Moving chickens to a new coop - How many days of Lockdown?

Scots in France

Chirping
Jan 30, 2021
43
236
99
Gaujan, Gers, France
We have just finished a 2nd big chicken coop and have split the flock, the majority of the young birds (2 to 8 months) are in the new coop.
I moved them in after dark last night, they have been shut in all day today, LOTS of extra food as they usually free range.
Question : How long should they be on Lockdown for so they know where they are supposed to roost?
Thanks!
Anne
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Boise-girls

Songster
May 26, 2021
350
869
178
Boise, Idaho
We have just finished a 2nd big chicken coop and have split the flock, the majority of the young birds (2 to 8 months) are in the new coop.
I moved them in after dark last night, they have been shut in all day today, LOTS of extra food as they usually free range.
Question : How long should they be on Lockdown for so they know where they are supposed to roost?
Thanks!
Anne
πŸ™πŸ½πŸ’œπŸ™πŸ½πŸ’œπŸ™πŸ½
🌸 ✨ πŸ’™ ✨ 🌸
Do they have access to the old coop, or are you worried about them roosting in the run? Or outside in trees? I would think the amount of time depends partly on their alternatives.
 

Mrs. K

Free Ranging
12 Years
Nov 12, 2009
9,723
14,001
656
western South Dakota
Beware of heat. It reached 90 here today. Is there an attached run? If there is, I would let them out into that, most will go back into roost the next night.

If you don't have a run attached, then I think that most will return any way to the coop after roosting there a night, but you should go down just before dark to encourage them into the right coop.

At the max, 3-4 nights. Not a month in my experience.

Mrs K
 

Scots in France

Chirping
Jan 30, 2021
43
236
99
Gaujan, Gers, France
THANK YOU ALL for your input!
The 2 coops are about 50m apart, the old coop has a fence around it which is closed for the next few days as I have just moved a mumma hen and her 7 chicks into the old run, along with the rooster and 8 or so hens.
The new coop does not have a run attached, but I put a temporary wire porch up at the door for them. It's in a woody corner of the garden, nice and shaded so doesn't get too hot and it's well ventilated too. Photo attached from before we started work on the building, it's had wire dug in round it and perches & feeder & water bowl added inside. The gate on the bottom of the door is a very heavy pallet. I will take another photo this morning after I give them breakfast and put the porch in..
I ALWAYS put the birds to bed at night, we have foxes and badgers here (lost a hen to a badger last winter) and birds of prey during the day (only lost 1 chick this year and installed more cover and deterrents immediately).
They always get a good supper at bedtime and are usually pretty glad to see me.
I will try to do 4 nights and 3 days inside but if the teenage boys create too much havoc I will let them out sooner...
THANK YOU ALL AGAIN for taking the time to reply! Much appreciated!
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Scots in France

Chirping
Jan 30, 2021
43
236
99
Gaujan, Gers, France
Here are a couple of pictures of the front of the new coop door closed & door open and porch attached to let them get some fresh air and light...
Get the feeling they would DEFINITELY be happier roaming around the gardens like usual!
There is more work to do on the coop, we have a 1000l water tank which will be filled from gutter at the rear of the coop and a window to open up too.
Overall I am delighted with what we have achieved in a week from recycling scrap and some dead trees for perches!
I will put a Coop build post up when it's finished!
Thank you again for your support!!!
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rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
5 Years
Jul 3, 2016
18,193
36,912
1,062
WA, Pac NW
My Coop
My Coop
Since the old coop is currently fenced off, and the new one is in the shade and ventilated, I'd do anywhere from a few days up to a week in the new one and then try them outside, and see what happens.

Worst case scenario when you go to lock up for the night, some might wander over to the old coop and just hang around the fence, so you should be able to round them up and herd them to the new coop from there.
 

Scots in France

Chirping
Jan 30, 2021
43
236
99
Gaujan, Gers, France
This morning was 3 nights and 2 full days locked up and they were looking really depressed, so I have let them out...
They are delighted to be out for some proper exercise! 😁
This evening I will turn up half an hour before sunset with lots of delicious food for them and we'll see what happens... They are all used to being rounded up at roost time anyway so 🀞🏼 it will go well!
Not going to give them any lunch or daytime treats today as incentive to go roost later...

I really do appreciate the support and information and experience shared! Makes such a difference knowing that I can always ask questions!
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Scots in France

Chirping
Jan 30, 2021
43
236
99
Gaujan, Gers, France
And we're just in from the first attempt at bedtime in the new roost and a gentle walk in was all that was required! 😁
All done in less than half an hour! And none of them freaked out!
Think the not brilliant weather helped, but all good! 😁
Very happy with how that went!
So 3 nights / 2 full days and a gentle walk in this evening seems to have worked really well! 😁
Thankful that I have been part of their daily routine since they all hatched and they mostly trust me (apart from grabbing them out of the original coop to move them the other evening πŸ˜‚)!

Thank you to all of you who have provided advice and support over the last few days!
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