Traumatized Chicks

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Jashdon, Apr 29, 2008.

  1. Jashdon

    Jashdon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 29, 2008
    Snohomish, WA
    Well, I finally finished our second coup today (I posted pictures in the coop section) and we moved our laying hens over to the new coop so that the younger pullets in the garage could move outside into the older coop. When we put the younger chicks in the new run everything seemed fine until it started to get dark. They ran around in a group from corner to corner and it looked like they were trying to get out. When I tried picking them up and puting them in the coop they kept jumping out and acting crazy. Finally I put them in one by one and closed the door behind them. They went nuts and kept cheeping loudly and trying to find a way out. I think they are finally settling down but I was wondering if anyone could give me advice on making it more of a smooth transition next time. Is there a way to make them feel more at ease in a new home?
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2008
  2. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    It seems like it takes until about the 3rd night for mine to settle in whenever I move someone around.
     
  3. Wolf-Kim

    Wolf-Kim Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you kept them in a small pen in the garage, you could try moving the whole pen into the coop. I keep mine penned up in a small pen in the coop before turning them loose. It seems to help.

    I also keep a light on in the coop, since they had a light all up until that point, it helps as well.

    If the pen they were in is too big, try penning them inside the coop for a couple days and then just opening the door to the run. That way they'll get accustomed to the coop first(they're safe place) and can venture out into the big bad world on their own.

    -Kim
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2008
  4. Jashdon

    Jashdon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 29, 2008
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    Thanks for the good ideas.
     
  5. Pleasant.Poultry

    Pleasant.Poultry New Egg

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    We too just finished a second coop. A Taj Mahal compared to the first. We have laying hens of 1-4 yrs old and this is very traumatic for them. On the first night they went bezerk... flying at the windows and up on the nest boxes (slippery slope). I gave in and sent them to the old home. We have moved all food and water from old to new home hoping that will ease the transition during the day, but the night time is still a freak show. I'm wondering if we should just shut them in for a few days and hope for the best or if there is a better way. I sense from response that the former is the way to go, but wanted to add to the discussion. We have two guinea hens which don't help (love those wacky fowl, but jeepers!). I was thinking of fencing them off to be around the new home where they would be forced to lay eggs. If they are frightened at dusk outside, I could wait and carry them in. I don't suspect a conference call with the chickens would rectify the issue (ha ha)?

    My plans are to put in a screen door to ease the feeling of "no way out", but protect them from predators. That would keep an opening to the outdoors - less scarey. Anyway, I'll let you know how we make out. Any similar traumatic experiences with happy endings much appreciated.[​IMG]
     
  6. mandomama

    mandomama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, I'm getting ready to put mine out and have been trying to figure out the same thing. I think I will move their brooder out their too, and remove a wall, keep the top and the light. Depending on how things go, I might keep their brooder food and water container, in the brooder and their bigger containers in the coop. We'll see how it goes. I look forward to others posts.
     
  7. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Best of luck. By a few months old, if not scared of the dark any more, have very strong homing instincts... It's taken me over a month with some of my birds to move them to the "big girls coop" and sometimes they still want to go back to the little grow out pens.
     
  8. Jashdon

    Jashdon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 29, 2008
    Snohomish, WA
    Its night three in the coop for our chicks and they are doing much better. They stay in the coop for most of the day but they are starting to come out into the run now and then to scratch around. I don't think our brooder would fit through the door of our coop, so I'm not sure what we will do next time. Maybe one night of freaking out isn't the end of the world.
     
  9. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    This is a helpful thread. Noted...and now I have plans for the transition too, using the plexiglass brooder, moved onto its side to provide a familiar place to huggle at night when they transition.
    [​IMG]
     
  10. Pleasant.Poultry

    Pleasant.Poultry New Egg

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    Okay, Night 4. Food is king! Where they eat is where they sleep. We had to coax them in the first two nights, but on the third night, they went on their own. No freak show once they were at least familiar with the place. Guinea fowl still couldn't figure it out though and that can be noisey. I turned off all outside lights and kept the coop light on. I still needed to guide the Guineas, but they went in. Tonight they're on their own until dark.

    I will add that when I integrated the youngins last year with the rest I just closed up the brooder. The older hens helped get them in. At first I thought they were picking on the little ones, but then I "got it". The little ones are easy to point in the right direction if they don't go right in at dusk.

    Good luck to all with the Big Move!
     

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