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Teaching chicks to climb stairs

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I am new to raising chicks, we have built a chicken coop. We have built a ramp with stairs down to their run. The chicks and ducks will not climb up or down. How do I teach them.
post #2 of 6

How old are the birds in question?  What is the angle of the ramp?  How far apart are the cleats?  How far is it from the bottom of the ramp to the nearest obstacle, fencing. wall, etc?   Photos can be most helpful.

Oftentimes it is not so much about the concept of climbing up/down a ramp but the ramp itself that is unappealing to the birds resulting in them not using it.  The questions above are common characteristics that can cause  ramp that seems nice to our eye to look horrible to them.

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post #3 of 6

You can teach a chicken using treats as an incentive. But as Grey Mare points out, the steps or ramp has to be equal to the chickens' physical abilities.

 

In other words, no amount of coaching will get a chicken to go up a ramp that is too narrow or too steep or lacks the necessary grips so they don't just keep sliding back down.

 

Some chickens are more agile than others, and you can't expect new chicks to go up steps that older chicks or adults can navigate simply because baby chicks lack wings to flap that enables "lift".

 

I have a couple of heavy breeds who are also old, and they can no longer navigate steps or steep ramps. I even need to lift them off their perches in the morning. So please also take into consideration the physical abilities of the individuals.

post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 


post #5 of 6
While not"that"step, I would lessen the angle a bit while they get used to it. The easiest way to do that is to put the bottom up on something that raises it 4 or 5 inches. The birds cam easily hop that high to mount the ramp and the ramp will be less steep. Then put treats up the ramp. Have you taught them to come when called yet? If so, call from inside the coop amd rattle some trays. ..or put them in the coop and call from outside.
Where are we going, and why are we in this hand basket?
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Where are we going, and why are we in this hand basket?
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post #6 of 6

I agree with Ol Grey Mare - it's not "that steep" but if you put a cinder block under the ramp at the bottom that should help with the angle.  

 

Then they'll most likely use it but to make sure you can put raisins, meal worms, grapes, etc on the rungs and once one of them jumps up the others will follow.

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