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Should they be forced into a coop?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by stoneeater, Apr 11, 2011.

  1. stoneeater

    stoneeater Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 9, 2011
    Jacksonville, Fl.
    9 of my bantam chickens are finally big enough to be outside. They're about 5-7 weeks old. They're about as big as a pigeon or smaller. I'm using a former dog run as a run. It's about 520 sq. ft. plus an open area under a porch that is another 64 sq. ft. 6' high fence all the way around. I placed a small dog crate with them to use for protection at night/coop. But they seem quite happy to sleep anywhere except the cage. They find a new spot every night and pile up together. They're not able to fly into the trees yet; at least I haven't seen them make it more than a foot off the ground.
    So do I need to force them into the coop at night so they learn that this is where you sleep?
     
  2. Silkie Sue

    Silkie Sue Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 23, 2007
    Sarnia, Ontario
    i don't know what kind of predators you have where you are but all my ducks and chickens are either in their enclosed runs or in the barn at night or i would most likely not have them in the morning. we have coyotes, raccoons and possums and they just wait for ya to screw up [​IMG]
     
  3. hennyannie

    hennyannie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2011
    North Carolina
    Not a bad idea to keep them going in the run at night till they get a little older I would think.
     
  4. stoneeater

    stoneeater Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 9, 2011
    Jacksonville, Fl.
    Only part of the run not fenced is the top which would be impossible due to all the trees in the run.
    Predators? I hear coyotes way off in the woods but I'm pretty sure they stay there. I have a husky in the run right next to the chickens plus my neighbors pit bulls along with my husky start barking at the slightest sound. Lots of armadillos, squirrels, 2 freindly cats. Some pretty nasty snakes. That's it as far as we've seen in 6 years.
     
  5. dawg16

    dawg16 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 9, 2011
    Predators will show up in time....believe me...do your own diligence and put up your guards.....jmo
     
  6. RaspyRoosterFarms

    RaspyRoosterFarms Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 9, 2011
    Indiana
    From experience you may not have predators now, but the moment your guard goes down is when they choose to act. If there is a light in the pen typically chickens will go where the light is at dark, That way you wouldnt be forcing them and they are in a safer place.
     
  7. stoneeater

    stoneeater Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 9, 2011
    Jacksonville, Fl.
    Late last night I carried the coop/ dog crate over to where they were sleeping. Picked them up 1 at a time and put them inside. No sqwaking or running away at all. Put them back under the covered porch and put their water in with them. This morning I took their food back outside and released them. They were just hanging out waiting. Hopefully they learn to go in there to sleep. I'll have to look into the light idea. My chickens seem super happy being outside as opposed to the brooder. Much more willing to be handled now.
     
  8. AKsmama

    AKsmama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 20, 2010
    South Carolina
    Oh, you have predators. . . you just haven't seen them yet. I don't care if you live in the middle of the city, you for sure have coons and possums- they are everywhere. It's just a matter of time before they show up. I would provide your birds with some sort of protection. If they are sleeping against the fence, anything can come along and pull them or their heads through it. You'll likely need to place them into the kennel for several nights before they get the idea. I agree that chickens are happier being outside, but it's up to you to provide them with a safe place at night, especially since that is when they are the most defenseless.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2011
  9. stoneeater

    stoneeater Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 9, 2011
    Jacksonville, Fl.
    Quote:This is exactly what I was concerned about. First night they slept against the house way away from the fence. Second night was under the stairs. Closer but still away. Last night they plopped down right against the exterior fence. That's what got them corralled. I'll just have to keep working with them.
     

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