Over the last week and a half we have been introducing our chicks to their coop. We read that 6 weeks is generally a good age to move chicks to a coop, especially during warmer weather. We first did a few days of a couple of hours, then a few days of 8 hours, then a few days of 12+ hours, and since the weather was so nice the last two night (no lower than 70 degrees) we let them spend the last two nights outside; which means that they have consistently been in the coop for the last 54+ hours (our noses are thankful they’re no longer in our mudroom)! They seem to be doing well, and I think they’re getting the hang of sleeping at night. They’re not huddling together when I check on them early in the morning, so I don’t believe they’re getting too cold at night. We have only been opening the door to the run when we’re home during daylight hours, but plan on keeping that open throughout the entire day once they’re a good bit larger.
When we first opened the door to the run, they were hesitant to go near it, but a sprinkling of meal worms in the ram changed their minds quickly! However, meal worms were not enough to get them to walk onto the grass. It took a few days of growing comfortable with the ramp to finally venture out onto the grass, and even then Rudy decided to hang back. Yesterday they began pecking at ants, which was enjoyable to watch!
Our dog, Milo, seems very interested in them in the coop. Each time we let him outside he runs to check on them, and often lies right outside of the coop door. He seems to be behaving himself around them, and once they’re bigger I’ll be more comfortable with him around them. But right now, he’s so curious and when they fly he startles and I’m not afraid that he’ll be aggressive towards them, but that he’s try to play (a little too rough). Up to this point, we have held them to his nose so he can smell them, to which he seems to lose interest very quickly, and he have let his stand next to the open coop door which holding his collar. I wish I could find more information online about introducing chickens and dogs!