need advice about reorganizing w/in the flock

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by slackwater, Oct 14, 2010.

  1. slackwater

    slackwater Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 1, 2010
    SoMD
    I have several places around the property where chickens are housed. First, they begin in the brooder on the front porch. From there, they go to grow-out-pen #1 (made for the "itty-bitties" that are fully-feathered), and then into grow-out-pen #2 (right next door, but for "teenager" chickens), and then, finally, they are either slaughtered or moved into the coop with the rest of the laying hens.

    Some of the pullets from this last batch have been next to impossible to retrain. I locked up the entire laying flock for 1 week, and then let them out...about half ended up back pen #2 @ night. So, I moved them back to the coop & kept them in again for another week. Now about 1/4 still insist on sleeping in the pen, vice the coop. I move them every night after they have roosted (they only time I can catch them)...and have been doing this for 2-ish weeks at this point. It is *usually* the same 4-7 birds. How do I get them to MOVE???? It is getting old, moving them every night. The pens are about 150-200' away from the coop, through two different fenced areas. It's a PAIN!

    This is on top of the fact that my regular laying flock also insists on sleeping OUTSIDE of the coop, on the woodpile that is in the shed with them...and every night I go out there, flick on the light and herd them into the coop. They go begrudgingly, but cooperatively. They have been doing this for MONTHS.

    I feel like a failure at keeping my chickens where they need to go. I know they are creatures of habit, but I didn't think the habit would last this long - a month + at this point! The pen they are trying to stay in doesn't have room for them anymore (it is filled with the next group of teenagers, who are also allowed out during the day).

    I thought about puttin them in the tractor next to the coop so that they can remain penned in the general area for a while longer while everyone else free ranges. The problem is that I wanted to use the tractor to isolate possible egg-eaters to work on getting them out of the flock.

    IDEAS???? I'm about at my wit's end!
     
  2. Olive Hill

    Olive Hill Overrun With Chickens

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    Apr 19, 2009
    Besides being consistent there's not much you can do. Some will tell you to put those you want in the coop and leave them there for several days to several weeks. Personally, I'm not a fan of that method as I don't think chickens should be cooped up 24/7 like that. Especially not ones that are used to free-ranging.

    My advice would be in the future, to make your decision about who goes and who stays sooner. And skip the pens for those that will be staying. Move them straight from brooder to coop. You already have a mixed age flock during the day, if they can coexist peacefully during the daylight hours, they can sleep together just fine too. [​IMG]
     

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