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Introducing New Chickens to a Backyard Chicken Coop

Updated on March 4, 2013
Bringing home our backyard chickens in the car
Bringing home our backyard chickens in the car | Source

Welcome to Your New home

Our neighbor dog took our backyard chicken numbers down from five to one, so we needed an infusion of new chickens. We happened to know someone who was moving and so needed a new home for his chickens, so we volunteered.

What is the number one thing to do when introducing chickens to a new coop?

Keep them in the coop for at least three days.

Once they've acclimated to their new home, it is time to let them "stretch their wings" assuming that you want to have less mess to deal with and the enjoyment of watching chickens peck around your yard. If you are not going to be home to supervise them when you let them out of the coop, you may opt to leave them inside for a few more days, just as added insurance. If you are able to check on them and make sure they don't wander off, three days is just about enough.

Chickens, like many other pet-type animals, can remember the location of their food and water. Unlike cats and dogs, they won't venture down the street. Almost always, they will stay in range of their food and water.

In order for them to easily stay in their coop for three days, you will want to have these items in the coop:

  1. A water dish.
  2. A food dish, preferably one they can't stand on.

It is important to note that your needs with small chicks are not the same as the needs of older chickens. In this article we address the needs of fully grown hens. It is also important to remember (brace yourself) that chickens produce a lot of...shall we say, waste? If their food is on the ground and they can stand on it, they will not only knock it over, they will dirty it. The same goes for their water. While some people enjoy the task of filling the chickens' food every day, it is nice to be able to miss a day without harming the birds, so self-filling feeders and waterers are useful.

Being prepared before you bring your chickens home (to roost, haha) will save you a lot of hurry-scurry. If you treat your chickens well, they will produce a bounty of eggs and entertainment for you and your family.

Chickens in a backyard coop
Chickens in a backyard coop | Source

Want to Make Your Own Self-Filling Waterer? Here's how:


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      Jordan Walker 3 years ago

      Good for you to have a new chicken. I have 6 laying hens and I get eggs everyday. It's so fun to raise chickens on our own and what I love most is when they are doing their bath sand.