Need help turning my city chickens into country chickens!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by NeeleysAVLChicks, Oct 14, 2009.

  1. NeeleysAVLChicks

    NeeleysAVLChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 4, 2009
    Leicester, NC
    Hi guys, I have three wonderful (albeit not yet laying) 27 week old New Hampshire Red ladies currently in a fully enclosed pen/coop at our urban home. We'll be moving in the next month to a farm in the country!!! My ladies have never been free range, but I'd like them to become so when we move. Can you offer any tips for the transition/teaching the ladies to come home at night?

    THANKS GUYS!!
     
  2. austinhart123

    austinhart123 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 12, 2008
    Los Angeles CA
    when you move position their coop wherever you want it to be, feed them and let them live in it for a few weeks so that they know where to return to, once they have been there a few weeks you can start opening their coop during the day so they can freerange
     
  3. schmije

    schmije Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 25, 2008
    Peoria, IL
    I agree with austinhart. Also, if you could set up a temporary run outside the coop, you could let them go outside without totally being exposed for the first couple of weeks. The first few days you start letting them freerange, let them out a couple of hours before bedtime. That way they won't have enough time to wander very far, and they'll be more likely to make it back to the coop before dark. They will probably be tentative and stick close to the coop in the beginning. Mine always do. You can open them up earlier as you feel comfortable.
     
  4. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Yep, yep yep...agree with the poster above. They will need time to know what "home" is before you trust them out. Get them real used to some kind of call that means "treats are here" too, so that when it's that time, you can call them into their own run or coop...
    Congrats on your move!! I love life in the country!
     
  5. NeeleysAVLChicks

    NeeleysAVLChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you! I was thinking along these lines, I think I'm going to set them up a temp run as the coop is sufficient and will work for keeping them cooped up for a week or so, but I'd feel bad leaving them in there for several weeks. I'm a country girl at heart so can't WAIT to move to the country!!!! [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
  6. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    I hate to be a sour apple here but have you considered what predators are in your area? You only have three hens so any losses are going to be devastating to your flock and free range equals losses at some point. Just thought I'd mention it.

    Otherwise, congratulations on the move! I'm sure you'll love your new life, sure beats close neighbors and city living!
     
  7. RevaVirginia

    RevaVirginia Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 26, 2009
    Reva, VA
    You must train them to strategically relieve themselves so as to heighten the chance of some getting on you in a place which you have no idea that it's there. Just some country chicken fun.
    [​IMG]
     
  8. schmije

    schmije Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Peoria, IL
    Quote:So true! However, this makes a great argument for getting MORE CHICKENS!
     
  9. NeeleysAVLChicks

    NeeleysAVLChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That's a good point about predators, I know that there are foxes and bobcats in the area for sure. I'm planning on significantly expanding the flock come early spring and add a rooster to the mix.
     

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