When to let chicks out of the coop into the run?

K813ZRA

Songster
Mar 29, 2016
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Pennsylvania
I always hear talk of people keeping their new chicks in the coop for a few days to a few weeks to become familiar with it and associate it as their home. I assume this is so they will put themselves away at night. Anyway, I did not have any worries about this with my flock that is now 17 weeks because it was still cold outside when I moved them from the brooder. However, the batch I have now will be six weeks old when I move them in a few days. My worry is that it is going to be in the 90s all of this week and I just don't want to lock them in a box when it is that hot outside. There is ample ventilation but there is in their brooder in the garage as well and on really hot days the chicks will start to pant so I move them to a shaded area in a temporary play pen made of hardware cloth (they are thankful for that).

Anyway, my run is attached and enclosed so aside from the possibility that I will have to catch them or chase them and put them in their coop at night for a few days is their any reason to keep them locked up in the coop?

(As for free ranging, that will wait a few more weeks as I have another flock that is oh say 500 yards off and if I let both out and the older flock picks on them I think they are still too small to defend themselves.)

Thanks in advance.
 

Pork Pie

Flockwit
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I think I'd put them in the coop overnight for the first night and then let them out in the run the following morning, leaving the coop door open thereafter. If they don't return to the coop on an evening, putting a light in the coop at dusk should encourage them to go inside (you can then turn the light off, once they are inside)

Ct
 
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K813ZRA

Songster
Mar 29, 2016
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684
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Pennsylvania
I think I'd put them in the coop overnight for the first night and then let them out in the run the following morning, leaving the coop door open thereafter. If they don't return to the coop on an evening, putting a light in the coop at dusk should encourage them to go inside (you can then turn the light off, once they are inside)

Ct


That sounds like a good idea to me, thank you.
 

DogCatChickMom

Chirping
Feb 8, 2016
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I got my chicks in March and I put them out into their coop at six weeks. I put them in the coop and let them investigate it for themselves. Showed them the food and water and as long as your run is secure they will be fine coming and going. Are you putting them in with the other chickens? If you are housing them all together you should put them in the same area (so they can see each other and acclimate to each other) but don't just put them in together.
 

bobbi-j

Enabler
11 Years
Mar 15, 2010
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I would let them have access to the run if it's going to be that hot. Like CT said, put them in the coop at night, let them out in the morning. Maybe they'll get it...
 

Mrs. K

Free Ranging
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Nov 12, 2009
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I agree with the above, let them out. Make sure there is shade in the run. We are at 100 here today, I dumped yesterdays water in their dusting holes. Poor things are panting in the shade.

Mrs K
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
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Nov 27, 2012
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Then there's the concern about integrating these new chicks with the existing birds in the coop and run.....
......the older birds are not going to be real happy with the new 'intruders' in their space.

Read up on integration..... BYC advanced search>titles only>integration
This is good place to start reading:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/adding-to-your-flock
 

K813ZRA

Songster
Mar 29, 2016
358
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207
Pennsylvania
Thanks everyone for the suggestions. As far as integration there are no other chickens in that coop or run. The other flock has its own coop and run.
 

MANNA-PRO

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