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TRAINING CHICKENS TO GO ROOST AT NIGHT ????

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

CAN ANYONE GIVE ADVICE AS TO THE BEST WAY TO TRAIN YOUNG CHICKENS TO GO TO ROOST AT NIGHT?  I HAVE 9 WEEK OLD WELSUMMERS AND HAVE HAD THEM IN THE COOP MOSTLY FULL TIME WHILE I FINISHED MY RUN.  I MADE A POP DOOR THE OTHER DAY AND HAVE BEEN OPENING IT EVERY MORNING FOR THE LAST 4 DAYS.  EVERY NIGHT I GO TO MAKE SURE THEY ARE ALL INSIDE AND CLOSE THE POP DOOR AND ALMOST ALL OF THEM ARE OUTSIDE IN THE RUN.  THE SEEM TO BE BEDED DOWN.  I HAVE A LIGHT ON INSIDE THE COOP THINKING THAT MAYBE THEY WILL SEE THE LIGHT INSIDE AND GO UP THE CHICEN RAMP BUT NO LUCK SO FAR.  SO I HAVE TO PUT ALL OF THEM INSIDE BY HAND.  ANYONE HAVE ANY IDEAS?  THANKS


Edited by bwalden - 5/6/12 at 3:27pm

Owner of Welsummers and Black Copper Marans

Married to the love of my life and father of two fine boys.

Member of Welsummer Club of North America

Member of MCCUSA

NPIP Certified #71-0664

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Owner of Welsummers and Black Copper Marans

Married to the love of my life and father of two fine boys.

Member of Welsummer Club of North America

Member of MCCUSA

NPIP Certified #71-0664

Reply
post #2 of 19

Confine them to roost for a couple days. Make certain they do not get too hot.  Upon release try to confine them to immediate vicinity of roost for a another day or so.  That will force them to explore back into coop making them familiar with it.  Again make certain they are not too hot.  Mine will change roost location to avoid heat even at night.  Step up ventilation for that issue.

Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it.
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Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it.
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post #3 of 19

How easy is it for them to get up the ramp and have you watched them do it? you might need to show them!?

With mine i didn't have a run attached for a while so the chicks were always in the coop till i took them out and was always there to watch them, then after they got to play for a long period I'd put them back in. this went on till about 4 months old and then the run was attached and they just kinda figured it out, but i did have to put them on the ramp a couple times for them to figure that out. and once i watched them go in and out by themselves i knew they had it!

Hope that helps!

 6 wonderful hens, 1 Golden Retriever, and my Hubby... lovin every minute of it!

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 6 wonderful hens, 1 Golden Retriever, and my Hubby... lovin every minute of it!

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post #4 of 19

My new chickens, New Hampshire Red, 8 weeks old, don't go inside.  They stayed in the coop for a week while I finished the run.  The first night, I put them inside.  They were bedded down on the porch outside the coop.

 

The next night, they were bedded down on the porch again.  I left them there.  They have been lined up on the porch like cups on a shelf each night since.

 

They will sometimes sit on the porch during the day, and go inside to eat.  The food is inside and the water is outside.

 

My other chickens in another coop and run go inside to roost at night.

 

I have a rather secure run, although I don't like to leave them out.  I figure that it may rain one night so that they might change their minds.  In any event, they will soon be too large to sit on the 8 inch wide plank porch.

 

Strange chickens.

 

Chris

post #5 of 19

I tried all those tricks and nothing worked until I put a light in the coop. I turn the lights on about an hour before dark and then turn them off after they are all tucked in. I have a street light next to my house that lights up their run, making the coop look awful dark and they won't go in the coop without the lights..
 

Jakk... Homeschooling mom of four kids, two dogs, three cats, more chickens than I can count...and trying to resist the urge to fill the incubator!
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Jakk... Homeschooling mom of four kids, two dogs, three cats, more chickens than I can count...and trying to resist the urge to fill the incubator!
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post #6 of 19

I am going to try the night light tomorrow night.

Did some unexpected overtime at work tonight and it was dark when I got home, had to catch them all in the dark and put them inside, not the most fun...

post #7 of 19

Did you try picking them up and setting them on the roost?  I know that sounds simple, but that's how we got our "toddler" chickens  to know where to sleep in their new house.  To get our house (indoor) chickens ready for bed, I start turning all the lights off in the house & tell them "it's getting dark, you better get in there to your box before it's TOO dark."  If the living room & dining room are extremely dark and it's after 6pm, sometimes... not always, they will go on in and get in their box.  (you'd have to meet these three chickens to know why they still sleep in my mother's house)

post #8 of 19

my young 8 week old red sexlinks looked confused when I put them in the main coop with the attached run, they were fine during the day with plenty of room to stay away from the older birds, but when it came time to go to bed they actually came over to me with a very courious look, like what are we supposed to do now so I bent over and put my hand out for them to climb on and one at a time I put them on the roost. I did this for three days and now they do it on there own

post #9 of 19
Thread Starter 

I usually have the light on inside the coop 24/7.  Should I turn this off at night so they will get the picture?  I may have to try and put them on the roost by hand.  They can use the ramp pretty well.  I have watched them go up and down it several times.  I have feed and water inside and more water outside.  A few of them get up on the roost so I just figured the rest would follow.  Not so much.... 

Owner of Welsummers and Black Copper Marans

Married to the love of my life and father of two fine boys.

Member of Welsummer Club of North America

Member of MCCUSA

NPIP Certified #71-0664

Reply

Owner of Welsummers and Black Copper Marans

Married to the love of my life and father of two fine boys.

Member of Welsummer Club of North America

Member of MCCUSA

NPIP Certified #71-0664

Reply
post #10 of 19

Food, Glorious Food!  Oh how they adore it!   

Sorry, I couldn't help myself - LOL!  Seriously, I was having the same problem with my 10 week olds that had just moved into their very spacious and beautiful coop - only they didn't go in at night.  An older friend told me to condition them to a call like 'hey, chick, chick, chick" while rattling a can with scratch.  And I knew they loved scrambled eggs (kind of cannibalistic but what can you do...) so I started calling them and placing pieces of egg on the ladder into the coop.  Then, because the coop is large, I got inside and enticed them in with scrambled egg from the inside.  It took two nights and had a few "outliers" that had to be picked up and put in but now - a week later - they come running when I call regardless of where they are.  I also think putting them to bed too early is also a problem as they aren't really ready to settle down.  So now I go out at dusk, call them into the coop and give them a treat.  Works like a charm.

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