Please help my hens make the move!


Jul 16, 2016
Southeast TX
So, we have 24 hens & 1 rooster that have been raised from chicks in a building that was not intended to be their permanent home. The oldest birds were hatched in early Feb. A few of the hens just started laying this past week. We have the coop ready but they do not want to stay in it & go back to the old building & try to get in it every night. Not wanting to leave them out over night, we grudgingly open the door for them. They free range during the day & have access to both the coop & building. Their food, water, roosting poles, & nesting boxes are all in the coop. They have nothing in the building other than shelves. How do we get them to make the move & embrace their new home? TIA!!
Well, something you could do is when they have to go to roost you can shine a light into the coop, and when they are all in you shut the door and let them out in the morning.
Put them in the new coop in the evenings and shut the door, so they have to stay in there until morning. Do this every evening. Keep the door to the old house closed at all times, if possible, so they will have nowhere else to go but the new coop. It will take a few days for them to learn which is their new home, but they will get used to it.
We have tried that but they are sooooooo hard to catch!! Lol! We will keep trying. Do you think moving to the new coop will make the hens that are already laying stop? I'm only getting 3-4 eggs a day & am afraid they will cease all production!
I agree with sumi. Do not let them out to free range for a couple of days. This way they will learn the coop is their new home. They will possibly stop laying due to stress but they will start laying again, however it might take a little time. Good luck.

If it is hot there they can go of laying because of heat as well. So you may just need to help them work though everything going on with them.
We have tried that but they are sooooooo hard to catch!! Lol! We will keep trying.
Put some treats like mealworms in a tin. Tap or shake the tin when you give it to them, so they know the sound and know that means treats time. Lure them into the coop like that. Chickens learn VERY quick when there are mealworms involved
Let them go to roost in the old building, then after dark move them all to the roosts in the new coop and leave them locked up in there for a week or so.
They will 'home' to the new coop...and you could start giving them a few treats from the 'rattling treat can' every evening near roost time.
After the confinement period, start ranging them again slowly, starting late in the day-an hour before sunset.
If they go back to old building, trying luring to new coop with rattling treat can....or repeat confinement.

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