moving a city flock to the country?? Help please!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by kerriewill, Oct 15, 2014.

  1. kerriewill

    kerriewill Hatching

    Jan 23, 2014
    Over the next 2 weeks I'm going to be moving from the city to the country, which means my girls are moving as well. They are afforded quite a luxury in my backyard with space to roam and not having to be locked up/let out every day. My main question is how best to keep the stress to a minimum? How big of a run should I build for 6 girls? There are coons, possums, hawks, etc in the area. Do I cover the run area? Or do I just fort know the coop which they will be locked into each evening? Also, this happens to fall right in the middle of molting for a couple of the much extra stress will this cause them? Any input would be greatly appreciated. And if there is something you feel I missed, please fill me in. Thanks so much....
  2. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

    Nov 7, 2012
    To minimize the stress, you should have their new coop and run completely set up, before you move them. Conventional wisdom says to move them at night, and slip them onto the new perch. But, if I were moving them, I'd opt to move them in the morning, so they have the day to settle in before going to perch in a new coop. They're more resilient than you think. When you move them, if you can put them in boxes with air holes, being sure that there's not a lot of room for them to slide around in the box, that will be helpful. How many girls, how big is the coop? If you can afford to make a run which will be predator proof, then that is what you should do. Otherwise, build a conventional run, clip their wings if you need to and be sure they are secured in the coop at night.
  3. cehasz

    cehasz In the Brooder

    Jul 28, 2014
    Hi! I have two separate country flocks and while what I tell you will probably not be told to you by most others, it has worked for me and all my guys and gals are happy as can be! I live in a heavily wooded area and hear coyotes on the other side of the road every night.

    I have two flocks, my production flock and a silkie breeding flock (with a few silkie/belgian d'uccle's). The production flock has an 8x5 hoop coop with two roosting bars. I am going to add more because I'm getting more birds. The coop is for sleep and laying only. They don't even go inside while it rains. The run is big. Super big! I don't even know how big it is lol. Anyhow, I have my woodpile encompassed in it and the compost pile. I used 36" poultry netting and the sole purpose for the run is so my boxer doesn't stress the birds out. He likes to chase them and they don't like him. They do get out of the run a lot though. They have all the space in the world and they need more! I actually have a sebright bantam hen who has a nest in the woods somewhere. I can never find where she lays them! My run is not covered but there is a lot of natural protection and the cats! I have 3 outdoor cats and the neighbors have 5.

    Since you're coming from the city, you probably do not have a rooster. I suggest getting one. They are invaluable when it comes to predators and rounding up the girls. And if you don't want babies (which you might now that you'll have more room!) just be sure to not let the hens sit on them!

    I have read a lot of different view points on how people make their runs. There are many who are insistent on predator proofing, there are freerangers, and there are those who are in the middle. I have found that for the comfort of the birds, being in the middle works great. The coop is accessible only to them (they can come and go as they please).

    Now, as for the stress. I have only ever moved one adult bird and he fit right in so i don't have much experience. What I will say is if they are used to being out in the city, don't lock them up when you moved because that will stress them. If you are worried about the predators make them a large, open run so they don't lose that feeling.

    I hope your move works well and keep me posted!
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop

    I agree moving them during daylight will let them acclimate to the new coop and run while you can watch them and offer treats and and such to distract/comfort them.
  5. lalaland

    lalaland Crowing

    Sep 26, 2008
    Pine County MN
    I think your flock will do well just on the basis that you are considering how to do it best. I've moved flocks three times, once from city to country, and the 2nd two times to new places in the country. Once I moved the coop itself, and the other two times into a new coop.

    Here's my advice:
    1. If possible, move the flock separately from your own personal move. That means, a day or more earlier? or a couple of days later? might not be possible for you, but if you can get a neighbor to take care of flock in the city for a day or two, it lets you get the country set up - well, set up before they come.

    2. Chickens are resilient, but onsider their comfort during transportation. If it is a long trip, add cukes or apples for hydration. Hay or straw or pine litter can help with their comfort and with absorbing droppings. If they start freaking out, have towels or rugs to cover the carriers/boxes they are in so they can settled down. You may or may not need to do this.

    3. If it is going to be a new coop, lock them in it for a few days so they learn it is home. I don't think day or night makes a difference. What might is to see if it is possible for you to be home the first daylight hours they are there so you can monitor and make adjustments if needed. You may need to round them up for a few nights, so plan on being home before dark until they have the hang of it.

    4. Make the run as big as you possibly can. Even if you let them freerange, there will be times you want them safe and sound, especially if you are unfamiliar with the predators in the new place.

    It will be much easier than you think!
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    When I got my flock last fall, I had 10 birds all in one large wire dog crate in the back of my van, it was about a 45 minute drive.
    They stood up when the going was smooth and just hunkered down when some turns happened.

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