Babies will be outside full time on Friday, advice...

MAchicken105

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Apr 2, 2017
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So I was hoping to get some advice or maybe someone can direct me to a helpful thread about putting your babies outside!

Mine are more than ready to be out, honestly they should have been out weeks ago but we were putting some finishing touches on the coop/run and it wasn't ready. They do however stay outside all day in a run and come back in at night. My back will be greatful when I can stop lugging chicks in and out of my garage every day.

Now that their enclosure is set Friday night will be their first night and I just want some solid advice how to properly teach them to go in the coop at night and back out in the morning.

I have an auto door in the coop that it set up to open an hour after dawn and close an hour after dusk.

Do I place them in the coop on the roosts at night and shoo them out the door in the morning? I think they will have trouble understanding the long ramp up to the coop, I think going down will be a lot easier.

In your experience how long should it take them to get with the program?

Thanks all! :)
 

Pork Pie

Flockwit
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I'd suggest putting them in the coop, with food and water and keep them inside for 3-5 days so that they associate the coop as "home". If they fail to return to the coop on an evening, then suspending a flashlight in the coop should help lure them back to the coop (you can turn if off, once they are inside).

I've never used ramps, so I'll let others comment on that.
 

rIrs roost

Sir Crows A lot
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If it's silkies it could take some time. If not they should pick it up pretty fast. Hopefully they'll go back to the coop at night themselves. I've always left them in the coop for a week without letting them out just to get used to it. But if they're used to being in the Run they may go into the coop anyways. They'll learn how to walk the ramp in a day more than likely if it's not too steep.
 

MAchicken105

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They are all Ameraucanas, 1 bantam Brahma all are between 7-11 weeks old. The Brahma is the dull one of the group, the others seem fairly intelligent.
If it's silkies it could take some time. If not they should pick it up pretty fast. Hopefully they'll go back to the coop at night themselves. I've always left them in the coop for a week without letting them out just to get used to it. But if they're used to being in the Run they may go into the coop anyways. They'll learn how to walk the ramp in a day more than likely if it's not too steep.
 

MAchicken105

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Good plan, I'll do that tonight then, that way I'll have the weekend to help them in and out. Thanks!



I'd suggest putting them in the coop, with food and water and keep them inside for 3-5 days so that they associate the coop as "home". If they fail to return to the coop on an evening, then suspending a flashlight in the coop should help lure them back to the coop (you can turn if off, once they are inside).

I've never used ramps, so I'll let others comment on that.
 

rIrs roost

Sir Crows A lot
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They are all Ameraucanas, 1 bantam Brahma all are between 7-11 weeks old. The Brahma is the dull one of the group, the others seem fairly intelligent.
Oh They'll the fine then. You're going to really enjoy that Bantam Brahma. I had one that died recently and she was my favorite hand. She would finally around and couldn't wait for me to sit down so she could jump in my lap.
 

MAchicken105

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She is my favorite in the group. She sticks her neck straight up in the air like a baby bird to look at you, she's a riot. I might get another this weekend.
:yesss:

Oh They'll the fine then. You're going to really enjoy that Bantam Brahma. I had one that died recently and she was my favorite hand. She would finally around and couldn't wait for me to sit down so she could jump in my lap.
 

Ridgerunner

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Where are you feeding and watering. inside the coop, outside, or both? I do both.

I've done this two ways. I've locked them in the coop section by itself for a week, then just open the pop door to the run and leave them alone. Sometimes they are all on the ground within 15 minutes of opening the pop door, sometimes it takes three days before they hit the ground. It doesn't matter. Just leave them alone and they will work it out in a way that best suits them. You don't need to micromanage this part of it.

A few times I've put them straight into the run without locking them in the coop first. Basically the same thing happens either way. Mine is also an elevated coop, I think that makes a difference. I usually don't have this issue with coops on the ground. At night, whether they have been locked in the coop or not, they go to sleep in a bunch in the run. If they are not ready to roost, and my brooder-raised chicks usually don't start to spend the nights on the roosts until they are 10 to 12 weeks old, they seem to instinctively want to sleep in a low spot.

So either way I put them inside the coop section when it gets dark. As long as it is somewhat dark they are not hard to catch. On really rare occasions it only takes one time to get them to go to bed in the coop. I've had it take up to three weeks before all of them put themselves to bed. I usually have between 16 and 23 chicks per brood. What typically happens is that a few start putting themselves to bed the second night and the number doing that gradually increases until they are all going to bed in the coop by about a week to ten days.
 

MAchicken105

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Thank you for that info. I think since they are used to being outside all day I think my best bet is to use a combo of methods.

My new plan is to put them to bed tonight at dusk after being in their run all day, then keep them inside the coop all day tomorrow and then open the door Friday morning and see what happens.

I'm sure I'll spend the weekend putting them in and out and hopefully they will get used to it.

My 4X4 coop is elevated, on top of a 2ft base that I use for all my chicken storage. The ramp doesn't look steep, just long. I'm anticipating going up will be harder than going down.

I do plan on keeping food and water inside and outside. I plan on converting an attached nest box into a feed bin and they have a pvc nipple watering system in place(that will be another thing they have to learn). Trying to keep all floor space clear so they have as much room as possible.



Where are you feeding and watering. inside the coop, outside, or both? I do both.

I've done this two ways. I've locked them in the coop section by itself for a week, then just open the pop door to the run and leave them alone. Sometimes they are all on the ground within 15 minutes of opening the pop door, sometimes it takes three days before they hit the ground. It doesn't matter. Just leave them alone and they will work it out in a way that best suits them. You don't need to micromanage this part of it.

A few times I've put them straight into the run without locking them in the coop first. Basically the same thing happens either way. Mine is also an elevated coop, I think that makes a difference. I usually don't have this issue with coops on the ground. At night, whether they have been locked in the coop or not, they go to sleep in a bunch in the run. If they are not ready to roost, and my brooder-raised chicks usually don't start to spend the nights on the roosts until they are 10 to 12 weeks old, they seem to instinctively want to sleep in a low spot.

So either way I put them inside the coop section when it gets dark. As long as it is somewhat dark they are not hard to catch. On really rare occasions it only takes one time to get them to go to bed in the coop. I've had it take up to three weeks before all of them put themselves to bed. I usually have between 16 and 23 chicks per brood. What typically happens is that a few start putting themselves to bed the second night and the number doing that gradually increases until they are all going to bed in the coop by about a week to ten days.
 

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