I need to vent...

rehdancer

Songster
Apr 2, 2019
127
297
108
Northern Wisconsin
When I first put my chicks in their coop I left them closed up in there for 3 days. That established "home" for them - food, water, nesting boxes, altho they weren't laying at that stage. I had a person-sized door that I opened and closed for them after that, but I never had to actually catch and place them in the coop, as they recognized it as home. One time that door blew shut and boy, did they make a fuss that night !!! I think the key for me was that 3-day confinement. Agree with all re: being creatures of habit and resisting change, so be careful what kind of monster you're creating !!! They are very adaptable, however; they'll just tell you how badly they're being treated.........
 

jgarner1327

Chirping
Mar 3, 2019
53
80
79
Portland, Oregon
So I really just need to get this out because I think many of you will understand this feeling of ultimate frustration I am having right now. Maybe in the process some of you can offer me some sound advice.

Today was the first day my 5.5 week Wyandotte pullets moved into their new coop. They were happy and exploring all day. They did not seem the least bit stressed out by the new sites and sounds of the yard. The thing I did notice is that they had ZERO concept of what the ramp was to get into the part of the coop that has the nesting boxes and closes up. I thought for SURE they would want to explore but they made no attempt to go up there. Half way through the day I put them in the "upstairs" and they seemed to enjoy their time. They actually took a little nap up there and seemed super cozy. I then noticed that they were not LEAVING that part so I moved then back downstairs where their food and water is. At 5:30pm it was dark and not only were they still hanging out but they were wide awake and eating and scratching and such.

At this point I needed to let me two corgis out to go potty and thought it would be good to introduce them and set some boundaries. The corgis were HORRIBLE. The chickens nearly killed themselves flapping all over and COMPELTELY IGNORING the ramp to which they could escape to a more safe feeling area. Long story short I now realize that I will probably not be able to let the dogs into the yard anytime soon without having them INSTANTY be glued to the coop an terrorizing the chickens. I will try to work with them but they are 12 and have a psycho prey drive...not sure how well that will go. Plus I do not want to torture the "girls" in the process. However, silver lining, the girls actually figured out that the dogs could not get in there and they quickly grew some confidence and were willing to stand by the wire and be fairly near the intense sniffing and circling of the devil-dogs, aka, corgis.

I put the dogs inside and decided that I needed to put the girls in the upstairs and close the door since they were making ZERO attempts at it themselves. They were really upset with me and when I finally got them in there and closed the door BOY o BOY did they have a lot to say to me and each other. They were doing their chirp that they do when they are calling for each other and their little trill when they hear crows or danger. The most distressed one actually WANTED me to hold her which is completely out of her nature. I put her in one of the nesting compartments and then moved the other two in with her. They instantly hunkered down with each other but they were just FULL of peeps and chirps and frustration. I LITERALLY had to stroke their backs and sing to them to get them to calm down. I went back out a little after to listen and they are still peeping but more normal peeps, not frantic chirps.

Please tell me what just happened.

I feel like I went from pure joy and happiness to see them in the coop to now I suddenly want to either have them live in my guest room for the rest of their lives OR find them a home with dogs that are less jerks. I am also at a loss as to why they could fly and jump alllllll over the guest room but not get on the ramp to go to a safe, cozy space. What am I doing wrong? Are they too young? Am I too green? Does this just work itself out?

Also, idk why I did not think about this when I got the chickens...but am I going to have to wake up with the sun to let them out of the upstairs part every day so that they will lay eggs eventually or will the sunlight that comes in through the little window they have be enough? I really do not think I can commit to letting them out at that time every day....more like 8 or 9 to be honest.

Ugh. Sorry for the rant and the questions...just feeling deflated and defeated today.
My dog chased and pinned down and chewed on the chickens when she went into the back yard when the chickens were out twice. First time I had no idea she would do that, second time she ran outside when I opened the door, so she can never go out in the back yard if the chickens are out. Never ever. Or has to be on a leash. My dog is only a year and a half. My other dog who is old (15) doesn’t bother them at all. And they are not afraid of her.
 

jgarner1327

Chirping
Mar 3, 2019
53
80
79
Portland, Oregon
oh yeah I totally dont get up at sunrise to let mine out. they get some ambient light in their pen but it's very shaded. I'd love to let them out at sunrise every morning and then go back to sleep :p but I'm really hitting more like 10 or 11am. whoopsie.
I do the same thing. If I let them out too early then I can’t let the dog out back. It’s a keep away thing to protect the chickens from the dog.
 

CNJ

Songster
Oct 12, 2020
231
484
116
I let my two month old cockerel's decide which coop they want to sleep in tonight and they ended up in my main coop with the older hens. They also, decided to sleep up on the perch. This is the first time they will be sleeping off the ground. They will get beaten up tomorrow. I need to get up early and open the door, so they can escape the initiation ritual.
DSCN0164.JPG
 

Myfinix

In the Brooder
Dec 15, 2020
9
30
44
GA
Thanks for the tip, I will try to find a tiny battery light. I tried to put my 2 month old chicks on the perch last night and they kept jumping down. I trained 12 chicks to perch before in the same coop, but this one does not want to sleep on the perch. They seem to be attracted to the neighbors light that they leave on at night. They sleep on the ground where they can see the light.

I found an old camping light that has an adjustable dimmer switch. I'll try it tonight.

I purchased a solar-powered light from Amazon (very affordable) It’s hung over the coop’s door in case I need it.
your girls will get the new routine fairly soon. Mine would go up to the coop but would not sleep on their roost until three nights after I moved them in.
I do keep the coop door closed as an extra added safety measure just in case.
 

Tawanda84

In the Brooder
Sep 26, 2020
14
40
36
I really liked your detailed description and affection. I feel you are quite fond of your babies. I am so fond of mine and lucky my dog is so calm at 12.5 years. Maybe they are too young for all that grown-up stuff.
My red hens are 7 months old and show no fear of my lab retriever. One was foolish enough to peck at ..what i don't know, a fleck of dirt, right at the corner i guess, of the dog's eye. Ground for a gruff if not lethal response, but she just flinched, moved her head and looked at me for help. Bright Eyes is her name not Bright Idea! One day at a rime and don't project, don't assume the chicks won't wise up.
 

lifein1840

Songster
11 Years
Mar 29, 2009
155
216
221
kansas city area
So I really just need to get this out because I think many of you will understand this feeling of ultimate frustration I am having right now. Maybe in the process some of you can offer me some sound advice.

Today was the first day my 5.5 week Wyandotte pullets moved into their new coop. They were happy and exploring all day. They did not seem the least bit stressed out by the new sites and sounds of the yard. The thing I did notice is that they had ZERO concept of what the ramp was to get into the part of the coop that has the nesting boxes and closes up. I thought for SURE they would want to explore but they made no attempt to go up there. Half way through the day I put them in the "upstairs" and they seemed to enjoy their time. They actually took a little nap up there and seemed super cozy. I then noticed that they were not LEAVING that part so I moved then back downstairs where their food and water is. At 5:30pm it was dark and not only were they still hanging out but they were wide awake and eating and scratching and such.

At this point I needed to let me two corgis out to go potty and thought it would be good to introduce them and set some boundaries. The corgis were HORRIBLE. The chickens nearly killed themselves flapping all over and COMPELTELY IGNORING the ramp to which they could escape to a more safe feeling area. Long story short I now realize that I will probably not be able to let the dogs into the yard anytime soon without having them INSTANTY be glued to the coop an terrorizing the chickens. I will try to work with them but they are 12 and have a psycho prey drive...not sure how well that will go. Plus I do not want to torture the "girls" in the process. However, silver lining, the girls actually figured out that the dogs could not get in there and they quickly grew some confidence and were willing to stand by the wire and be fairly near the intense sniffing and circling of the devil-dogs, aka, corgis.

I put the dogs inside and decided that I needed to put the girls in the upstairs and close the door since they were making ZERO attempts at it themselves. They were really upset with me and when I finally got them in there and closed the door BOY o BOY did they have a lot to say to me and each other. They were doing their chirp that they do when they are calling for each other and their little trill when they hear crows or danger. The most distressed one actually WANTED me to hold her which is completely out of her nature. I put her in one of the nesting compartments and then moved the other two in with her. They instantly hunkered down with each other but they were just FULL of peeps and chirps and frustration. I LITERALLY had to stroke their backs and sing to them to get them to calm down. I went back out a little after to listen and they are still peeping but more normal peeps, not frantic chirps.

Please tell me what just happened.

I feel like I went from pure joy and happiness to see them in the coop to now I suddenly want to either have them live in my guest room for the rest of their lives OR find them a home with dogs that are less jerks. I am also at a loss as to why they could fly and jump alllllll over the guest room but not get on the ramp to go to a safe, cozy space. What am I doing wrong? Are they too young? Am I too green? Does this just work itself out?

Also, idk why I did not think about this when I got the chickens...but am I going to have to wake up with the sun to let them out of the upstairs part every day so that they will lay eggs eventually or will the sunlight that comes in through the little window they have be enough? I really do not think I can commit to letting them out at that time every day....more like 8 or 9 to be honest.

Ugh. Sorry for the rant and the questions...just feeling deflated and defeated today.
:old Anytime you get new chickens, they should be shut up in the coop for at least 3 days, I usually do 5 days. Keep their food and water in the coop with them during the day, remove it at night so you don't attract vermin. After they have been in the coop for that time, open the door in the morning and just let them find their own way down. Don't help, they need to learn how to navigate on their own. In the evening, they should go back in on their own. They will have learned that the coop is their home by then. ALWAYS count to be sure they are all in the coop before locking up for the night and ALWAYS lock them in the coop at night!!
 
Feb 2, 2017
16,693
97,670
1,327
San Joaquin Valley CA.
:old Anytime you get new chickens, they should be shut up in the coop for at least 3 days, I usually do 5 days. Keep their food and water in the coop with them during the day, remove it at night so you don't attract vermin. After they have been in the coop for that time, open the door in the morning and just let them find their own way down. Don't help, they need to learn how to navigate on their own. In the evening, they should go back in on their own. They will have learned that the coop is their home by then. ALWAYS count to be sure they are all in the coop before locking up for the night and ALWAYS lock them in the coop at night!!
PIXELCHICK.gif
:goodpost: :old
 

lifein1840

Songster
11 Years
Mar 29, 2009
155
216
221
kansas city area
Thank you so much for adding that. The coop is a two level with a wire enclosed run "downstairs" with a ramp up into the "upstairs" and a sliding door to close them in there. I figured to keep them as safe as possible at night I would close them in a little after dusk as often as I possibly can....is it ok to just leave that open and let them do their own thing even on cold nights in the 20's? and praise the Lord that 8 or 9 is reasonable!
You MUST lock them up every night!! They are pretty defenseless at night and predators WILL go right in!
 

lifein1840

Songster
11 Years
Mar 29, 2009
155
216
221
kansas city area
The only caveat is if you live in a hot climate, they can die of heat exhaustion if your coop isn't well ventilated and they can't get out to get to water quick enough in the morning, however I don't know your location or coop placement to know if that's an issue.
I made the mistake, probably 25 years ago, of leaving the coop pop door open when the temperatures didn't drop below 87 degrees all night. I woke up to a bunch of dead chickens - ALWAYS LOCK THE COOP DOORS AT NIGHT! Now, I put a battery powered fan or two in the coop during extreme heat.
 

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