Questions about moving to coop

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by jmtcmkb, Oct 13, 2011.

  1. jmtcmkb

    jmtcmkb Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My chicks are only 2 1/2 weeks right now, when they are fully feathered I will move to coop and at that time it will be pretty cold here in NH.

    Questions

    1. Do I keep the door to the run closed off for certain a period of time?
    2. Is it a good idea to move their entire brooder into the coop for a transition period?
    3. Should I do daytime stints preparing or just put them out all at once?
    4. I will be using wood pellets (using in brooder as well) how many inches deep do I need in the coop?


    I have them in a spare room right now with an ecoglow brooder- heat is shut off to the room, window is cracked, and someone told me to stop using the heat source during the day after 5 weeks to get them used to temp change.
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    1. Do I keep the door to the run closed off for certain a period of time?

    My suggestion is to leave them locked in the coop for at least a week before you give them access to the run. They need to learn where home is and where they need to go at bedtime. If you put them in a coop and run, they may decide the run is a good place to spend the night. Then you have a bad habit to break.

    2. Is it a good idea to move their entire brooder into the coop for a transition period?

    I don't know what your set-up is or what the brooder or coop look like. My brooder is in the coop from Day 1. When they are fully feathered out, they come out of the brooder. My first ones just stayed in the coop, but since I have adults now, I put the chicks in a grow-out pen until they get big enough to integrate.

    3. Should I do daytime stints preparing or just put them out all at once?

    I have not done it that way. My brooder is big enough so I can keep one area fairly warm and let the rest cool off as it will, so they get used to the cold. With what I think your temperatures might be, a little acclimating may be in order.

    4. I will be using wood pellets (using in brooder as well) how many inches deep do I need in the coop?

    I use shavings, not pellets. I started out just covering the floor and added more as it started getting messed up until I got several inches. I don't know how big your coop is relative to the number of chickens or how you plan to manage it, so I can't really recommend anything.

    Good luck!
     
  3. GardenState38

    GardenState38 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think I can answer most of your questions based on what has worked for me. I also had questions about the transition and learned by trial and error.

    1. I found that I needed to keep my pullets confined to the coop for a few days before allowing them access to the run. I tried giving them access to the run first thing, and despite the assurances of others, they did NOT instinctively know enough to go back into the coop at dusk (I was out in the dark, with a flashlight, rounding them up and putting them in one by one...)
    After 3 days in lock-up, they realized the coop is home. Now, like clockwork, they're in by 6:30/7pm (getting earlier each day, as the days shorten.)

    2. I didn't have the ability to put the brooder inside the coop, due to my small-sized coop, but I've heard that others have, but don't think it's necessary--I acclimated mine as much as possible in the brooder by lowering the heat.

    3. I had allowed my chicks to go out into a temporary pen from time to time, once they were about 4 weeks old (it was warmer then) and gradually built up the hours I'd have them out there. Just before I transitioned to the coop, though--we had a month of so much rain and bad weather, so they really didn't have all that much preparation.
    When you do allow them out into the run, after they've been "cooped up", you may think about letting them out into the run for just a few hours before dusk on the first day.

    4. Sorry, can't answer about pellets, as I use aspen wood shavings. I have a 3-inch layer to start, and add more as-needed. I'm doing a quasi-deep litter method, mixing in DE with the shavings and keeping everything mixed and dry.

    I also used an Eco-Glow in the brooder and turned it off at 4 weeks, but that was at the end of August for me. Just make sure they aren't doing a lot of piling or showing signs of being too cold.
    I'm a softie with my girls and was so worried about their transition outside! But they're tougher than I thought.
    This morning they looked like they actually enjoyed being out in the cool drizzle! Meanwhile, I'm out there cradling my coffee mug, watching them and feeling miserable! Good Luck!

    [​IMG]
     
  4. SteveBaz

    SteveBaz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    1. Do I keep the door to the run closed off for certain a period of time?
    Run or Coop? Is it exposed to the sky? does it have metal mesh under the ground? If not not a good area to keep any pets they become to vulnerable to predators.

    2. Is it a good idea to move their entire brooder into the coop for a transition period?
    Do you have other birds to combine with the new?

    3. Should I do daytime stints preparing or just put them out all at once?
    I monitor all day long because I am home during the day, are you?

    4. I will be using wood pellets (using in brooder as well) how many inches deep do I need in the coop?
    Why wood pellets, I am not familiar enough to comment? wood chips about 3 to 4" deep to start would work.

    Good luck to you.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2011
  5. jmtcmkb

    jmtcmkb Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Thank you for your thougtful response. My brooder will fit in coop (brooder 2 X 3') coop 4 x 5 it will fit in nicely, and these are my only chickens, so I was thinking it would be a familiar starting place and they could venture out if they want, but maybe it would be more of a pain...

    Thanks again
     
  6. jmtcmkb

    jmtcmkb Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Thanks so much! From reading responses I think I will cover the floor with a couple inches and add as needed, thats what I am doing in the brooder and it's working well. Thanks for the suggestions.
     
  7. jmtcmkb

    jmtcmkb Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Thanks Steve and I am so sorry about your loss.... The run is very secure, we modeled the Witchita and boise adaptation for the coop- hardware cloth, and a 12" downward preptection as well.

    I read a lot about wood pellets here on BYC and everyone seemed to love them, I like them so far. I am home all day, just errands and what not, so I will monitor them well. These are my first, so the brand new coop is for them alone, spoiled kids [​IMG]
     
  8. SteveBaz

    SteveBaz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    you cant love them to much, am I right or what?
     
  9. jmtcmkb

    jmtcmkb Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Yes, you are right [​IMG]
     
  10. mstricer

    mstricer Overrun With Chickens

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    I will be using wood pellets

    Isn't that expensive? What kind of wood pellets? I use pine shavings in my brooder and straw in the coop.​
     

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