Tomorrow is moving-in day for our babies! Questions!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by chickiegrrl, Aug 4, 2013.

  1. chickiegrrl

    chickiegrrl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 20, 2013
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    Tomorrow our girls are moving into their brand new run/coop. The coop is 4x6, the run is 6x10. The coop will have shavings in the bottom, the run is sand. We have semi-supervised free-range in a pvc/chicken wire tractor during the day so they can eat greens, pick bugs, and scratch in the dirt. I have read on the forums that people suggest putting the girls in the coop for several days for them to get them used to their new home. The problem is, we are leaving on a 10 day vacation in 2 weeks. I don't want our babies locked up in the coop while we're home and they can be free ranging and playing with us. Would it cause problems if we had them in the coop at night and in the tractor during the day? While we're on vacation, they will be in the coop/run full time with my friend checking on them every other day, so they will have time to get used to it then. Does that sound ok? I don't want to ruin the babies' coop experience, but we love them so much, we don't want them locked up while we're here to enjoy them.

    Thank you!
     
  2. five is my dog

    five is my dog Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 4, 2013
    i would leave them in the coop for 2 days and then free range them. but you will have to use treats to put them up in the afternoon then they will learn to go back in at night. i wouldnt let them out while you are gone though.
     
  3. chickiegrrl

    chickiegrrl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 20, 2013
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    Thank you for the response, five! The girls went in the coop last night, with some resistance. They were a little freaked out at first, but they are doing well in there today, eating, drinking, and scratching around. I threw a bit of scratch grains in to entertain them. It's so cute, they love their window. When I peek in at them, at least one is on the roost bar looking out the window. I think they like it because the coop is up HIGH so they get a totally different view than when they're out in the yard. [​IMG]
     
  4. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    There is really no hard and fast rule about how long you need to shut the chicks up inside the coop to get them to imprint on it as being home.

    I recently moved my six new chicks, at five weeks old, into their coop. I only locked them inside for around three hours a day for two days, letting them have access to their run the rest of the time. At night, I would get inside the coop and call them inside for the night. I had already taught them to come to me using treats, so it was easy to get them inside.

    By the fifth night, they were imprinted enough on the coop that they were going inside on their own to roost at nightfall. Yes, by six weeks of age, they were roosting on their own, too. With dedicated training, you can make very short work of this process.
     
  5. chickiegrrl

    chickiegrrl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 20, 2013
    Monticello, MN
    Thank you, azygous! My girls are 13 weeks old today. It took us forever to get their coop/run finished because we had a super wet spring. When we let them out of the tractor, they would run up our hill, to the garage, and into their pen. Hopefully they will acclimate to their coop/run and will run to it. I can't believe your little chicks are going inside and roosting! That is so awesome!!! [​IMG] I just love watching the girls marching in a little line. SO cute! [​IMG]
     
  6. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    I think they're so cute, so tiny, all lined up on the perch just like the big girls. People think it's so hard, and nearly impossible to teach very small chicks to roost. It's just a matter of having the patience to teach them to do it. Some take to it more readily than others, but they're all teachable.

    Granted, it's a lot harder if you're trying to introduce small chicks into a coop already occupied by adults. I had the luxury, this time, of having an empty coop section for these chicks, the older chickens all being elsewhere. They haven't had to face the monumental challenge of overcoming their fear of the big chickens to go in and roost at night.

    I'm sure yours are going to find their new coop and run much to their delight and satisfaction!
     

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