Moving my chickens to their new summer house

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by MoonShadows, Mar 18, 2015.

  1. MoonShadows

    MoonShadows The Jam Man

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    Two years ago when we built our coop, we built it close to the house. The first 1 1/2 years we kept the chickens in their run, but last November we started letting them free range. Now that we have decided to fix up the backyard this summer and put a fence around it to keep them out, I want to build a second coop down in the field behind the backyard, about 100 yards from the original coop, that will only be used during the Spring, Summer and Fall. Then, we'll bring them back up for the Winter.

    How do I go about getting the girls to "move" from their Winter coop to their Summer coop? I'm afraid if I just lock up the winter coop, they'll freak out the first night. How do I ease them into the new coop. Suggestions?
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    We moved the flock into the garden after harvest, where there was a feast of buggy veggies, bugs, and grass -- and they hated it. They stayed maybe two months and never adjusted to it, and we dealt with repeated escapees. We finally gave up and put them back in their former area. Now I have an oversied coop and 70'x70' fenced yard for only a few hens, but the garden and its shelter were also plenty big, just not as big. Whatever the reason, they never accepted the garden, and preferred their much less lush (but still green) fenced yard. I hope you have an easier time getting them to switch homes than we did. I imagine others will suggest you lock them in the new coop for a week or so.
     
  3. MoonShadows

    MoonShadows The Jam Man

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    When the weather is nice, they like being down in the field. I don't think I could ever catch them all to put them in the new coop though. I was thinking of building a temporary transporter...herd them all out of the old house and then put them into the new house without letting them out for a few days. That would probably work except they would freak while getting them into the transporter.
     
  4. PapaChaz

    PapaChaz Overrun With Chickens

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    catch them at night while they're roosting, much easier. Move them down there a few nights, then close up the old one. You COULD lock them in it for a day or so to let them get used to it, not sure if that would work or not.

    They are definitely easier to catch if you ease in and get them after they've roosted
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    I'd get them off the roost at night and lock them in the new coop for a week, then let them out to range...close off all access to old coop and run.

    Will you have a secure run on the new coop in case of predation problems?

    They won't like it but you also know they'll get used to it before too long with some confinement and lots of treats.
     
  6. MoonShadows

    MoonShadows The Jam Man

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    No run on this 2nd coop. I am going to let them free range in the field and woods on my property.I may put in a small run just in case I have a fox hanging around for a few days.

    I know roosting time is when they are most docile, but I had a bad experience once with a rooster who scratched me up pretty bad and took a chunk out of my leg. Will the roosters ( I have 2) try to protect the hens, or struggle with me, when I take them off the roost? (I just keep picturing myself wearing one of those get ups like the police officer on TV who diffuses the bomb...or the one who trains the German Shepard to attack!)
     
  7. PapaChaz

    PapaChaz Overrun With Chickens

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    get a cheap pair of welding gloves to wear for the roosters, if they're gonna claw and scratch, they'll still be easier to get at night, LOL I'd get them first and then let the girls settle down
     
  8. MoonShadows

    MoonShadows The Jam Man

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    Good plan. Divide and Conquer!
     
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Don't have a ton of experience moving roosters off the roost at night.
    The ones I have handled then were pretty easy, I wore a headlight but made sure I didn't shine it in their eyes but up to the ceiling after I located them.
    I grabbed them by pinning their wings down firmly to their sides with a hand on each side of them then kind of tucked them against my side.
    They seem to calm pretty quickly if they can't move their wings...if they can move their wings all bets are off. Have the cage open and ready to receive them.
     

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