How long before they think of new coop as 'home'?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by welsummerchicks, Oct 31, 2010.

  1. welsummerchicks

    welsummerchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2010
    My chickens are almost five months old. I just moved them to their (finished) coop and run . I did not want to shut them up in just the coop the first few days(which is what the threads here said to do). So I put them in the run with the door open to the coop.

    Bad mistake, they piled up in one corner of the run at dusk - the corner closest to their old location. Had to carry every one of them into the coop (crawling in the low roofed run). They have been closed into the new coop for two days now. No fighting, everyone very content.

    I am wondering how long it usually takes for the chickens to make the transition to a new location. And how long it takes to learn how to climb up into the coop. THere's a nice ladder but I think they just have a hard time adjusting to new digs.
     
  2. joedie

    joedie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 17, 2009
    SW Indiana
    I locked mine in for a week and had no problems with them going up the ramp into the pop door. Don't feel sorry for them being locked up just for a week. They are much better off than battery hens.
     
  3. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    SW Arkansas
    My adult flock was housed on our screened porch for the first five months of their lives. It took a full two weeks of lockdown in their coop before they would consistently go to the coop to roost. Tried to let them out after one week and found them all roosting just outside the door to the porch. My roo Thor, a cockerel at the time, was roosting on the handlebars of my DH's harley, that was sitting there freshly washed. Had I not spotted him first, Thor would not be with us now. OMG was DH ticked.
     
  4. herefordlovinglady

    herefordlovinglady It Is What It Is

    Jun 23, 2009
    Georgia
    my first group took three days, the second group i let them out after three days and they would not go back in, i ended up leaving them locked in the coop for almost two weeks.

    the only thing i had done different with the first group was i put their brooder at the pop door where they could go from brooder to coop, they ended up liking the coop better so it was easy. the second group i did not have the same set up so they had to go in the coop and stay. after three days i let them out and they had nothing to do with the coop. so i ended up putting them in for about 10 days and now they all go home at night like they should.
     
  5. birdicus7

    birdicus7 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 17, 2010
    Coatesville, PA
    My last flock was kept inside for a week but that included in the run. The first two nights they slept everywhere, in the coop in-in the run. Those out in the run I put inside in the dark. The third night they were all inside. As far as in the coop before free ranging I say one week. The first time I let mine out I do it on a day when I'm there and only give them a few hours before dark. After that they'll be fine.
     
  6. welsummerchicks

    welsummerchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2010
    Thanks! Just to be safe, I'll go with two weeks. It's so hard to get them into the coop from the run if they don't get that the coop is the roosting place, and we really want to clean up the garage where they were and not have them come back for any garage visits, LOL, we need to get the truck and tractor in there for the winter. I'm also hoping washing down the garage will remove some of the 'scent of home'.

    The coop works very, very well. All roosts were occupied and the food and water setup has worked very, very well. One next box was a little too big, and just like magic, yes, they tried to sleep in there, LOL! I'll put another partition in it to resolve that.

    We're thinking we'll have the electrician run an electric line into the coop. It would be nice to be able to run a heat lamp. I'll have to dig a water pipe under the road to do that.
     
  7. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    SW Arkansas
    Quote:Where do you live that you'd need a heat lamp? Seems like alot of work and $$ to me and except for some delicate breeds, chickens are better off without it, IMO. Let them acclimate naturally to the cold and they'll be well equipped to handle the cold with their down coats on.
     
  8. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    I agree, you might want power in the coop for any number of reasons, but you don't want to heat the coop. Results in chickens that are not acclimated to the cold.
    A power outage might be disastrous. They need ventilation and freedom from drafts blowing on the roost; they don't need heat. Plenty of info on here in the coops section about this.
     
  9. maggiemooscluckers

    maggiemooscluckers Chillin' With My Peeps

    I put my pullets into the coop/run at 3 weeks old. (because of the extreme heat I was unable to lock them inside the coop during the day) For 3 weeks I also had to retrieve them from their pile just outside the coop under the pop door. I would reach out the pop door and gently bring them in. They would then pile just under the pop door inside the coop. It seemed that when they turned 6 weeks old their light of intelligence came on and when I went out to bring them in I found them already inside. It took another 3 weeks for them to decide to sleep on the roost. Now at almost 10 weeks they are acting like big girls and coming in and roosting like clock work. It's funny how proud I was of them that first night that they came in by themselves!
     
  10. bigshoes213

    bigshoes213 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 15, 2010
    Sardis, Ms
    I was not able to lock my hens in the coop 24/7 because of the heat but for a week straight I had to pluck them off the fence line (where they decided to sleep while the chicken coop was being finished) every night and lock them up in the coop. One of my hens (henry a New hampshire red) will still sleep on the fence line unless it is cold then she sleeps in the coop no matter how many times i move her.

    One night I spent at least 30 minutes taking her off the fence and carrying her through two gates to the chicken coop. She would just walk right back to the fence while dodging me and fly up. then the cycle would repeat finally I gave up and I let her sleep where she wants.
     

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