12+ week old chicks won't go up coop ramp - How long until they learn?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Toddrick, Jan 14, 2015.

  1. Toddrick

    Toddrick Songster

    Sep 28, 2014
    It's cold as heck outside, and so I've been crawling around on my knees and grabbing them up to get them in the coop at night. A couple of them have gone up at night on their own, but it was random. They are always huddled in a corner freezing when I go out in the evening.

    So I think part of the problem is that the mother and father are in the coop, and they are afraid of them. There are places to hide, like under the nesting boxes, and that is where they go. They haven't figured out how to fly up to the roosts yet, and they'd probably get pecked down if they did anyways.

    Okay, so I've been putting them in the coop every night for over a week. How long until they start going up on their own? Their first week outside they slept in the run, which was fine because it was warm out, and because this was the adjustment period for the bigger birds to learn to get along with them. I think they will bond with the adults better if it warms up enough that I can let them free range, where they will surely stay close to the big birds.
  2. justplainbatty

    justplainbatty Songster

    Nov 30, 2007
    emmet MI
    Sounds like they are a little young to know when bedtime is especially if they were raised indoors in a brooder. Is there a nice hen you can put in the run with them in the afternoon that can show them the way home? If not, keep them in the coop for two more weeks before you let them out again. You could also install a perch about 8 inches off the ground for them to practice on.
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    How many birds?
    How big is coop(feet by feet)?
    How long is roost?

    It might be a space issue, another roost just a tad lower than the main roost might help.

    Did the momma hatch and raise the chicks with the flock?
  4. Toddrick

    Toddrick Songster

    Sep 28, 2014
    Booya! Last night was the first night I went out and found that all five little ones had gone up in the coop on their own.

    It was warmer today, so I let them out for the whole day. When I came to close the coop at dusk they were all inside! They got it all figured out finally. It was just a long two weeks trying to get them off the ground for the uber cold nights.

    The coop is small, probably 3sqft, and currently holds 7 birds, but I'll be getting rid of two roosters before long.
  5. HighStreetCoop

    HighStreetCoop Songster

    Aug 28, 2014
    Oakland, CA
    My Coop
    Mine were confused, too. And even when they figured out the ramp and coop thing, the first one would plop down in the doorway, blocking it and I'd end up with a line of them roosting on the ramp. This went on in one form or another for about a week before they all *got* it and there were no more pile-ups.

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