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Moved into the coop! Teaching them to sleep?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Rural Broody, Jul 10, 2016.

  1. Rural Broody

    Rural Broody Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 13, 2016
    Southern Ontario, Canada
    Hello everyone, so I finally moved my beautiful little flock to the big coop outside! I can reclaim my living room!

    Anyway I spent time with them just sitting, watching them explore and settle in for a while, then let them be. At dusk I went to turn off the light and make sure they settled in under the mama heating pad just fine. But when I turned off the light - WOW - the chirping!! I didn't know 5 week old birds could make so much noise!! It wasn't pitch black as the coop has windows, but were they scared?

    I huddled down near the heating pad and they all ran over to me chirping in my face. I kept encouraging them to use the heating pad, and after about half an hour of them coming up to me and chirping (even the ones who are usually more aloof), then exploring the heating pad or the coop (all while chirping loudly), then coming and chirping in my face again, they finally all settled. But they kept straining their necks to look at me out from under the pad. When they started closing their eyes I snuck out.

    Were they chirping at me because they've actually bonded with me a bit and they're looking to me for guidance? Or am I just a hopeful and delusional chicken mommy?
     
  2. rIrs roost

    rIrs roost Sir Crows A lot Premium Member

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    Rockingham NC
    It may help to leave the light off and just let it get dark. Sounds like they like you but going from light to almost dark so fast may have bothered them
     
  3. mizz9

    mizz9 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 22, 2016
    Silicon Valley Area, CA
    I am a first time chicken keeper, and we got our pullets at 5 weeks old. They were still in the brooder at the feed store, and we put them straight to the coop. We went thru exactly the same thing you describe, VERY loud peeping right at bed time. I think it is the big change combined with being afraid of the dark. The first couple nights I felt so bad for them but we just had to wait it out. Each night the bed time PEEP PEEP got shorter and shorter until they were comfortable with their new surroundings and bed time routine. I had posted asking people for help figuring out my situation as well, and the common response from the helpful people here on BYC was just that it takes some time since chickens don't like change.
     
  4. rIrs roost

    rIrs roost Sir Crows A lot Premium Member

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    Rockingham NC
    Very good point. It does take a little time.
     
  5. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I moved mine into the coop 2 weeks ago (they were a little over 5 weeks at the time) and even now they still make a lot of noise when we lock up the coop for "bedtime." They're like little kids who don't want to go to bed yet! At first I think it was the change in surroundings and routine that upset them and made them chirp each evening, but now they're just fussing over who will sleep where on the roosting perch. Once they've sorted that out they're quiet for the rest of the night.
     
  6. mizz9

    mizz9 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 22, 2016
    Silicon Valley Area, CA
    Yes that is what is going on here too. They are 8 weeks old so it has been 3 weeks in the coop. After a few days, the PEEP PEEP PEEP turned into more of a mellow shuffling around for sleeping position for a few minutes and then quiet all night. They settle down really fast now. The last 2 nights they finally put themselves in the coop for bed time instead of me having to lure them in with treats - making me a proud chicken mama! :)
     
  7. Rural Broody

    Rural Broody Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 13, 2016
    Southern Ontario, Canada
    Haha ok! Thank you! Today I don't intend to turn the light on much at all, and definitely not in the evening. Try to make this change as smooth as possible.
     

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