Moving birds from old to new coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by NYC feather fam, Jun 21, 2011.

  1. NYC feather fam

    NYC feather fam Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 25, 2011
    Staten Island, NY
    We are in the final stages of building a new, larger and more easily cleanable, weather-tight coop for our 4 full sized chickens. [​IMG] My question is, once I am ready to move them, what is the best way to A) do it and B) get them adapted to their new place with as little stress as possible.

    They usually free range during the yard during the day, so I was thinking to just dismantle the old coop while they are out and then move them into the new heard at night. Before I officially move them, could I try getting them to check out/explore the new coop during the day just so they can get familiar with it? I was also thinking that once we move them maybe I should leave them in the new coop/run for a couple of days so they can get acclimated to laying in there?

    I'll try to post some photos at some point....I am new to the board but I know everyone loves to seek pictures.

    Thanks for any input/advice! [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    Northwest Arkansas
    It is going to be somewhat stressful for them no matter how you do it. Chickens just plain don't like change. When I do something like that, I just leave them locked up until I'm ready to move them, then move them. They do get over it, usually without a session with Dr. Phil. You might say I prefer Judge Judy's more direct methods over his anyway.

    If you are more sensitive than I am, you could move them at night. After they are asleep, with as little light and commotion as possible, move them from their old roost to the new roost. They'll wake up hungry, more interested in finding food than worrying about their new digs.

    I'd leave them locked in their new coop for a week or so. They need to get out of the habit of sleeping and laying in the old coop and transfer that loyalty and attachment to the new coop. After about a week, they should have made that adjustment.

    Don't be surprised if egg production drops a bit. This can be stressful and production can drop while they readjust. Sometimes there is no drop and sometimes it can take them weeks to get over a move. They are such fickle creatures!

    In all seriouslness, don't over think it. Good luck!
     
  3. NYC feather fam

    NYC feather fam Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 25, 2011
    Staten Island, NY
    That is great help, thank you for your reply. I have found previously when I am just direct and do what it is I am trying to do, as opposed to over thinking the process they seem to respond better. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I think that is a good idea about moving them at night, and i believe I can accomplish this easily. Then I can leave them in there for several days/a week so they can get used to it. My trouble is my husband as of yet has not made any allowance for getting the eggs out without having to open the human-sized door (there is no chicken sized door except into the run) so I am worried they will try to run out when i go to collect the eggs. [​IMG]

    I figured there will be a decline in egg production. My girls tend to be really stingy and also I suspect they lay out in the yard sometimes, so I will deal with it. Out of our 4 chickens we are lucky if we get 3-4 eggs a day. They are laying an average of about 2. [​IMG]
     
  4. rungirl

    rungirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Columbus, Ohio
    They'll want to go back to their old home the next time its bedtime. I locked up my old coop and the next night I found them all settled in around the door of the old coop even though I put a light on inside the new one. After a few days, they get over it, but it's true... they don't like change.
     
  5. NYC feather fam

    NYC feather fam Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 25, 2011
    Staten Island, NY
    i thought maybe if I dismantle the old coop and leave them in the new coop for a week or so they might adjust.....will post how it goes. thanks for your input [​IMG]
     

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