I think my coop "reconstruction" made my chickens CRAZY!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by phelpcd1, May 22, 2012.

  1. phelpcd1

    phelpcd1 Songster

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    My dear DH built me a great coop before we got our 4 pullets......we've had them for over a month now and since I'm the one caring for their needs daily, I wanted him to make some "adjustments" to the coop. The coop itself really had nothing in it - floor lined with hay and one very low roost bar (also a water and food dish). I have learned that I HATE the smell of hay - at least when it's "cooped" up in a small area with pee and poo throughout. So I came up with a design I wanted and DH accomplished this weekend. I added the infamous poop board with sand and PDZ, raised the roost bar up very high, created a storage area for ME, lined the floor with pine shavings, and now have a built-in feeder/grit area. The last thing to do is put in nest boxes...preferably BEFORE they begin laying!! Ok, so the crazy part.............up till Saturday, all 4 chickens would head up the ladder into the coop for the night around 8pm....EVERY single night. No issues. We were out Sat and didn't get home till 11pm, so when I went to shut the coop door, I realized that 2 of them were huddled together in the run. We had to put them into the coop. Then Sun night, they all went in and I quickly shut the door. Last night, all 4 of them stayed out till closer to 9pm, and they were all walking around looking up as tho they'd lost their way.....finally, 3 of them made it in, but the 4th just sat perched out in the run chirping for her friend to come back out and stay with her. I had to put her into the coop again. At least this time, they all 4 made it to the roost bar and my morning clean-up went VERY well today with the pooper scooper right into the compost bin!!! Soooo.....do they get totally confused when you make changes like this or what would cause them to not go in when they used to?? I'm hoping to get the solar powered auto-door opener so I can go away on the weekends, so I hope they start getting back into the swing of things real quick!!! Pics below....

    This was a before shot I found......very nothing actually!

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    This is the AFTER photos.....soooooo much better in so many ways (yes, probably for ME more than them)!!

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    And this is Lucy just chillin...............ain't she adorable!!

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  2. Gargoyle

    Gargoyle Chiseler

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    put them in each night, after perhaps three nights they should all be used to it again and they'll go home by themselves.

    BTW, Lucy is a beauty.
     
  3. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician

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    Chickens and most fowll hate change. It's really that simple. Do as Gargoyle suggests and all will be fine.
     
  4. WinklerFarms

    WinklerFarms Songster

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    Yes they do, every time I change anything, even as simple as moving the waterer my 5 older hens get mad and sleep in the nest boxes for a few night. They eventually get back on the routine. Good luck
     
  5. 7 Biddies

    7 Biddies Crowing

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    RE: "Chickens and most fowll hate change. It's really that simple."

    Oh, swell. Does this mean they aren't going to take well to being put into my "homemade chicken tractor", for outings to various places in the yard?

    I live in the mountains with lots of critters of all types, so won't let the girls free range. But, I want them to have access to grass, bugs, etc., so we added wheels and a handle to a cage so it could be moved to different places in the yard where they can forage. I've only tried putting 3 of them in there once, and they didn't seem too happy about it. When I finally took them out, they ran like crazy for the door of their run.

    Does this mean my "homemade chicken tractor" idea is doomed to fail? (It ain't Williams-Sonoma, but it gets the job done.)

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  6. WinklerFarms

    WinklerFarms Songster

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    If you make it a regular thing they will adjust. It is things out of the ordinary that bug them, so make it an ordinary thing for them. Good luck
     
  7. phelpcd1

    phelpcd1 Songster

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    Don't feel bad......now that I know this, I can prepare for the major upset when we move to the country! Of course, they will have so much more space to roam so maybe they will thank me in the long run.
     

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