Newbie questions

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Brookhaven, Aug 11, 2010.

  1. Brookhaven

    Brookhaven New Egg

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    Jul 24, 2010
    My girls are about 6 weeks old and have moved out into their coop outside with attached 10' x 10' run. My intention is to let them free range an acre of property and garden during the day and lock them down at night. The problem is that even in the run they can't figure out how to get back into the coop at night. The last two nights they've been huddles in a corner in a pile waiting for me to pick them up one by one and put them inside. Obviously I can't let them out to play/scratch/eat if I can't be sure to get them back in and I'm NOT planning on chasing them around an acre yard to get them in. If I leave them out the fox will certainly get them all in one night.
    Will they learn on their own to go in at night? How can I help them learn this. Food treats in the evening?

    My other question is about weed killer. Earlier this year, about 12 weeks ago I used a Roundup type product to clear the paths around my vegtable garden. When do you think it's safe to let the chickens in there to to thier jobs and clean out all the slugs & grubs etc.
     
  2. Wizbop

    Wizbop Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 27, 2010
    Greensboro, NC
    Yeah, they are too young to know how to go in the coop at night. I had to do that with mine when they were 10-12 weeks old. They'll eventually learn to do this on their own. You can encourage them to come to you by offering treats. Mine just caught on after about a week of putting them up. Definitely don't leave them to do it on their own or they will get eaten up by something.

    As far as the chemicals go, I have no clue. My best guess would say that 12 weeks would be safe, if you've had some rain to help out. We do organic gardening. The only fertilizer I use is on two rosebushes and the chickens aren't allowed in those areas. I am sure others will chime in.
     
  3. crawfordmama

    crawfordmama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 29, 2010
    The Lakes Region, NH
    Try keeping them soley in the coop for a couple of days so they learn that it's "home". I did this and the girls go in and put themselves to bed before I even get out there in the evening. [​IMG]
     
  4. True Grit

    True Grit Chillin' With My Peeps

    Yep, Roundup is de-activated when it hits the soil. Glycophosphate has very low toxicity. If other chemicals were mixed in I still think it is safe after 12 weeks. I was a pesticide dealer at one point in my career.
     
  5. midget_farms

    midget_farms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2008
    Dunlap Illinois
    I used roundup extended control inside my garden with my chickens living in there at the time. been a month now & everyone is still dandy. But I have very few weeds.
     
  6. mama2many

    mama2many Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 20, 2010
    I agree with crawfordmama about keeping them locked up in the coop. I have moved several batches of chicks from the brooder to the grow out coop and run and I keep them locked up in there for 2 or 3 days. That gives them time to figure out where home is and they will go back. Some of my big girls will still go in there to lay when there aren't any babies in there. When I move the babies to the big coop the first night I have to show them where to get in-they try to get back in the baby coop. After that we are good to go! I wish you luck that is no fun chasing babies in the dark.
     

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