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Need to Transition Hens from Run to Coop?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by SpokaneWA1988, Nov 10, 2014.

  1. SpokaneWA1988

    SpokaneWA1988 Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi All- We have 5 backyard chickens who are still sleeping on their roost out in their covered run. It has a roof but nothing but chicken wire on the sides so it's not well protected from wind. Is there a need to transition them into the coop at night so they have protection against wind and also, so its a bit warmer for them? It's supposed to go from being in the 50s here to a high of 22 with wind this week, so I'm a bit worried about them being in the run all night. Any ideas to get them to go into the coop at night?
     
  2. iwiw60

    iwiw60 Overrun With Chickens

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    Most definitely you should be picking them up and putting them on the roost at night. You'll more than likely have to do this for however long it takes til they 'get it' .. As for winds/winter weather, your signature avatar doesn't show what part of the country you are in, but I would plastic their run for protection against the winds.
     
  3. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    If you're really worried about it you can also just lock them in the coop for a week or so, until they learn for themselves that it's warmer, safer, and more comfortable. You will likely have to follow iwiw60's advice as well, and put them on the roost after dark until they learn. I'm in Northern Wyoming with howling winds and sideways blowing snow.....it was 63 yesterday and still 55 when the chickens went into their coop. This morning it was 18 at 6:30 am, then dropped to 14. We had rain most of the night, followed by sleet, and an nice layer of snow fell over that before sunrise. My chickens, even baby chick Scout who will be 2 weeks old on Wednesday, were absolutely fine.
     
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  4. SpokaneWA1988

    SpokaneWA1988 Out Of The Brooder

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    thanks! My username is SpokaneWA, which is where I live :) It's the eastern part of WA and it doesnt get all the windy and we dont have horrible winters compared to the east coast and midwest, although sometimes we do get some serious cold snaps. I'm wondering if we should just take the roosting bar out of the run so they have to go the one inside the coop.
     
  5. SpokaneWA1988

    SpokaneWA1988 Out Of The Brooder

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    thanks for the reply! do you mean lock them in for a week or so, just at night?
     
  6. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    They can be very "place oriented" critters....if the roost is gone from the run they may well go into the coop and find the roost there, but they're just as likely to huddle together in a pile of feathers on the floor of the run and look pathetic. Silly birds. I think your best bet is to take the time to teach them where you want them to be....that's how they'd learn from Mom what to eat, where to forage, and where to sleep.
     
  7. SpokaneWA1988

    SpokaneWA1988 Out Of The Brooder

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    I did think about that and i'm pretty sure that's what they would do haha. I think that I'll stick them all in the coop around 8pm and then let them back out in the morning and do it every night until they seem to get the hang of it. The only thing is that, their water & food is in the run. I have never seen them jump down to eat or drink when they go up to roost for the night but maybe I should just put a small thing of food and water in the coop for them.
     
  8. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    They don't eat or drink at night anyway, Spokane....As long as they aren't waiting 6 hours after they wake up they'll be fine waiting until they're let out. I keep my chickens' food and water out in the run too. But until yours make the transistion well, there's nothing wrong with putting as small supplemental water source in the coop, if only for your own peace of mind. I don't because I live where it does get very cold and very snowy, and I don't want the extra humidity in the coop.

    But you know your situation, your climate, and your birds better than I do, so you just read what I - and other chicken owners who are more experienced than I am - post, and then pick the advice that best fits you. My birds go in to roost every night on their own and are out early in the morning, and my run is as close to predator proof as any run can be. (I don't believe in 100% predator proof - as soon as I start believing that I'm likely to get complacent and get whacked over the head with my own arrogance, at great risk to my chickens!) So I leave their pop door open all night long. If I was trying to train them to use the coop for roosting I would put them in it at sunset, close it and them let them out in the morning. If your coop is big enough to move around in, you can go in there after dark and pick them up one at a time and physically put them on the roost. You'll have to do that several nights.
     
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  9. iwiw60

    iwiw60 Overrun With Chickens

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    Well, DUH on me! [​IMG] I didn't notice that...hello from Central Oregon just "south of the border" from ya! [​IMG] Good thinking on removing that roost bar out in the run...that just might force them to go to the coop. And as for Spokane you guys get those dreadful 'big winds' like we get...I'd wrap their run in plastic to keep those drafts off them somewhat. Good luck to you!
     
  10. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    Wake up there, iwiw! [​IMG] (sorry, your advice and common sense are usually so spot on that I had to give you a little grief! Forgive me?)
     

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