Moving to a new coop

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by HeatherEmme, Sep 5, 2013.

  1. HeatherEmme

    HeatherEmme Chillin' With My Peeps

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    DH and I are just about finished with our new chicken coop and will (hopefully) be switching out the old coop for the new one in about a week. Any one have any tips on how to make the transition smooth? or simply how switching coops worked out for you? I'm worried it will cause them to break the habit of returning to the coop at night if it's a coop that's unfamiliar to them.
     
  2. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    Are you removing the old coop from your property or putting it somewhere the chickens will not see it or be able to get to it? That may help the transition, but expect them to be not terribly keen on the new house at first. Chickens hate change, even if it's for the better. The hens may go off laying for awhile, due to stress from the change and they may all may need some encouragement at first, to use the new coop, but after a week or two they should be fine. If you free range them you may need to make some extra effort to get them into the new coop at night, food or treats will help here. If the coop has an attached run simply keep them "cooped up" in there for a week before letting them out, so they'll know where "home" is and return there to lay and roost. Good luck!
     
  3. scooter147

    scooter147 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A little story. A little over two years ago we had a tornado come through. A tree landed right in the middle of my 10 x 12 chicken coop. (all chickens survived). The coop and run were a total loss. Fortunately the garden shed (6 x 8) survived so it was turned into the chicken coop until I could have a new chicken coop built.
    The birds stayed in the destroyed coop almost two days, the power lines literally wrapped around the coop and we had no idea if they were live or not so we had to wait for the electric company to confirm they were dead so we could not get them out. Then it took almost a day to cut this big ole oak tree off of it.
    Anyway, the first night they all roosted on top of the damaged coop and we had to take them to the "new" coop one by one that night and the next two nights. The destroyed coop was completely removed on the fourth day so they went into the garden shed to roost. Once the new coop was up it took approximately three days to get them to go in the new coop on their own. They all congregated at the garden shed door the first few nights and we had to take them to the new coop one by one again.

    So I would say leave them locked in the new coop a minimum of two nights. If you have a run and they do not have access to the old coop it really shouldn't be an issue.
     
  4. HeatherEmme

    HeatherEmme Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We're adding a new one to our backyard to upgrade the size. We have a 8 x 4 x 4 run right now, but the current coop is actually inside the run and is too big to get out through the coop door. We made the run out of hardware cloth and 2x2's so it could be movable. We'll have to let the hens out to free range while we lift the run over the old coop, take it out, put the run back and then attach the new coop which will now be outside the run instead of in it, it will just be attached as most people have theirs...so, some pretty big differences for the hens. [​IMG]

    Thanks for the responses! Scooter174, thank goodness the hens survived that and you guys were ok! It sounds like I may need to attach the new coop to the run and leave it there a few weeks before we officially take out the old one. Maybe this way they could get used to it's presence and go in and check it out if they want etc...?
     
  5. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    How awful! I can't imagine what those 2 days must've been like for you. Thank goodness they were o.k!
     
  6. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    Attach the new coop to the run and remove the old one at the same time, or asap, so the changes are over a day or 2 only. Then keep them confined to the run and the new coop for a week before letting them free range again. They will get used to it after a few days.
     

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