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Tips on bringing 4 15 week pullets home?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Pequena Bandada, Jul 5, 2010.

  1. Pequena Bandada

    Pequena Bandada Small Flock

    Jun 13, 2010
    We're going to pick up our first four chickens in a few hours. We'll be getting two 15 week old Australorps, and two 15 week old Easter Eggers. The coop and run are complete, the food and water are out, and I think we're all set. But... knowing how chickens don't like change, are there any tips on how to help them adjust to their new home? Should I put them in the run and then leave them alone for a few hours? Shut them in the coop for a day or two? Give them lots of treats? Sit in the run so they get used to me?

  2. Whitewater

    Whitewater Songster

    Jan 18, 2010
    I got some very good advice when I asked about bringing home my 2 15 week old Australorps and a 15 week old Black sex link (she was supposed to be an Australorp too, whoops!) and I will summarize it for you because it worked pretty well for me!

    First thing, put them together in the box (a large cardboard box is good, the sort that you use for moving -- the big ones), they will feel less stressed if they travel together, chickens do not like being alone.

    When you get them home, put them in their hen house right away, and try to transition them at dusk or later, they are easier to handle then and the dark will make them calmer.

    Make sure they have at least water in their henhouse, if not food. They will NEED the water and they may not want to come out into their run to get food. For the first 48 hours, I hand-scattered food in their henhouse and there is a small quart sized waterer in there. Their main feeder and gallon sized waterer are out in the run.

    After about 2 full days, they were ready to come out and explore their run. At first we opened the human-access door to the henhouse and they flew up and down -- they didn't know how to use a chicken ramp. Once they got comfy with going out into the run, we taught them how to use the ramp and it took them about 3 days to get that concept. Now, we just let them go in and out of their henhouse via their ramp whenever they want to. Of course, that means that they are *also* standing in their run in the middle of a heavy rainstorm right now!!! But there's a roof on their run, so they're still pretty dry.

    They took to the Purina Flock Raiser right away, and also appreciated the green stuff already growing in their run. Now that they've gotten rid of it, we're going to put sand down as soon as we can (raining, again) in their run so that it will be easier to clean and keep the flies down -- not that we have a lot of flies, but I like my animal's homes to be neat and tidy, my theory is that a tidy, clean home helps boost immune systems and doesn't attract as many predators. Also we're very urban and sand will help with smells too, so the neighbors don't complain.

    We left our pullets alone for the first few days, they were pretty spooked about the massive new change in their life. Once they got comfy in their new home, I started to introduce myself to them simply by bringing a small lawn chair next to their run on the outside, and quietly sitting there observing them. I didn't talk to them or make any sudden movements. When they were comfortable with my simple presence, I started to talk to them. When they were ok with that, I started to bring them treats, come into their run and move around and so on.

    They were really doing well until I went away to a 4 day convention -- came back yesterday and we're back at square one, sadly. I seriously think they forgot about me. Now I am new and scary again!

    Keeping things dark, quiet and calm will help most when you go pick your pullets up [​IMG]

    1 person likes this.
  3. ChickyChick2

    ChickyChick2 In the Brooder

    Feb 3, 2015
    I appreciate these tips--we're picking ours up this weekend! I guess I'll just have to hide them from the 3 and 5 year old for the first few days.......

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