chicken question (how long to confine new arrivals?) : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

ok, , getting 25 chcikens tomarrow,, full grown,, was a take em all or nothing deal. How lond do I have to keep them locked up for them to realize where "HOME " is ? Glad the forum is back up,, couldnt get on for the last 2 days

-- stan (, October 25, 2001


Response to chicken question

I have no answer, Stan... I just remember wondering the same thing when I had teenagers at home, "How long do I have to keep them locked up for them to realize where 'HOME' is?" ;o)

-- Gary in Indiana (, October 25, 2001.

Response to chicken question

Keep them in the coop locked up for two days. Then open the door about a hour before sunset for four days. After that they should get the idea of where home is.

-- phillip (, October 25, 2001.

Response to chicken question

I think Phillip is on track. I would push it another couple days to be sure but the trick is let em out late in the day. They will want to be home at dusk. I let some birds out too soon this past summer and have just one left, oops.

-- Paul (, October 25, 2001.

Response to chicken question

My mother raised chickens for years and she was just telling my uncle this weekend (he recently acquired a fighting rooster and two pullets, just what he needs - dripping with sarcasm) to keep them shut up for about 4 days, then they should be okay to let out for a couple of hours in the evening before they go to roost. Good luck!

-- Christine in OK (, October 25, 2001.

Someone posted here earlier saying "three weeks". Now, that may be too long, but it sure ain't going to be too short - and that's good. I'd be inclined to err on the side of caution - I just hate losing animals, dying in agony, because of a mistake I could have avoided. Makes me feel guilty - probably because I am. If I was to let them out earlier I'd probably do it into a temporary larger run, late in the day, so they got used to "going out and going home" as above; and then as a second step letting them totally free range at the end of the three weeks.

P.S. I'd also make sure I clipped ONE ONLY wing of their flight feathers so they'd be unbalanced if they tried to make a "Chicken Run".

-- Don Armstrong (, October 25, 2001.

I can tell you what works for me and has never failed ~ both for chooks and guineas.

I pen the birds for 3 weeks. The hoppers always have feed in them. I feel this is an important part of the training. (I free feed all my critters/livestock.) My pens are wire, and while free ranging, the old flock can see the prisoners and vice versa.

When I open the new bird's gate at the end of the 3 weeks, they mingle with the old flock. I've never had any problems doing this, both with hens and roos. The birds wander in and out of the pens during the day to eat/drink/lay eggs. All my birds return to the pens at dusk to roost.

If the pens are moved, or you move to a different house, the 3 week jail time has to be repeated.

-- ~Rogo (, October 25, 2001.

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