Lost a hen transitioning to new coop

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by kholdner, Feb 7, 2013.

  1. kholdner

    kholdner New Egg

    Jan 29, 2013
    [​IMG]So we finally finished our new coop today so our girls will have more room and be more secure. The irony is that while trying to get my girls into their new coop this evening, Ginger, our Ameraucana refused to go in so after trying to lure her in with mealworms and scratch and chasing her around the yard for a good while, I left her alone and put our old chicken tractor next to the new coop hoping she would eventually make her way into the old coop. Well, she's still not in there. After searching the bushes with a flashlight, I'm afraid she may have been nabbed. We were able to coax the other two in, but they were very skittish about going in.

    I'm wondering if there was a better way to transition them to the new coop. Should I leave the old tractor next to the new coop for a few days so they can sleep in the old one and explore the new one during the day, or will that just confuse things? I guess I should've researched this first...I've been so focused on getting the coop done and was so excited about it, I just assumed they would love it immediately...rookie mistake, I guess.

    Also, I noticed that while one of our hens stayed on the roosting bar after I placed her up there, the other one was roosting on the top of the nesting box, which is sloped quite a bit to avoid this very thing.

    Any advice is much appreciated!
  2. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 6, 2008
    Northern California
    Chickens are sort of like dogs and cats in regard to routine comforts. After I've quarantined a new bird for at least a month to make sure there are no health issues, I take the healthy bird and place it in the coop at night while the others are roosting. I make sure to get out there as the sun rises the next morning to avoid a squabble and get them out to eat, drink, and observe pecking order behavior. I'd look for the bird with a flashlight. If it is a light bodied breed that can fly, be sure to look in the trees and bushes or under things.
  3. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 15, 2011
    SE Pa.
    In moving my last group of pullets to the main coop, I had attached the grow out tractor to the run so they could mingle and get to know the coop. I was hoping they would just move into the larger area to roost. I had to try that. I was no longer putting food or water in the tractor and they started to lay in the nest boxes in the main coop. They still preferred to sleep in the tractor, that habit was to strong for them to break themselves. I finally one evening when it was dark and they had roosted, picked them out of the tractor and moved them. I then moved the tractor out of sight of the run. I could have during the day lured them into the connected runs and shut the door to the tractor. I chose to move them into the coop and roost them for at least a night, so they would get the idea to roost in the coop and not the run. Generally I think it is better to move them into new quarters at night. Its the way we did it on the farm, of course the pullets were free ranging and were sleeping the apple trees. They are much easier to get a hold of when they are sleeping.
  4. kholdner

    kholdner New Egg

    Jan 29, 2013
    Thanks so much! I'll definitely try that tonight...I think that's the only way I'll catch her! Ginger was safe and sound this morning. I found her roosting up high in a bush in the corner. Phew...close call!
    1 person likes this.

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