2nd week outside and half my chicks still don't go to bed at night


8 Years
Aug 15, 2011
NW Iowa
We're still crawling into the run at night and physically putting half our chicks into the coop. Will they ever wise up? It's funny as they all go into the coop in the afternoon to take a siesta. Yesterday, I blocked the door so they couldn't get in during the day hoping that would help. It didn't. Would a light in the coop encourage them to go in? Any advise as we are too old (and fat!) to keep crawling thru a small door every night!
How many chicks and how old are they?
I found a huge learning curve between my Appalachian games and store bought pullets. The AG s go to roost in the coop at 2weeks right at twilight, the others I had to stuff in there at dark thirty up to 6 weeks till they finally got it. I was fixing to come up with a new 'scare ' tactic. I think survival instinct is breed specific. If your run is not predator proof you'd best keep at it till they get it.
They will eventually.
Dont mean to highjack your thread but I have just the opposite problem and wonder too what to do.
(Not sure if i should do my own thread for so similar a problem,).
Put my 6 & 7 weeks olds in the tractor coop last night for the first time.I was finishing the door on it and the Barred Rocks kept flyng up to the opening wanting to go inside. It was twilight.
I finished the door, put them all in,
Now its morning nobody wants to leave!!! I made too high of a ppl door so cant get them out unless i screw a board off
The chick door is at the top of the coop.
Not sure they have water or food in there now but someone did come up on the open door and ate the food i sprinkled there went back in
This little coop is about 4 feet deep and has no ramp but roosts about 10 inches below the door inside
It is fairly cool out about 50's and grass was very damp as it is most mornings Do they just want better conditions to come out.?
Food and water are in the run if they will come out. Are they too dumb to know to come out and will starve?
They have been in the run about 4 days now during the day all day so they know it. just ot the coop
Mine were slow to come out at first, by day 3 they couldn't get out fast enough. Someone suggested I use mealworms (I'd been giving these as treats and they follow me around like I'm the Pied Piper) to bribe them in and I would think this would work to bribe them out as well.
I have 35 or so all within 3 days of each other and now about 7 weeks old. You're right about the breed. All of my Lemon Cuckoo Orpingtons have to be put to bed. The Alconas, Welsummers and most of the Marans go to bed by themselves. Some breeds are 50/50. I'm going to try to bribe them in with mealworms (at someone's suggestion), however, when I enter the coop to clean & feed, most of them run outside so I don't know how fast they'll catch on that their favorite treat is being offered if they come in. We'll see and I'll report on it in a few days.
I came up with a solution to my problem. I let my Yorkies out to run around the chicken run. All the chickens were in the coop in under 3 minutes! My husband just hopes noone has a heart attack but I think a couple of nights of that and they'll know where to go to be safe at night!
I think they are like kids they get so busy playing outside before they know it sun has set and they cant see to get back in. What I did to get mine to learn to sleep in the dog house was just before it got dark I put treats in there that kept them busy long enough for the sun to set they stayed in there till sun up.
I have 3 Buffs, 3 Barred Rocks and 3 Polish That are 4 weeks old.
It took 2 nights that we had to get them into the coop.
Now when we go out and check them at dusk they are all up in the coop.
I guess we are lucky!
This is going to make it alot easier to install an automatic door and not worry about any of them getting locked out!
I used my dogs again tonight. I don't know how long this will fool the chickens but hopefully their chicken brains will learn quickly that they're better off in the coop at night than huddling in the corner of the run. I have an automatic door also and can't use it until they learn to go to bed.

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