Length of time in new hen house

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by specsussex, Aug 23, 2013.

  1. specsussex

    specsussex Out Of The Brooder

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    How long should I leave my girls in their new hen house( to get used to it), before I let them out again?
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    I’d suggest a week. That should be enough to get them thinking of it as home.
     
  3. chickenchick123

    chickenchick123 Out Of The Brooder

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    I was told by the breeder I got my girls from to wait 4 weeks before free ranging them. Does this sound too long. I'm getting some new chicks tomorrow,also been wondering how long to wait this time. Do you think I've been told longer as they are moving completely where as "specsussex" is only moving them to a new coop? So many different opinions, wondering what to do!
     
  4. MoonShadows

    MoonShadows The Jam Man

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    I did 10 days, and I have never had a problem with them returning to the coop in the evening.
     
  5. Rose Family

    Rose Family Out Of The Brooder

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    I got my first two hens yesterday and one staffer there told me 1 or 2 sleeps and one told me 3 or 4. Very confusing for a newbie.
     
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Chickens can be very confusing for a newbie. They are living animals, each with their own personality. Each flock has its own dynamics. We keep them in totally different circumstances and conditions for our different reasons. We manage them differently. Flock make-ups are different. Each situation is unique. There is seldom one right answer for anything chicken that covers us all.

    I guess I’ll go into my guideline rant. There are a lot of recommendations on this forum that are guidelines, not absolute laws of nature. Following the guidelines exactly does not guarantee absolute success. Failure to follow a guideline does not guarantee total failure. All the guidelines do is improve your odds. There are no guarantees either way with them.

    The guidelines are for people that don’t have any experience with chickens. If you don’t know, you need a starting point. They are intended to cover everyone from Miami Florida to Fargo North Dakota, Perth Australia to Inverness Scotland and everywhere else and pretty much keep them all out of trouble in spite of lousy coops, bad weather, and bad management practices. They are intended to cover someone keeping four hens in a small coop in a suburban back yard and someone free ranging flocks with several roosters and hens raising baby chicks. (Most guidelines on this forum are pointed toward the small backyard all-hen flock) As a result, many of them are overkill for a lot of us. They are generally over the top. That doesn’t mean there is nothing to them. It just means they are very safe for most of us and more than the absolute minimum most of us need.

    What kinds of things am I talking about? Coop and run space, roost space, number and size of nests, how to store eggs for incubation, things during incubation like turning and humidity, temperatures for a brooder, feeding them treats, grit, or extra calcium, ventilation and draft protection in a coop, broody hens, integration, and who knows what else. There is no one right answer where everything else is wrong for any of this. There are things that have been found to work for most of us most of the time. And there are usually many different things that work.

    How long should you keep chickens locked in a new coop? Are you adding to an existing flock or is it a totally empty coop? Are they free range or will they be locked in a run when they are out of a coop? What are the ages involved, and breeds? What are the individual personalities of the chickens involved and the flock dynamics? In some circumstances with some chickens a few hours is probably enough. In other circumstances a few days will be needed. A week is overkill for most people most of the time but it is also very safe in practically all conditions. If you keep them locked up that long, they are not very likely to go wandering, looking for a home. But there is no guarantee they still won’t sleep in trees instead of returning to the coop to roost. They will practically always return to the coop, at least the immediate vicinity, but they are living animals. They don’t come with guarantees.

    Rant finished.
     
  7. GSPx2

    GSPx2 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I waited a week after I picked up my two hens from the farm. I have no problems with them going back to the coop just before dark.
     
  8. Rose Family

    Rose Family Out Of The Brooder

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    Ridgerunner - I did not take that as a rant. It was actually very helpful and made a lot of sense. It must be frustrating for experienced hen owners to keep answering the same questions from anxious newbies. I really appreciate your response. On reflection, it's very much like the advice we offer to new mums about every issue of baby care. There are no absolutes there is " this is what worked for me but it only worked for the first child and it was different again for 2nd and third child.". With that analogy in mind, I can see how responses vary, yet may all lead to a success but without a guarantee of success. Hmmm perhaps a lightbulb moment - thank you :)
     
  9. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Oh, I wasn’t mad at anybody when I wrote it. And I don’t mind answering the same questions at all. This forum would die if people only posted questions that have never been asked. The search function is not always real easy to use, especially for new people. You often don’t know what you are looking for so how can you frame a search? Besides, the questions that have been asked before are usually easier to answer. We've had practice.

    Don’t get me wrong. I think it’s valuable for people to post their experiences, whether the guidelines worked, failed, or things were fine even when the guidelines were violated. As a chicken owner you need to look at these posts and figure out if the circumstances are close enough to yours for them to maybe be applicable to your situation.
     
  10. chynasparks

    chynasparks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I appreciate these posts. I'm a newbie. Just got my little flock of 4 in June. I started googling and asking questions I found this forum. Ive learned so much from posts and answers on BYC. But I got hung up on everybody's "right" answers. I started to get confused on what I should be doing because there was all these different ideas of what works and what doesn't work. I didn't take what Ridgerunner said. I wasn't putting everything into the right perspective. Not realizing I'm reading advice from someone who gets deep snow in the winter, I live in texas. No snow. Someone on this forum reminded me of that (thank you). Ever since I've been happily reading and taking advice that I can fit in my budget and know will work. The fact that newbies like me get all nervous and ask so many questions should bring comfort to the veterans of chicken raising comfort. Comfort in knowing that we newbies don't want to do something that will harm chickens. We didn't bring them to our home just for the egg. We want to care for them, love them and learn. So I offer my thanks to all you experienced peep keepers for sharing your successes and failures with us. Everything I'm doing for my peeps I got from this forum.
     

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