Our two 8-week old chickens are just too big for the cage we have them in so this weekend, we were determined to get the coop ready and move the birds in. We spent most of Saturday putting the finishing touches on the coop, including reconfiguring the base, adding some pea gravel, buying a bale of hay and spreading some hay out, adding various latches, hinges, and other hardware, attaching the ladder, building the roost, etc.
During all of this activity, we let all three birds roam the back yard. The trio explored the back yard and ate lots of stuff off of the ground. Chicken heaven. When we were finished, we put all three birds into the coop/run for a couple of hours as we waited for dusk.
Once the sun set we scooped up the little one (CheepersV) and put her away in a nice warm cage in the garage. We put the two big birds into the coop and closed the door. They spent their first night in the coop and seemed to like it just fine. In the morning our daughters ran out there in the rain and let the birds out of the coop (the coop and run are integrated). Turns out that the birds were not interested in using the ladder, so we had to "teach" them by tempting them with little crumbs of bread. It took only a couple of minutes and now both birds can navigate the ladder.
We hope to get the little one into the coop in a week or two, but in the mean time we have her sleeping in the cage in the garage at night, then out to be part of the flock during the day.