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2 1/2 month old chicks don't know what their coop is for

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by CrazedCowgirl, Apr 12, 2016.

  1. CrazedCowgirl

    CrazedCowgirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 17, 2016
    Eugene Oregon
    This is my first year as a chicken mom and I ended up getting 5 new babies back in January/February. I moved them outside into their coop 2 weeks ago but left them cooped up for the first 3 or 4 days so they would know where home was (heard it was a good idea and figured why not) and left them out so roam around their 10'x10' run as much as their little hearts desired.

    Even though I left them in their coop for a few days, they still decide to roost under, behind or, their favorite spot, on top of (which is about 5' off the ground. I have to get a step ladder to get them down. My husband thinks it's hilarious.) their coop. I have to go out every night just before dark and pick them up one at a time and put them in their coop.

    My question is, will they ever figure out they they have a nice cozy home or, like tonight, will they just huddle up together in the pouring rain and deal with whatever weather is thrown at them?

    I'm pretty sure I'm doing something wrong and don't want my birds to suffer for it.
  2. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    No, you are not doing anything wrong! Just try again keeping them in lock-down. Maybe if you can post pics of your coop and roosts we may be able to advise if there is anything that could be improved. Chickens are creatures of habit and you only need one little tinker to decide to do something, and they all do it.

    If you post your pics and question in the "coops and runs" forum you may get more responses.

    All the best
  3. CrazedCowgirl

    CrazedCowgirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 17, 2016
    Eugene Oregon

    Thanks for the suggestion and reassurance. I've raise horses, dogs and rabbits but chickens are all new and I really have no idea what I
    m doing but the BYC community has helped SO MUCH!

    I'll move over to the Coop/Run forum and see if I get more hits/suggestions from everyone there.

    Thank you so much!
  4. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    Some of us shorten the chick learning curve by teaching them to go into the coop at night. While cooping chickens up when you first get adults works fine for those older birds, chicks react to the change from brooder to coop with much more suspicion. They are loathe to go into a dark place they don't know.

    I begin the lessons with the first night after they've moved into the coop. At dusk, when I hear them making their bedtime noises, a sort of low, rapid trilling, I physically climb into the coop and coax them inside with treats.

    It also helps to have a little light inside the coop so it's lighter in there than out in their run. Chicks are very reserved about going where they can't see well, especially when it's all new to them.

    In easy cases, the chicks are going inside on their own within three nights. Worst case, it's taken mine a week to get the hang of it, but that time there were adult chickens waiting inside to ambush them and it required my building a second pop hole, and then they were happy to go inside.
    1 person likes this.
  5. CrazedCowgirl

    CrazedCowgirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 17, 2016
    Eugene Oregon
    They figured it out themselves today. We had a pretty rough wind/rain storm move through the Valley and I came home to no chicks in the run. Not going to lie, I completely panicked for a few seconds until I could get into their run and look in their coop. There they were, all up on their roosting bar huddled together.

    Guess I jumped the gun on worrying about them. So hopefully I can bring the step ladder in. I was getting kinda tried of climbing up on there to get them off the top of their coop. :)
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2016

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