Introducing chickens to new coop

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Teriyaki Chicken, Jun 8, 2009.

  1. Teriyaki Chicken

    Teriyaki Chicken Hatching

    Jun 3, 2009
    My chickens are about 2 1/2 months old now and I put them outside in thier new house/run and they are scared as hell lol. Some of them sleep inside the house and others on the ground in the run. Is it normal for them to do this? I have a light in the house for them yet only a few go in at night. Should I put a door on there entrence way to the house and close it at night when they all go in or does it not really matter? At what point should I start giving them grit and oyster shells or is that stuff already in their food? I am using Dumor chick starter. Thanks for any coments or input.

  2. Do you have a ramp that goes into the Pop Hole?

    Sometimes some can not figure out how to use a ramp.

    If that is not the problem or even if it is, this should help...

    Lock them in the house for a day or two of cousre with food and water. They should figure out that, that is where they need to go when it gets dark.

    As for leaving the house open. I close mine every night. That helps to keep the chickens returning to the house every night and even though I live on the outskirts of town we still have opossums and racoons here at night. It is safer having the house locked up for them.

    Start feeding oyster shells after you start getting eggs. They should be able to get their own grit if they are free ranging durning the day.

    Hope this helps
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2009
  3. For safety's sake, you should put them into the house/coop every night and lock them up till they know that this is their home.
    They will get used to the new home but you need to be consistent.
    Is your run and house/coop predator proof? Very important.

    Oyster shells should be given free choice when they start laying.
    Are your chicks getting any treats? For the softer treats like plain yogurt, they don't need extra grit. Is your run a dirt/grassy run? They should be able to peck enough dirt and small stones for grit. Or you can offer it free choice as well.

    Have fun with your babies!! [​IMG]
  4. Teriyaki Chicken

    Teriyaki Chicken Hatching

    Jun 3, 2009
    The set up that I have for them is like Fort Knox, nothin is getting in or out. There is a ramp and I have seen all of the chickens inside the house at once but they dont all stay in there. I run consits of nice thick grass right now but when they destroy that I will put gravel down. Another question that I forgot ot ask was: Are squirrels a threat to chickens? I have a fenced in yard and have never seen anything but squrriels and rabbits in the yard and was wondering that if a squirrel did happen to get into their crib would it be able to harm them at all?

  5. I have tree squirrels that go into the chicken pen and eat the scratch and black oil sunflower seeds. I have some cute pictures of my little Sebright eating next to one. Mine have never caused any problems.

    Sounds like they need to be locked in the house for a day or two. They will catch on after that.
  6. BroomFarm

    BroomFarm In the Brooder

    May 3, 2009

    Our dumb chickens did the same thing the first night we moved them to the run! I found them all huddled together, in a pile on the ground, on a pretty cold night, when the coop was nice n' warm! [​IMG]

    We literally had to teach them how to use the little ramp to their door and "escort" them back inside around dark for several days, but they eventually figured it out.

    8 chickens, 2/ea Comets, Americaunas, Barred Rocks and SL Wyandottes.
  7. Judy

    Judy Crowing

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    I'd put them in and put them on the roost every night. Hopefully they will get the idea in a few days. Discourages them from sleeping in nest boxes.

    I'd bet there are coons and other critters around; you just don't see them. Good thing to have Fort Knox.
  8. Teriyaki Chicken

    Teriyaki Chicken Hatching

    Jun 3, 2009
    My chickens must be dumb. They also have no balance what so ever. They can't seem to stay on the roost for more than a few seconds before falling off. It is 2X3 roost and they still seem to fall off of it lol. Thanks for the advice guys.


    [email protected] Hatching

    Apr 30, 2009
    Northern California
    Mine spent their first night outside a few days ago.

    The coop is a dog house from a kit that includes a porch with railings. I have it in a predator proof run.

    house portion is somewhat small for 7 chickens so I'm going to do a remodel and add nesting boxes onto the side instead of having them in the house. I've put a perch in the house, probably need to add another. I plan to use the deep litter system so will put in a piece of wood to close off the bottom 6 inches of the doorway.

    The chickens won't sleep in the coop; they prefer the porch railings. Unfortunately, this means poop all over the porch.

    Do I need a door on the coop? Must they live in it? I'm in the SF Bay Area.
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2009
  10. Hi Lisam,

    There are predators no matter where you live, some you see and some you don't. There are the 2 legged and 4 legged kind. There are the UNinvited predators as well, (dog attacks etc.) You should definately lock them in their coop every night to keep them safe. Make sure your coop is predator proof.

    I don't know exactly where you live, I'm in the North Bay. We've lost chickens by hawk, by raccoon and by fox. Its so shocking and heartbreaking to lose your chickens. Keep your pets safe.

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