Moving birds outside

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by jp57, May 6, 2017.

  1. jp57

    jp57 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 1, 2017
    Townsend, DE
    I finally got my cage built around my coop and finally got my girls moved outside this morning.[​IMG]I put them in the coop and opened the door so they can roam the cage. I put their food and water at the bottom of the ramp to lure them out but by the time I left for work, none of them came out. I want to let them free roam my yard (I have 5 acres surrounded by cornfields). I am wondering if I should give them some time to get used to the enclosure before I let them out of it. I don't want to let them out and have them take off on me. By the way they are 8 weeks old. Thanks for any advise.
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Give them a week or even more in the coop/run area so they get used to it as home. After that they should return there every night to sleep.

    It’s not unusual at all for them to be scared of new things. Just let them go at their pace, you don’t need to try to force them to go outside. They are not going to die with that food and water in the run portion, but it may take the awhile to figure out to go get it. They will be OK. Or move the food and water into the coop section temporarily. That might ease your discomfort if they are slow to go out.
     
  3. jp57

    jp57 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 1, 2017
    Townsend, DE
    By the time I got home at lunchtime, they were all still in the coop. I did some work around the yard and by about 5PM they were all out. They did good all weekend. They went into the run underneath of the coop when it got dark so I closed the doors to the inner enclosure to keep them in there. The few times I checked on them, they never went into the coop. The just huddled together underneath of it. Same thing Sunday night too. I'll have to try checking on them in the middle of the night, but is there a chance they can't figure out how to get up the ladder? They seemed pretty reluctant coming down it in the first place.
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    My grow-out coop is elevated about two feet with a run attached. I lock the chicks in the coop section for a week or so before I give them access to the run. Sometimes when I open the pop door they are all on the ground within 15 minutes, sometimes it takes three days. They are pretty inconsistent in that. But one thing they are very consistent about, every night they go to bed under the pop door instead of going back into the coop for the first night and usually several more.

    I think it’s because the coop is elevated. Until the chicks start to roost mine like to sleep on the coop floor or a very low spot. I don’t have this problem with my main coop or another small one on the ground that I sometimes use, but every time I switch chicks to my elevated grow-out coop the first night they sleep under the pop door on the ground.

    After dark when they have settled down, I toss them inside the coop section and lock them in overnight. I’ve had chicks learn to go to bed inside that elevated coop after doing this once, I’ve had some take three weeks to get the message. Most of my broods are in the 15 to 25 chick range. What normally happens is that a few chicks start going to bed in the coop after a couple of nights doing this and all of them going inside after a week or just a couple of more days. I had one group only take one time before every chick learned, but that is really rare. And I’ve had some broods it took three weeks before the last two or three learned.

    I have food and water inside the coop and inside the run both. I practically never see the chicks in the coop section during the day. They just don’t go in. If your only food or water was in the coop they probably would but that’s not how I do it.

    From what I’ve seen your chicks are acting perfectly normal. If you want them to learn to sleep in the coop, lock them in there every night. They are usually pretty easy to just pick up once it gets fairly dark.

    Good luck!
     
  5. jp57

    jp57 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 1, 2017
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    Thanks for the help. I feel like a new Dad again with these girls.
     

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