Moving chickens to a new home

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by dlagrave, Nov 12, 2008.

  1. dlagrave

    dlagrave Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 12, 2008
    Hi All,

    I hope this is the right area to post this... I had my chickens all summer in a dog run inside a loafing shed (to protect from rain, etc). I moved them into a shed attached to the house for the winter. It will ne much warmer and I can more easily feed, water, gather eggs, etc. with them in their new home.

    I have kept them inside for several days, and let them out today for the first time. They all went to go roost in their old home, despite the fact that their food, etc. was in the new coop.

    How long do I have to leave them locked up before they will reliably put themselves to bed in the new coop?

    Thanks for any help. This is a pasture-raised flock, and I want them to be able to enjoy the yard and not be stuck inside, but I am not sure what to do.

    Danielle in Utah
     
  2. Wolf Creek Farms

    Wolf Creek Farms Out Of The Brooder

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    Keep them locked in their new coop for a week and they should be fine. Good Luck!!
     
  3. SussexInSeattle

    SussexInSeattle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't know what a loafing shed is but is it possible to lock it up?

    Are there any windows on the shed by the house? I'm just wondering if they feel claustrophobic if the shed by the house is completely dark inside? If so, would it be possible to add a light to this shed, lock up the old shed and cross your fingers?

    Of course as they all come to the new place to roost, you would want to kill the lights when they find their spots. Maybe even better than a light would be the red heat bulb that you put inside the brooders. This would 'call' them towards the new home but not be so bright that they wouldn't settle down before you could get home to shut it off. Even better would be a timer on the heat bulb for it to light before dusk and turn off about an hour or two after that.

    PS
    Chickens are extreme creatures of habit in my opinion so it will be very tough to switch them back and forth each change of season. Is there any way to warm up the original home or keep them by the house all year long? I know the smell could be an issue in the summer...
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2008
  4. shelsob1994

    shelsob1994 New Egg

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    I move mine every summer and spring usually keep them cooped up for 3 days then let them in the pen then after about a week we let them free range.I think they may be staying put next summer though
    because they seem to be all upset this year.We got rid of the roosters and its been down hill from there.MOLTING too on top of it all.[​IMG] good luck javascript:insert_text('[​IMG]',%20'');
     
  5. sara

    sara Title Needed Here

    How many days is a couple? If you mean two, that isn't long enough to break the habit of the other coop. [​IMG]
     
  6. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Having spent the first 22 weeks or so of their life in one pen it took a full two weeks of lockdown in their new coops before my chickens would reliably go to the new coop to roost in the evenings. Had they been younger it might not have taken so long, but chickens get very set in their ways.
     
  7. dlagrave

    dlagrave Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 12, 2008
    Thanks for the replies...

    A loafing shed is a 3-sided shelter for pastured animals. Basically, it is a 12 x 24 barn with no front wall/doors. So in the shed they are protected from rain and snow, but wind and driven wet/snow might be able to reach them.

    The shed I moved them into has a 3"x5" window that I open during the day for air but close at night so when they crow in the early pre-dawn it does not bother my neighbors. The shed itself is 8"x16" and quite nice (I think) for the 14 birds. I also have a light on in the evening for several hours. They seem to settle on their roosts before it turns off (it is on a timer). [​IMG]

    It has now been 6 nights since they were moved. I let them out again... It is such a nice day, I want them to be able to roam around. I feel badly that they are locked up. [​IMG] But I am prepared to ferry them back if I have to.

    The other option is to place some wooden fence panels I have around their old coop to protect them from weather and let them live out there if they want to. The biggest problem with that is that when weather is bad, I will have more trouble keeping their water from freezing, feeding them and collecting eggs. The water is the biggest issue. The eggs will keep for a while in cold weather with no issues.

    Thanks again for everyone's help!! [​IMG]

    Danielle in Utah
     
  8. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

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    My Coop
    Close their old coop so they can't go in it and shut them in their new one for a few days. Also their favorite treats can help. Give them some of their favorite treats in the eve in their new coop. Worked for me.
     
  9. dlagrave

    dlagrave Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 12, 2008
    Thanks all!

    They are now coming back to their new coop reliably. Even if the one "ground layer" I have still goes back to her old spot BEHIND the old coop to lay her eggs!!! I figure that should stop after a few snowy days. [​IMG].

    Thanks again!
    Danielle in Utah
     
  10. SussexInSeattle

    SussexInSeattle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Did you say if the new coop had nest boxes? Also do other animals use the summer shelter? I was thinking that for next winter, you could make barn doors on the front but they could be next to impossible to open when the snow comes. Also you would need to haul water out daily. Maybe invest in a pair of snow shoes?

    Great aerobic exercise anyway!
     

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