I tried training our chickens to go in at night (early... they went on their own at dark) by clapping my hands. They associated clapping hands with needing to go in. It worked most of the time unless they were desperate to stay out. For instance, if they had just gotten out. When all else fails, I throw treats in the house to get them to go in. They fall for it every time!
Getting Chickens To Go Back Into Their Coop? - Page 2
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In my opinion, the best way is to bell train your chickens.
1) Buy a long range cow bell ($5) from tsc, and when they are in their coop ring it lightly (in the beginning the loud noise scares the chickens)
2) Only once a chicken comes over, throw down some scratch. Only a little though, a handful. Other chickens should eventually follow.
3) Do this 3-4 times a day for about 1 week, keeping them in their coop.
4) Once you start letting them out of the coop, ring the bell when they are scattered around the yard free-ranging. Once they come over throw down some scratch (it may take some time some time for them to come over.) If they don't come over after a minute or so of ringing the bell, throw down the scratch try again later.
5) Continue with this process until the chickens start to gradually improve. Don't do it too often, as the reward will wear off.
It takes time to do this but it does work. It took my chickens about 3 weeks in the summer. Yes, there were many frustrating moments when they simply would not come, but with practice and patience I was able to successfully train them. I now have the confidence to let them out while I am doing yard work, and ring the bell 20 min later to get them to come back. There is nothing more satisfying to see a flock of chickens run out of the woods at the sound of your cow bell!
I recently built a new coop and got rid of the old one they were like cows looking at a new gate they were roosting in the run then they started going in but sleeping on y the floor I put them on the roosts for a few days they were waiting so late to go in that it was too dark in the coop for them to see to get on the roost so I put in a regular red light bulb not a heat light so they could see and they were up on the roost when I checked has anyone else used a red light in their coop
Yeah, we use the huge red light bulb. What an electricity sucker...
Have you tried tossing favorite treats in there?
Try some canned kernel corn, no chicken can resist that. Toss some in and shut them in once they are inside.