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Going from the run to the coop at dusk?? Their job or mine?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Our chicks our 6 weeks old today.

 

So... our chicks failed their first " we don't need a babysitter Dad, we will go to bed when it gets dark" test.

 

Went out yesterday to dinner late afternoon leaving the chicks out romping in their enclosed pen. We had hoped that they would make their way back in to the heated coop at dusk. Got home about 9 PM. They were all huddled , in the dark, in a corner of the run.

 

Test failed.

 

Dumb chicks? or just need a bit more coaching? I would think instinct would have taken over by now and they would have headed in to their safe roost and heat.

post #2 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by littleandlewis View Post
 

Our chicks our 6 weeks old today.

 

So... our chicks failed their first " we don't need a babysitter Dad, we will go to bed when it gets dark" test.

 

Went out yesterday to dinner late afternoon leaving the chicks out romping in their enclosed pen. We had hoped that they would make their way back in to the heated coop at dusk. Got home about 9 PM. They were all huddled , in the dark, in a corner of the run.

 

Test failed.

 

Dumb chicks? or just need a bit more coaching? I would think instinct would have taken over by now and they would have headed in to their safe roost and heat.

When it's almost dusk turn a light on inside the coop so that they can see. In there opinion it's a dark scary place the first couple of time.

The voices in my head are fighting again.

 

My imaginary friend is running with scissors, and one of my personalities wandered off.

 

I don't like to think before I speak. I like to be just as surprised as everyone else about what comes out my mouth.

 

Sometimes even I am afraid of the things my mind comes up with.


Complaint & HR Departments for Abi's
 

Incu w/ Friends-helpful notes & links

Reply
The voices in my head are fighting again.

 

My imaginary friend is running with scissors, and one of my personalities wandered off.

 

I don't like to think before I speak. I like to be just as surprised as everyone else about what comes out my mouth.

 

Sometimes even I am afraid of the things my mind comes up with.


Complaint & HR Departments for Abi's
 

Incu w/ Friends-helpful notes & links

Reply
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 

Is the red heat lamp considered a light ( which is always on)  or are we talking about a regular light bulb?

post #4 of 9

Not sure if the red heat lamp would work for the purpose as I never had one in my coop. When my birds were young I went outside with a flashlight and shown it into the back of the coop so that everything was lit up. Did this for 2-3 evenings and everybody learned to go into the coop by themselves. Now the older ones teach the younger ones.

The voices in my head are fighting again.

 

My imaginary friend is running with scissors, and one of my personalities wandered off.

 

I don't like to think before I speak. I like to be just as surprised as everyone else about what comes out my mouth.

 

Sometimes even I am afraid of the things my mind comes up with.


Complaint & HR Departments for Abi's
 

Incu w/ Friends-helpful notes & links

Reply
The voices in my head are fighting again.

 

My imaginary friend is running with scissors, and one of my personalities wandered off.

 

I don't like to think before I speak. I like to be just as surprised as everyone else about what comes out my mouth.

 

Sometimes even I am afraid of the things my mind comes up with.


Complaint & HR Departments for Abi's
 

Incu w/ Friends-helpful notes & links

Reply
post #5 of 9

Hi,   :frow

I went to Lowe's and got the Portifino solar light for about 19.99. Mounted it to the outside of the coop with the light shining inside. Comes on at dusk and lights the inside of the door.  No electric bill.

 Best,

 Karen

Walt Boese strain and Tewart flock of Pure English  Light Sussex

My flock now resides with Farmer Karl in PA.   

  I know he will do well by them. Karl is a knowing poultry man.

RIP Hellbender, my friend. Good friend, good heart, gone too soon.

Reply

Walt Boese strain and Tewart flock of Pure English  Light Sussex

My flock now resides with Farmer Karl in PA.   

  I know he will do well by them. Karl is a knowing poultry man.

RIP Hellbender, my friend. Good friend, good heart, gone too soon.

Reply
post #6 of 9

You need to teach them to go into the coop. Chicks do not automatically figure that out on their own. It's way too big of a mental leap for a little being with a brain the size of a pea.

 

The light is a good start, but you also need to get inside the coop and coax them inside for a couple nights. It's a matter of programming their brains to go from run to pop hole and inside the coop. So lure them in through the pop hole using a treat they can't resist.

 

You don't need to leave the light on all night, just long enough to get them settled. And why are you still using a heat lamp? Six-week olds should be plenty feathered out and able to handle most cool temps, yes, even 40 F.

 

While you're coaching them, once you get them inside, go ahead and place them on the roosting perch. They have an instinctual attraction to high places, and they should take to it with little trouble. My chicks are usually roosting by six weeks old, as well as going inside on their own. It only requires a couple nights of coaxing them for them to pick it up.

post #7 of 9

My first batch of chicks, when I moved them to the coop, spent about 5 days in the coop only. Their food and water was in there, their roosts were in there. Just the coop, no run until they considered it "home". Then when they were roosting at night on the roosts, I opened the coop to the run. No problem with them then going back in at dusk as they had already established it as home. 

post #8 of 9
You will probably just need to show them where to sleep for a few nights, then they will start going there themselves.
post #9 of 9
All great advice and remember new chicks after you have some established flock members will get it a lot sooner!
My first flock of chicks were terrible at being chickens also but I hatched a few out and mama hen teaches them what I taught her when she was young !
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