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Moving Them To A New Coop And Egg Laying In The Old Coop???

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by TwoCrows, Dec 17, 2011.

  1. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    My Coop
    I am new to chickens this year. I didn't want to purchase a premade coop and had the hubby build one from ideas on line here. However being that I didn't know enough about coop size, ventilation and such, the coop seems to small for the girls to hang out in. And with the cold frosty nights, does not have enough head room to make for good ventilation for removing the moist air.

    So, being that they have access to a greenhouse and they hang out in there on snowy or rainy days, I have converted it to a coop, adding a few roost bars and feeding and watering areas. I have NOT put in any nest boxes, and the two boxes they do use I want to keep in the original coop.

    So...here is my questions....How difficult is it going to be to convert my chickens to sleeping in these new digs? They are very comfortable during the day hanging out in there, however return to their coop for the night.

    AND, I also need to know, once converted, will they still use the nest boxes in the old coop? I don't want them laying all over the floor in their new coop without boxes.

    Is it at all possible to have a "summer coop" and a "winter coop"? I know, lots of questions. I am too new at this chicken thing yet and have lots of behavior questions. [​IMG]

    Thanks a lot everybody....Leyla [​IMG]
     
  2. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    Any ideas??
     
  3. Fierlin1182

    Fierlin1182 powered-flight

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    From my pervious experience, I know that it's very hard to get the chickens laying in a new place after they've settled. [​IMG] However, with a bit of persistence, it can be done. [​IMG]
    I would recommend getting boxes in your new coop though, they do like to have a bit of privacy. [​IMG] What I did was I basically locked one of my chooks (they free range) in the coop (I didn't want to trawl through the undergrowth to find their eggs anymore!) while she was waiting to lay, and she basically got so desperate to "go" that she layed in the nesting box, and that threw them to start laying in the coop. [​IMG]

    As for roosting, that's probably even harder to change. No experience there though, so best to wait for advice from someone who knows what they're talking about. [​IMG]
     
  4. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    My Coop
    Thanks so much Ray! There was certainly more than your "two cents" worth of info you provided! Well, sounds like I am going to have a hard time with getting them into their new coop. Chickens are definitely creatures of habit, especially when it comes to survival.

    I have since done some work on the old coop to improve ventilation and with the last 2 days of wet snow and very high humidity, so far the coop is staying dry and no frost on the combs.

    If I moved them onto the new roost bars in the new coop in the dark, would that help them over come the fear, or are they going to be in panic all night sleeping in a new place?? I don't want to freak them out if this is not going to work out in the end. Thanks...Leyla [​IMG]
     
  5. CarolJ

    CarolJ Dogwood Trace Farm

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    I moved my flock into a new coop a few weeks ago. I put them in the new coop (with roosting bars and with nest boxes), closed the door and they stayed in there for a week. Absolutely no access to their old coop. It wasn't as roomy as free-ranging but they had enough room for a few days. The first night, I had to physically pick up and put a couple on the roosting bars - but they quickly figured it out. And they started using the new nesting boxes immediately. Just make sure the new nesting boxes are lower than the roosting bars. Otherwise they might try sleeping in the nesting boxes, which you definitely don't want! Being in the new coop 24/7 for a week imprinted on them that it was home - and they learned immediately that the new nesting boxes were where they should lay their eggs. I only have had one egg laid on the floor of the new coop - and my high-strung ancona did that after I inadvertently opened up the lid to the nest box while she was in it. She was in pay-back mode. [​IMG]
     
  6. florida lee

    florida lee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    When my new coop was ready, both the new coop and small older coop opened into the same run, I locked the door on the old coop. that night I had to chase them into the new coop. the following night they went in by themselves. No problem since. removed the old coop (which is a tractor) and sealed up the run door way. They seem to really like the new coop and all the extra room. I only put two nests in the new coop, in the old tractor I had three and they only used one.
    I have another coop on the other side of the run (run is divided in half) that has five nest boxes, again they only generally use one.

    New coop is on the right, the tractor now removed, sat about 10 feet to the right of the new coop and was way too small for 7 heavy pullets. They seem very happy now with the new coop and extra space. This extra space and openness of the coop will allow us to take weekend trips and leave them safely locked in the coop.
    [​IMG]
     
  7. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    My Coop
    Wow, thanks everybody! I think I am going to do the "lock them in" thing, as CarolJ said. That sounds like a good idea. We are supposed to have a very snowy week, and this week might be a good time to do it. They spend their entire days in there in bad weather, so they won't know the difference until roosting time. I keep placing them on the bars all the time, but they hop off immediately. So that I will have to work on. Eventually they will get the hang of it. The new coop is so much bigger and since they hang out in there so much, it only makes sense to make it their new coop.

    Thank you everyone for your responses!!
     
  8. Lindz

    Lindz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Totally diggn the new coop. Good job! We moved ours from a small tiny box basicly this summer to an actual coop where I could put about 30 chickens in. My DH put the old coop in the run. My 3 year old girls would lay in there all the time at first, but go back in the new one to sleep and everything. Finally after a few months they started laying in the big coop. I like the idea of locking them up. That would have made things easier for me so I didn't have to check 2 coops. GL I hope they stay in their new coop!
     

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