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Transitioning to the coop and run.

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by ryan519, Jun 20, 2017.

  1. ryan519

    ryan519 Just Hatched

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    Jun 20, 2017
    Today I finished building my chicken coop and run area. My chickens are 7 weeks old and I put them in the coop and they also have access to the run. I've been reading some of the posts on this forum and I'm confused on if I'm transitioning them correctly. Should I confine them to the inside of the coop and put their food and water inside? Right now I have their food and water outside in the run area. I have the coop door open. The coop is 2 feed off the ground and I have a ramp leading up to it. When I initially put them outside, I placed them inside the coop, and they found their way down the ramp into the run. So far they've been exploring the run area and haven't gone back into the coop.

    Let me know what you all think. Thank you!
     
    Hoodoo Hens likes this.
  2. Hoodoo Hens

    Hoodoo Hens Out Of The Brooder

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    Curious how this works out for you. I just went with what I've been reading here and moved my 6/7 week olds last week. I've been keeping them in the coop to cement that's where they roost at night. I'll likely let them out into the run now for a couple of hours a day, then shoo them up into the coop at dusk, unless they do it on their own.

    I want to allow them to do a bit of free ranging later on so I really want them to feel the run/coop is safety.
     
    ryan519 likes this.
  3. Frazzemrat1

    Frazzemrat1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We left ours in the coop for a couple of days before we allowed them into the run. Then, for the following week to week and a half my son had to catch them and put them in the coop at night. Now, they go up on their own.
     
    ryan519 likes this.
  4. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Installing chicks in a new coop without the complication of an adult flock is as simple as you can get. Just do it.

    The only two issues you may have are some fussing when night comes if the chicks aren't used to sleeping in the dark. You can install a dim night light for a few nights until the chicks get used to dark time.

    This little light will help with the second issue and that's going into the coop at dusk. Even if you choose to coop up the chicks for a couple days as common wisdom dictates, but is of dubious value, they may still be reluctant to go in when night comes for the simple reason the coop looks much different to them from the outside.

    So you may need to gently show them how to go inside at night for a few nights until they catch on. Some are faster than others at learning this. Some require a couple weeks of tutoring.

    Whatever you do, do not chase them down and grab them. This puts a negative connotation on the training and only makes it take longer. Wait until they gather in a tight group and start making their bedtime noises and then gently put one after the other through the pop hole. You may then turn off the light after the chicks get settled.
     
  5. Chickassan

    Chickassan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You're doing fine! If you don't have a light you can make a little trail of food or treats up the ramp at bedtime, that makes them very happy to go into the coop.
     
    ryan519 and azygous like this.
  6. clktex

    clktex New Egg

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    This is what I've been doing for the last 4 or 5 evenings. Yesterday they were still hanging out in the coop in the morning so I had to help them back down into the run. This morning they'd gone down on their own. Night before last they needed lots of help getting onto the roost, but one flew up on her own. Last night after putting them on the roost they all were situated and stayed there (at least until I left them).
     
    ryan519 and Hoodoo Hens like this.
  7. ryan519

    ryan519 Just Hatched

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    I read all of your responses and went outside to check on the chickens. At about 9 PM, I found them huddled in one of the corners of the run. I entered the run slowly and they did not run away from me or anything. One by one I picked each them up and placed them through the coop door. I don't have a night light installed or anything. Once they were all inside, they were chirping and making noises. I also shut the coop door.

    I let them be for about 30 minutes. I went back outside and looked into the coop and found them all resting. A couple were on the ground sitting, one was inside a nest box, and another was on top of a nest box. I decided to pick up two of them and place them on the roost. The two seemed very docile and stayed on the roost.

    Thoughts? Thank you :)
     
  8. Frazzemrat1

    Frazzemrat1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sounds good... :)

    I was really surprised with ours, how quickly they've decided its bed time... I went out to watch them after dinner, it was about 8pm and the sun was not down yet. It goes down about 830. anyway, they were still out, but one by one decided it was time to go to bed and put themselves in. I just waited until the last was in and closed the door and locked it behind them. I was just surprised they decided to go to bed before the sun was completely at the horizon. I'd thought they would have waited until it was darker.

    Probably a good call for them, anyway. As I was going inside I heard the Great Horned Owls in the area starting to call to each other.
     
    ryan519 likes this.
  9. Hoodoo Hens

    Hoodoo Hens Out Of The Brooder

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    I have read that you want to block off your nest boxes until they're laying, or very near the age of laying. You do not want them to think roosting in a nest box is OK, unless you want to be cleaning out the nest boxes all the time.

    So yesterday was my chicks first time from the coop into the run. They had been outside previously in an x-pen for a few hours, we'd transport them in a box from the brooder, so they kind of knew the area and what it meant to be outdoors.

    I'd say it only took about 5 minutes or so for the first 10 to make it out with two Wyandotte taking another 5 minutes for them to feel safe enough to make it outside. I also moved their food outside and removed the water from the coop and hung a bucket with nipples under their coop. So they had a lot to adjust to.

    It only took a couple of times tapping on the side of the bucket and a nipple before they figured that out. As for getting them back in at night, I ended up chasing them about on my hands and knees to put them back in the coop. That was just after sunset, about 9pm but it was still dusk, the sun setting about 10 minutes prior.

    Tonight I'll let it get dark and let them calm down and we'll see how that goes. I don't have power run to the coop yet, but I have a rechargeable portable lantern that I'll also put in there just before sunset and see how that goes. From others I've read here the light seems to really help within a couple of nights.

    I don't really want to put food and water in the coop during the summer. In the winter they'll be in the coop quite a bit so that will be a different story.
     
  10. Hoodoo Hens

    Hoodoo Hens Out Of The Brooder

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    So I should be waiting until dark then? Once they learn to but themselves into the coop, do they normally go in at dusk or after dark?
     

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