Advice needed please moving 6 month chicks to the main house

Discuss all chook related things here!
Also:
* The Library

Advice needed please moving 6 month chicks to the main house

Postby sleepinghorse » Sun May 21, 2017 11:23 pm

This weekend I tried to move my two 6 month chicks (Barred Rock and Brown Leghorn) into the main house. The main house is a house with no run. My chooks are fully free range which makes it a bit difficult when trying to get them to move homes as there is no run to lock them in.

On Saturday about 5pm i managed to entice them all (old and young) into the main house and then shut the door so the two young ones had no choice but to sleep with the big girls. There were no issues as they have been free ranging together for a few months.

In the past, after sleeping for one night in the main house, my other chicks have decided to make it their home so I expected something similar with these two. To take their choice away, I decided to move their smaller house away so they weren't tempted to go back into it.

Unfortunately the Barred Rock goes to bed earlier than the others so didn't have the older hens to follow into the big house. She went to where her old house was and when she saw it wasn't there she went over to the main house and flew up on the roof and went into the trees. The Brown Leghorn stayed with the big girls and followed them into the big house with no problem.

So I need some advice. Do you think I need to bring her house back and hope she goes back into it? I would rather her not sleep in the trees. Or do you think eventually she will join the others into he house.

Help please as this stresses me out a bit.
1 Barnevelder
3 Plymouth Barred Rocks
1 Orpington
1 Speckled Sussex
1 Brown Leghorn
Visit my blog http://mytinybroodofbackyardchooks.wordpress.com
User avatar
sleepinghorse
Pheasant
Pheasant
 
Posts: 442
Joined: Sat Aug 25, 2012 8:21 am

Re: Advice needed please moving 6 month chicks to the main h

Postby eae » Mon May 22, 2017 10:12 am

We've always had to spend a week chasing them to bed. Which can be annoying because you've got to spend 30 minutes of your evening shepherding chickens with a broom.. but after about 4-6 nights of this they seem to get the picture. We're like you, with no run at all, so it does present some challenges.

Only once have we had let one go to bed in the little coop and then pick her up and move her to the big coop. We dad to do this for about 4 nights before she stopped heading there at dusk and was at least in the general vicinity of the big coop so she could be swept toward it with the broom. Otherwise she'd take off in the complete opposite direction :roll:
User avatar
eae
Chicken
Chicken
 
Posts: 578
Joined: Thu Jul 12, 2012 8:02 pm
Location: Warkworth

Re: Advice needed please moving 6 month chicks to the main h

Postby wolga » Mon May 22, 2017 12:00 pm

Two of my hens prefer to roost in the trees! I've tried to get them
to sleep the the coop with the others. But they're back in the trees
as soon as I'm not there to herd them into the coop. Eventually I
gave up. :roll:
User avatar
wolga
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 915
Joined: Sun Sep 25, 2011 8:48 pm
Location: Auckland North Shore

Re: Advice needed please moving 6 month chicks to the main h

Postby sleepinghorse » Mon May 22, 2017 2:24 pm

Thanks so much for your advice. Helps me to destress.
Last edited by sleepinghorse on Sat Jun 03, 2017 4:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
1 Barnevelder
3 Plymouth Barred Rocks
1 Orpington
1 Speckled Sussex
1 Brown Leghorn
Visit my blog http://mytinybroodofbackyardchooks.wordpress.com
User avatar
sleepinghorse
Pheasant
Pheasant
 
Posts: 442
Joined: Sat Aug 25, 2012 8:21 am

Re: Advice needed please moving 6 month chicks to the main h

Postby eae » Mon May 22, 2017 3:51 pm

I agree with Wolga, that it isn't a huge deal if they don't make it into the coop. If they're off the ground then they'll be fine. There were a few nights over summer when some troublesome young Faverolles cockerels managed to evade us at bed time, and I suspect the group of them camped out in the dense agapanthus next to the driveway :?
User avatar
eae
Chicken
Chicken
 
Posts: 578
Joined: Thu Jul 12, 2012 8:02 pm
Location: Warkworth

Re: Advice needed please moving 6 month chicks to the main h

Postby sleepinghorse » Tue May 23, 2017 8:14 am

One of my concerns is that if she doesn't sleep in the henhouse, she may not lay in the nesting boxes when she is ready to lay her first egg. I currently have a Barred Rock who doesn't lay in the henhouse and I have never been able to find her eggs. I think she lays in the thickest part if the bush as I have spent many hours hunting!
I prefer not to waste another lot of eggs. :D
1 Barnevelder
3 Plymouth Barred Rocks
1 Orpington
1 Speckled Sussex
1 Brown Leghorn
Visit my blog http://mytinybroodofbackyardchooks.wordpress.com
User avatar
sleepinghorse
Pheasant
Pheasant
 
Posts: 442
Joined: Sat Aug 25, 2012 8:21 am

Re: Advice needed please moving 6 month chicks to the main h

Postby wolga » Tue May 23, 2017 9:28 am

That's fair enough. It's easier to fix if you catch it right at the beginning.
but might take a little while before she gets the message. Good luck !
Let us know how you get on.
User avatar
wolga
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 915
Joined: Sun Sep 25, 2011 8:48 pm
Location: Auckland North Shore

Re: Advice needed please moving 6 month chicks to the main h

Postby sleepinghorse » Sat Jun 03, 2017 5:15 pm

Sorry once again for a big long story but I need more advice.

Update about my 6 month old Barred Rock who decided to sleep in the trees when i was trying to integrate her into the big house.
On the Monday night I got home after dark and of course she was asleep somewhere in the trees. So In the dark hubby and I brought her old coop back round to where it used to be hoping the three nights she'd slept in the trees wouldn't overtake her instincts to go back to her warm dry coop. The idea was to lift her each night in with the others.
The next night I got home after dark and expectantly peeped in to the small coop - EMPTY!
So that idea didn't work.
Next plan.
Last weekend. On Saturday afternoon I managed to entice her into her old coop and lock her in. She would have no choice but to go to bed in there. That night I picked her up and put her into the big house. Sunday I did the same thing. Locked her back in the old house in the afternoon and again transferred her at night.
The next day was Monday and I had to go to work and wouldn't be back till after dark. So I hoped that she would either go to bed in the big house or the small one, as long as it wasn't the trees. I checked when I got home - she wasn't in either. Back in the trees!
Next plan.
This weekend - one last idea and then I will give up but I need to know if I am doing the right thing.
Today I enticed them all into the "big" house (with one of heir favourite treats, warm rolled oats). Then I shut the door. My plan is to leave them all shut up in the house until Tuesday morning and that way she will sleep in there for 3 nights and hopefully that way she will get used to it.

But my question is, is the house too small to have 7 chooks shut up for 3 days. The house is 2.4 metres by 1.2 metres. Link to the house is below. I know there is a limit for number of hens and size of coop. There is no run so they will be all locked in the house. Writing this in now feel that it is not the right thing to do and I feel bad. Tell me if this isn't a good idea.
http://www.woodworx.co.nz/new%20www/hen ... e4_jpg.htm
Do you think this plan will work?
They are not happy being locked up but they have plenty of food and water and perches to get onto out of each other's way.
1 Barnevelder
3 Plymouth Barred Rocks
1 Orpington
1 Speckled Sussex
1 Brown Leghorn
Visit my blog http://mytinybroodofbackyardchooks.wordpress.com
User avatar
sleepinghorse
Pheasant
Pheasant
 
Posts: 442
Joined: Sat Aug 25, 2012 8:21 am

Re: Advice needed please moving 6 month chicks to the main h

Postby wolga » Sat Jun 03, 2017 9:04 pm

I think it's a very good idea to lock all of them in the coop for a couple of days. That will help your young hen to integrate into the flock.
Your coop has a very good size and they have enough room to mingle. Also it's only for a few days so I definitely wouldn't worry about it. ;)
User avatar
wolga
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 915
Joined: Sun Sep 25, 2011 8:48 pm
Location: Auckland North Shore

Re: Advice needed please moving 6 month chicks to the main h

Postby Marina » Sat Jun 03, 2017 9:21 pm

There is indeed a maximum regarding how many birds you can keep per square metre. It's 13kg per sqm if I'm informed correctly.

I have 2 adjacent coops, one is 2.4 x 1.2 m, the other 2.3 x 1.2 m. It's ample space for 10 heavy breed chooks full time.

Looking at the legality of things: 2.4m x 1.2m = 2.88 sqm

2.88 x 13kg = 37.44kg

My chooks weigh between 2 and 3 kg each so I could keep 15 chooks in there. Mine, like yours, have perches which increases the available space.

Looking at chicken cages which are 1.2m x 0.6m = 0.72 sqm. Most factory farms keep 6 hens per cage but it's not illegal (when I last looked) to keep up to 8 per cage.

2.88 divided by 0.72 = 4 which means it would be considered ample space for up to 24 commercial hybrids.

All the above math just to make you feel better, eae :D

I'm not advocating maxing the space out but if the girls don't follow the rules you need to take action.

On a different note: I have some birds sleeping in trees all year round, hail or shine, frost, snow, sleet. It's not that they don't have a house - it's that they have options and instincts. I've never lost a chook that roosts in trees to ferrets. The only 'problem' is that they need more energy to keep warm so start to lay later in the season than their cooped-up counterparts.
Marina
Emu
Emu
 
Posts: 3313
Joined: Wed May 11, 2011 11:16 pm

Re: Advice needed please moving 6 month chicks to the main h

Postby sleepinghorse » Sat Jun 03, 2017 10:08 pm

That makes me feel good about my decision and the maths definitely helped. I am home all this weekend so will be keeping an eye on them. I just have to ignore the bok bok complaining coming from the coop. I really want it to work as I want her to lay in the nests when she starts. :D
I am always very grateful for your advice. Thanks so much.
1 Barnevelder
3 Plymouth Barred Rocks
1 Orpington
1 Speckled Sussex
1 Brown Leghorn
Visit my blog http://mytinybroodofbackyardchooks.wordpress.com
User avatar
sleepinghorse
Pheasant
Pheasant
 
Posts: 442
Joined: Sat Aug 25, 2012 8:21 am

Re: Advice needed please moving 6 month chicks to the main h

Postby Foehn » Sun Jun 04, 2017 7:35 pm

Yes, I always leave the preferred coop ready and just move them each night when integrating. I have a pullet that has taken almost two weeks, but this is the first night she has elected to go to bed in the big coop. Plus she's found the food in there, so she should be ok now. I have just begun the process of shifting a rooster too. He has a clipped wing now after he flew over me, using my head as a dig-in launching pad. He is still managing to get back over the fence, so tonight I was on a block and herd regime until he got the message to go to bed where I wanted him. It does take time and patience.
User avatar
Foehn
Quail
Quail
 
Posts: 72
Joined: Sat May 28, 2016 2:04 pm


Return to General Chicken Keeping

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests