I have 6 pullets(4RIR6wks, 2BR8wks) and I am a first time chicken wrangler. I built a good coop(I think) a couple nice perches surounded by a 12'x12' run. Only one BR will go in on her own 50% of the time. We have to grab the others and place them in. We have a dim light(solar landscape light) and food and water in the coop. The food goes all night untouched. My wife and I are thinking of locking them down for a time to get them better used to the coop.
Is this the best idea or will it happen over time? How long?
We are in the city of Colorado Springs and have a large backyard with a 6' picket fence and would like to free range them while we are back there with them. It appears to be chcken escape proof. Does this sound like a feasable plan and how would you go about conditioning or training them to return to the coop/run when needed.
A bunch of work has been done the run and coop since this photo but it will give you an idea. I have a bunch of pics in my profile.