Moving to the Coop...What do I do?

AsunaWolf42

In the Brooder
Sep 2, 2019
24
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44
Georgia
I know my babies are not old enough for the coop yet but 4 weeks will fly by as fast as the first 2 did I am sure. I don't want to be scrambling for answers when the time comes to move them out.
I have 2 coops meant to fit up to 8 orpington sized chickens. I have 15 chickies at the moment and I have heard I should keep them in the coop for some amount of time to teach them where home is.
How long do I keep them in the coop before letting them in the run? And then how long in the run before letting them into the yard? I have a designated 1200 sq ft part of my yard for them to roam freely once I know they will come home to sleep at night.
Also, this does mean I will be splitting them up into the 2 coops for the allotted time, will that affect their behavior toward each other when they go into the run?
 

DobieLover

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I know my babies are not old enough for the coop yet but 4 weeks will fly by as fast as the first 2 did I am sure. I don't want to be scrambling for answers when the time comes to move them out.
I have 2 coops meant to fit up to 8 orpington sized chickens. I have 15 chickies at the moment and I have heard I should keep them in the coop for some amount of time to teach them where home is.
How long do I keep them in the coop before letting them in the run? And then how long in the run before letting them into the yard? I have a designated 1200 sq ft part of my yard for them to roam freely once I know they will come home to sleep at night.
Also, this does mean I will be splitting them up into the 2 coops for the allotted time, will that affect their behavior toward each other when they go into the run?
Why do you have 2 coops? They will want to remain as a single flock. They have already begun to define their hierarchy and if you arbitrarily split them in half and lock them into separate coops, they will have to establish new hierarchies again.
Personally, if they are all to be kept as one flock, I would have a single coop large enough to house them all.
Do you have the ability to brood them in one of the smaller coops now? That is best.
If you have a brooder plate you can put them out in the coop and allow them access to the run after a few days.
Can you post pictures of your setup?
As for when to let them out, I started letting my first batch out to free range when they were 5.5 weeks old.
I have some broody hen raised chicks now that have been out and about in the 1/3 acre pen since 2 days old.
 
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AsunaWolf42

In the Brooder
Sep 2, 2019
24
47
44
Georgia
Why do you have 2 coops? They will want to remain as a single flock. They have already begun to define their hierarchy and if you arbitrarily split them in half and lock them into separate coops, they will have to establish new hierarchies again.
Personally, if they are all to be kept as one flock, I would have a single coop large enough to house them all.
Do you have the ability to brood them one of the smaller coops now? That is best.
If you have a brooder plate you can put them out in the coop and allow them access to the run after a few days.
Can you post pictures of your setup?
As for when to let them out, I started letting my first batch out to free range when they were 5.5 weeks old.
I have some broody hen raised chicks now that have been out and about in the 1/3 acre pen since 2 days old.
I have 2 coops because I ended up with more chicks than anticipated so I had to get a second one. I cant afford a larger coop at this point. The run connects the coops so they will only sleep separately.
 

DobieLover

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I have 2 coops because I ended up with more chicks than anticipated so I had to get a second one. I cant afford a larger coop at this point. The run connects the coops so they will only sleep separately.
Or try to cram themselves into one coop.
What are the dimensions of each coop?
 
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townchicks

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My concern isn't really the coops. I checked around before buying a second one and many chicken owners see no problem with their flocks having multiple coops.
The point that @DobieLover is making is that the chickens themselves will decide where and with whom they want to sleep. They are used to being together now and have established their pecking order. Most folks with multiple coops have them because they started different groups at different times. Is there a possibility of joining the two coops together? Is the run predator proof? If so, you can start putting them out in the run when they are feathered out enough, for short periods to get them used to it, before making them sleep in the coop. Pics of the run and coops could help with suggestions for the best procedure.
 

ValerieJ

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I have never closed my chicks up in a coop when I moved them out. I just use temporary fencing to make their initial run size very small for a few days. Then I monitor them going in at night. I also use a light for the first week or two which also encourages them to go in. I also have multiple coops and my girls go to whichever one they want, which includes a lot of chickens crammed into one of the smaller coops sometimes. I wouldn't separate them, if I were you, I'd allow them to choose. :weeDon't close them up at all, but be there at dusk and encourage them, if need be, to go into a coop. If you put them out when they are relatively small, they will all fit in one of your smaller coops just fine.
 

DobieLover

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My concern isn't really the coops. I checked around before buying a second one and many chicken owners see no problem with their flocks having multiple coops. I just want to know how to transition them safely and effectively to the coops.
I understand. It's the "effectively" part that leads me to ask about the dimensions. You may be setting yourself up for a lot of problems.
 
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AsunaWolf42

In the Brooder
Sep 2, 2019
24
47
44
Georgia
I understand. It's the "effectively" part that leads me to ask about the dimensions. You may be setting yourself up for a lot of problems.
I got 2 of these with predator proof attached runs. I only have 2 orpingtons the others are all smaller with about 3.5-5 lbs max weights.
 

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DobieLover

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I got 2 of these with predator proof attached runs. I only have 2 orpingtons the others are all smaller with about 3.5-5 lbs max weights.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news but there is no way those coops are going to house 15 LF chickens.
You only have 20 sq ft total coop space and about 6.5' of roost space. That is good for no more than 7 LF chickens TOTAL. It doesn't matter if they are orps or leghorns. They are going to be too crowded if you try to stuff more than that in them.
Is there any way to return these coops? Have they been set up yet?
 

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