BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Raising BackYard Chickens › Managing Your Flock › How to get chickens to return to coop after free ranging
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

How to get chickens to return to coop after free ranging

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

Our girls are 7 - 10 months old.  We would like to start free ranging them for a couple of hours on the weekend when we are home to monitor them. 

My question is  - - - - -

How do I get the birds to return to the coop after a couple of hours ? ? ?

Is it like my cat or dog or pot belly pigs and I just call their names and they will come
or  do I have to go and collect them one at a time
or is there some trick to getting them back in the coop?

post #2 of 19

Just let them out an hour or so before dark. Once the sun starts to set, they'll automatically return to the coop, which is their "safe place."

Kathy, Bellville TX
www.ChickenTrackin.com

post #3 of 19

If you free range them in the evening they should put themselves to bed as it begins to get dark. They will just naturally return to their roost when the shadows start getting long. If you want them to free range midday and put them back in the coop while it is still daylight, you will have to do a chicken roundup. Only fun if your sitting on the porch with a cold drink watching someone else do it

I believe Jesus Christ, son of God, lived in human flesh, died on the cross without sin so that I would not have to die in my sin but have everlasting life.  He did this not just for me, but for all that would accept and believe in him. Pm me if you want to know more about my faith.
Reply
I believe Jesus Christ, son of God, lived in human flesh, died on the cross without sin so that I would not have to die in my sin but have everlasting life.  He did this not just for me, but for all that would accept and believe in him. Pm me if you want to know more about my faith.
Reply
post #4 of 19

We locked our girls up for like 2 days with lots of extras in their coop. Then when we did let them out (our 4 EE hens free range all day long with free access to over 8 acres of pasture, driveway, forest and garden...basically our whole property) it took probably 2 days of picking them up and putting them in the coop. Now, the minute it starts to get a little dark they're in there sitting on their roosts waiting for us to lock them up.

Lupin Farm [Labradoodles] + A Pretty Little Wilderness
Small Hobby Farm + Miniature Labradoodles
www.lupinfarm.com
Reply
Lupin Farm [Labradoodles] + A Pretty Little Wilderness
Small Hobby Farm + Miniature Labradoodles
www.lupinfarm.com
Reply
post #5 of 19

A handy thing to do is to train your chickens to come at your signal.  The easiest is to put some cracked corn (chicken crack!) in a metal can, shake it & call "heeerrrre chick-chick-chick!", and toss them some corn.  It won't be long before they learn to associate that sound of shaken corn with a tasty treat for them. 

Teach them this before you start letting them out for free-ranging.  But you probably won't ever need to use this to get them to come home to their roost at night.  Like the others said, start letting them out right before sundown, and let them out a bit earlier each day afterwards.  They usually put themselves to bed at sundown.  But if you need to summon them at other times, the cracked corn trick is handy to use.

It's not happy people who are thankful, it is thankful people who are happy!
Reply
It's not happy people who are thankful, it is thankful people who are happy!
Reply
post #6 of 19

And always keep their food and water inside the hen house.

Wife of the best guy ever, mom of 5 sons and 1 daughter, living in heaven on earth.  We're owned by more chickens than I care to admit, a pit bull, a Jack Russell terrorist, a chia-poo, a bazillion cats and a huge guinea pig.
Reply
Wife of the best guy ever, mom of 5 sons and 1 daughter, living in heaven on earth.  We're owned by more chickens than I care to admit, a pit bull, a Jack Russell terrorist, a chia-poo, a bazillion cats and a huge guinea pig.
Reply
post #7 of 19

I have found that a tasty tomato or some watermelon rind with red on it does a nice job of encouraging my chickens to return to the run. I put it in the clean area under the coop, and call here chick chick chick. Rarely have to do a roundup then.

Owned by 4 dogs, 3 house cats, countless fish, and 17 hens, 3 production red hens, 5 americauna hens, and 8 black australorp, and one strange old hen that looks half and half of something, 3 buckeye roosters, soon to be 1 I think. And 4 grandchildren. And 2 beehives.. Bees have had a rough year.
Reply
Owned by 4 dogs, 3 house cats, countless fish, and 17 hens, 3 production red hens, 5 americauna hens, and 8 black australorp, and one strange old hen that looks half and half of something, 3 buckeye roosters, soon to be 1 I think. And 4 grandchildren. And 2 beehives.. Bees have had a rough year.
Reply
post #8 of 19

I'm having hard time to put them in from run to coop.
Right now sunset is around 8:30pm and I'm there to put them in but they won't come to coop hmm

First day, I only put a little amount food in the run so when the time, they just run to the coop.
But now I hang feeder in the run so they are full when the time, they want to stay out and not coming in...

I tried treats, but they just grab and run! Back to outside.

What am I doing wrong???

Mother of 4-kids, 6-birds, 1-hamster, 1-mouse, 2-fish, 1-greyhound, 4-sussex. RIP Ponyo 2-13-11. RIP 5 little babies 8-16-11. RIP Lovie 1-8-12. RIP Ginger 3-9-13. RIP Kyururu 1-8-14. RIP Suzume 4-6-14.
Full time quilter, par time gardener.
www.withhugsnstitches.com

Reply

Mother of 4-kids, 6-birds, 1-hamster, 1-mouse, 2-fish, 1-greyhound, 4-sussex. RIP Ponyo 2-13-11. RIP 5 little babies 8-16-11. RIP Lovie 1-8-12. RIP Ginger 3-9-13. RIP Kyururu 1-8-14. RIP Suzume 4-6-14.
Full time quilter, par time gardener.
www.withhugsnstitches.com

Reply
post #9 of 19

Put the food and water inside the coop.

If I can make life changes, you can too. See my short story here:
http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=463798

25 chickens, 2 Nigerian & 1 Boer goats, 1 Black Angus calf, 1 spoiled rotten Min Pin.
Reply
If I can make life changes, you can too. See my short story here:
http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=463798

25 chickens, 2 Nigerian & 1 Boer goats, 1 Black Angus calf, 1 spoiled rotten Min Pin.
Reply
post #10 of 19

My chickens are sleeping in their run, but not in the coop.

It is summer. Night time temps don't fall below the mid-70's, sometimes it's 82 at the coolest. One of mine sleeps on the roof of the coop,  5 of the other 6 pile onto the perch I put on top of the old (home built no roof now) brooder. And the 6th one was sleeping on the back wall of the brooder. It's under a tin roof, in my secured run. It got german shepherd proofed in May when I had to keep one of my daughter's bird-hunting dogs here for a weekend. it's coon proof. And my non-bird-hunting dogs patrol the yard.

I didn't even put the whole front wall on the coop - I'll put the hinged side on in the fall when it starts too cool off. It is just HOT. And while my coop is ventilated, so is my garage sort of, but 95 and muggy is still 95 and muggy, and at 10 pm, that's been the temp around here.

Owned by 4 dogs, 3 house cats, countless fish, and 17 hens, 3 production red hens, 5 americauna hens, and 8 black australorp, and one strange old hen that looks half and half of something, 3 buckeye roosters, soon to be 1 I think. And 4 grandchildren. And 2 beehives.. Bees have had a rough year.
Reply
Owned by 4 dogs, 3 house cats, countless fish, and 17 hens, 3 production red hens, 5 americauna hens, and 8 black australorp, and one strange old hen that looks half and half of something, 3 buckeye roosters, soon to be 1 I think. And 4 grandchildren. And 2 beehives.. Bees have had a rough year.
Reply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Managing Your Flock
BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Raising BackYard Chickens › Managing Your Flock › How to get chickens to return to coop after free ranging