5 week old chicks not going in coop at night


9 Years
May 25, 2012
Fort Valley, GA
Hello! I'm new to the forum here and wanted to ask a question. I have these gorgeous 5 week old chicks, 2 americauna and 3 RI reds. My husband built them a nice little coop to stay in until they are old enough to join the older chickens in the big coop. Their food and water is in the coop, and a little roost. At night they just seem to sit around in the run, just outside the coop. The past 2 nights I've put them in the coop and put a little piece of chicken wire accross the door to keep them in but they don't like it! They chirp loudly for a bit, then settle down. In the morning they can't wait to get out. Will this teach them to go in the coop at night?
It will, eventually. Mine usually go in by themselves after a few days.
I spent the better part of 3 months building a coop (raised it 2.5 ft off the ground, 6x8) and run for my gals (8x13) for 14 chicks. When they outgrew their brooder (started picking blood feathers, what a mess) I decided that it was time for them to move into their new home. To my dismay, they huddled in the corner of their run as far away from the coop and ramp as possible. When the evening was dark, and just before my bedtime, I went out to the run, collected the chicks and placed them in their new coop. My daughter and I did this for 4 nights straight. I finally had enough and bought an inexpensive solar patio light and jury-rigged it for the coop. The light shines inside the coop just beyond the door/ramp opening. After a couple of more nights of placing the chicks in the now lighted coop, they find their own way in! The light shines most of the night (very dimly).
Best to let them stay in the coop for a week or so before ever getting to go out. This seems to teach them where 'home' is located. I did this and mine go inside on their own at dusk and jump right up on their roost after having that last minute snack and some water. They all settle down for the night.

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