Moving your chickens to a new coop

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Abeldeb, Jun 3, 2016.

  1. Abeldeb

    Abeldeb New Egg

    Apr 13, 2016
    I just moved my chickens into a larger coop. Should I lock them in it for a few days for them to get used to it?
  2. Puddin Fluff

    Puddin Fluff Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 30, 2012
    River Valley, AR
    Most people say yes. I would not let them out to free range as they might not return to the new coop but if there is an enclosed run, I would let them into it. I find usually about 3 days is long enough to change most birds habits. Here are exceptions.

    Good luck.
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I don’t know what your facilities look like but I see three basic options, especially if they can still get to the old coop or at least the old coop area.

    1. Every night physically move them from the old coop where they will want to sleep to the new coop after they have gone to bed and lock them in the new coop overnight. Eventually they will make the move and start going to bed in the new coop on their own. How long will you have to do this? I don’t know. I haven’t done this exactly but I’ve done some similar things. Sometimes they catch on in a day or two, sometimes it takes two or three weeks.

    2. If you have a run associated with the new coop and they cannot get to the old coop from that run, just lock them in the run and new coop enclosure. They may or may not put themselves to bed inside the coop, it’s possible they will want to sleep in the run. You might have to put them in the new coop physically for a few nights to get them to sleep in the coop. I find with younger chicks not yet roosting they tend to sleep on the ground if the coop is elevated but older chickens that are roosting aren’t as bad about that. If the new coop is on the ground it doesn’t seem to matter as much.

    3. If the coop is big enough for the number you have, lock them in the coop for several days, usually a week is enough. They should accept it as their new home and start putting themselves to bed in there when you let them out. Should. They don’t always do what they should. Still, if the coop is big enough I think this is the best option.

    Are they laying? They will want to go back to their old nests if they can. This is a big reason to keep them locked in the new coop or at least new coop and run for a while. It usually takes a while for them to make the switch to where they lay. If they cannot lay in their old nests they will have to find a new place to lay. If you lock them in the new coop for a while, that will be in your new coop, hopefully in the nests. If you lock them in the new coop and run, that will be somewhere in the new coop and run, again hopefully in your nests.

    Good luck!
    1 person likes this.

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