transition to coop

Fluffy&Cutie

Songster
May 17, 2018
376
867
206
Los Angeles Basin
hello lovelies. my chick-a-dees are now 8 weeks. they will be moving into the coop after the the 4th of july, fireworks ARE legal in my town. i m researching how to move them into the coop. some advice states a few hours at a time. this sounds lovely, but my white leghorns are not fond of being picked up. there is a lot of drama. they don't mind being pet, but not picked up. the thought of catching them, holding them, and carrying them outside to put in the coop AND then to do it for a few days is exhausting. i love them and want to treat them well. will it be horrible if i move them into the coop in one day? i have lights up so that they won't be frightened and the coop is so pretty and decorated with their toys. do you think that will be ok? am i going to have to sleep outside with the chicks like i did for the puppy? good thing it's summer!
thanks for your thoughts.
 

pwiker

Chirping
Jun 19, 2017
78
97
71
Lancaster, PA
I would suggest a crate or box where you can gather them all up together and put them in the box together. Being separated will be more stressful than being moved as long as they have their friends. Do it all at once early in the morning so that they have all day in the big Coop with the light before it starts to get dark.
 

New2chicluv

Songster
Apr 14, 2018
208
607
186
Elk County, PA
I moved mine out, hand carried each one and there they stayed. I lock them up in their coop every night and unlock it every morning. No in and out of my house business. They are happy out there. I was worried the first night but, they did just great. If your really worried get a baby monitor. ;) You dont have to sleep with them. If its secure they'll be just fine and happy. :wee
 

bruceha2000

Crossing the Road
7 Years
Apr 19, 2012
12,707
42,185
992
NW Vermont
8 weeks in the house is a LONG time!
As suggested, get a box big enough for all of them and take them out to the coop/run. Put the food and water wherever it will be permanently. Put the box down on its side and let the birds figure things out for themselves. If the coop is big enough for the box, put it in there. If not, put it in the run. Take the box out when all the chicks have come out. You'll need to get them into the coop each night for a while until they know it is their sleeping spot. Then they will go there because they feel it is their safe spot. At 8 weeks they can have a bit of scratch or BOSS, both are crack to chickens. They will learn quickly that they want to be where the goodies are.

They are amazingly good at knowing what they need to know even without a mama hen to tutor them. They will expand their horizons day by day to the extent they can.

BOSS = Black Oil Sunflower Seed
 

lazy gardener

Crossing the Road
7 Years
Nov 7, 2012
27,610
26,708
907
CENTRAL MAINE zone 4B
Birds hate change. There will be less stress involved if you move them out and leave them out. I would not lock them in the coop during the heat of the summer, but agreed with other posters that you may need to manually put them in the coop every evening. I'd wait till things cool down a bit, but put them in the coop long before it starts to get dark.
 

Blooie

Team Spina Bifida
Premium member
5 Years
Feb 25, 2014
16,751
29,397
767
Northwestern Wyoming
My Coop
My Coop
I always put mine out from day one. No transition stress on them or me. Oh, my first batch I did the “raise them in the house, don’t let any cool air touch them, keep a light on them 24/7, and put them out when you find the first egg in the brooder” thing - for 5.5 loooooong weeks. I evicted them to their still-unfinished coop and our temps dropped down to 18 degrees. Um, it wasn’t supposed to get that cold! Feared they’d all be dead in the morning and kept getting up and going out to check on them. They were fine, I was freezing. Second night, same story. Two nights in a row and not once were they even near the heat lamp I’d put out for them. So the third day I took it out. That night it snowed and we didn’t see our last snowfall until June 6th. They didn’t much like the dark the first few nights, but we were even - I didn’t much like the mess in the house the first few weeks.

Now I skip all that hassle. Out they go with Mama Heating Pad and although I check on them from time to time, they are pretty much raising themselves exactly the way a real broody hen would. They grow up healthy, strong, friendly, confident and calm.

So you’ve got this...the transition from being Divas to getting to be real chickens isn’t easy, but if not now, when? You’ve done all you can. Now it’s time to enjoy them for what they are......marvels of feathers, energy, self-suffiency, and just plain fun.
 

Fluffy&Cutie

Songster
May 17, 2018
376
867
206
Los Angeles Basin
Wow! Thanks for all the support and stories. It sure is fun reading your stories!
I did want to move them at 5 weeks...but it s still cold in june here. Some BYC peeps suggested until the June - gloom was gone. Now it' warm, they are big, and ready for a new adventure.
Thanks for the tips. I ll let you know how it goes!!! Happy fourth! ♡♡♡
 

Blooie

Team Spina Bifida
Premium member
5 Years
Feb 25, 2014
16,751
29,397
767
Northwestern Wyoming
My Coop
My Coop
Wow! Thanks for all the support and stories. It sure is fun reading your stories!
I did want to move them at 5 weeks...but it s still cold in june here. Some BYC peeps suggested until the June - gloom was gone. Now it' warm, they are big, and ready for a new adventure.
Thanks for the tips. I ll let you know how it goes!!! Happy fourth! ♡♡♡
I have complete faith in you! If I’d waited until the experts said it was safe to put my first ones out, I’d have found the first egg in the brooder, and I mean that quite literally. They were 5.5 weeks old on April 1st. We had cold and snow until June 6th. So they’d have been 17.5 weeks old, still in the house (all 22 of them!) and Ida laid her first egg at just over 16 weeks! :th
 
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