coop which isn't to say they haven't been in there. Do you think if they were just closed out of the little coop they'd go to sleep in the big one on their own?
  7. BlackDogPack

    BlackDogPack Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 8, 2011
    Don't use a light at all. When I catch chickens I shine them, locate them and then I go to them and grab them. If needed I will shine again to locate them and make sure I will get a good grab. If catching one of my coop girls it's easier, I just grab them around the body making sure I have the wings pinned. When I catch mine, or someone else's "yard birds" (mine are game/mix) I grab legs. I've never had an issue catching chickens, except maybe when they are 15-20 foot in the top of a tree. If it is dark a chicken can't see. Ducks can, I've found out, but chickens can't. Sometimes if it's a bit light still you can shine them in the eyes and "blind" them for a split second to grab them. But I'm talking about catching half-wild birds. I've had birds get away, crazy as a bat, and when they reach the dark you can walk right up and grab them. Unless they hear you, they will react off of sound.

    However, if I want a new chicken to go into the coop at night I catch them before they go to roost and DH and myself "heard" them into the coop. After a couple nights they just go in there on their own.

    If they are in a coop why don't you just use a net or foot catcher?
  8. Donna in Montana

    Donna in Montana Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 12, 2011
    The small coup is an addition to a lean-to to the garage and is so narrow you can't really work a net in there.

    We have 'dealt' with chickens once or twice before in the main coop without problems... they were groggy as expected. These two are just weird/different. We should not have left them to sleep in the other coop but made them go up with mom and the rest. It just wasn't that big a deal to close the two coops up at night.

    We'll get it taken care of some way, just wondered if there was a way to do it other then what I expected to work and there doesn't seem to be.

    Thanks for the replies....
  9. One Acre Wonder Farm

    One Acre Wonder Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 20, 2009
    I agree with the no-light method. Use a dim light (cover most of the flashlight with your hand if you have to) to get where you are going, then turn off the light as early/soon as you can. Wait in the dark for a bit, then grab them with both hands pinning their wings to their sides. This works perfectly for me in our coop with a roost that is about waist high with chickens that are not at all tame.

    If they're not sleeping in the big coop now it is too hard to say whether they would on their own or not if shut out of their little coop. I know if I did that to some of my chickens they'd sooner roost in the trees than in the other coop. Others would happily move to the new coop, it just depends on the individual chicken...
  10. juliette2009

    juliette2009 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2009
    Wadmalaw Island, SC
    Pinning their wings by holding them is a must! I would also wait a night or two before trying to catch them again.

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