Taking Chickens Home For The First Time
NEW To CHICKENS Taking you chickens home …. what next?
- When you get home pop your new birds in the house (with water) close the pop hole and leave in there for up to three hours – if it is late in the day leave in overnight.
- In the morning open the pop hole put the drinker and feeder in the run. DO NOT shoo the chickens out (they will be too scared to go back in) let them come out on their own. They may be timid and not come out for some time … they will come out.
- At dusk they will remarkably make their way back inside to the house and go up to roost. They may need encouragement if you have a raised house and ladder.
- If they do not to go on the perches pick them up and place on them. Some houses the perches are the same level as the nest box, ideally the perches should be higher …. After a few nights they will get the hint.
- If you are not there to shut them in every night and able to let them out every day at the same time consider an automatic door opener and closer, we sell them here and they are brilliant …please ask.
- As for free ranging … make sure there are some boundaries ie on to the road or into next door. When the chickens seem settled and used to you and a routine. Plus they have been exposed to all the noises your neighbourhood generates then just open the door to their run and let them explore …. to encourage them to return to the run when you want them to a small treat of corn can be offered (do this a few days running prior to free ranging)
- Things to be aware of … if you have small trees ( apple etc ) you may find they prefer to roost in these … wing clipping can help this and by the time their wings regrow they will be in lay , slightly heavier and prefer the comfort and safety of their house . We can wing clip for you just ask.
- Low flying jets … birds do not like these, and they will rush to safety so always leave your co op door open or at least into the run if not they make take cover under garden shed, in the hedge or other awkward areas.
- Chickens do poo everywhere especially on your decking, will scratch up your flower and veg beds. To protect these areas and your birds our best solution is poultry netting which can be electrified, easy to move and safe for you and your birds. This allows the chickens a safe place to range and it can be moved around an area therefore letting the grass recover and protects birds from daytime predators.
- Chickens like routine if you can only let your chickens out sporadically it is best to leave them in their run. It is preferable to let them out every day at the same time.
- If you feed them treats from your back door or from your outside table, you will find them entering your house and jumping on the table looking for them so BEWARE.
- Most of all relax and enjoy your chickens, they will be some ‘hen pecking’ and squabbles once they sort out their new dynamics, allow this process to take place with out any interference as this will only prolong this natural behaviour. Any concerns please do call us.