Bedtime -- *edit* 4th night they all put themselves to bed - yahoo!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by skhomer, Jul 1, 2011.

  1. skhomer

    skhomer Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 10, 2011
    Homer, Georgia
    Yay chickens -- tonight is the 4th night that they have put themselves to bed -- so much better than chasing them around the run!

    Mah babies are in the coop for the 4th night -- 14 weeks (RIR and SS), 10 (GLW and BR) and 9 weeks (Australorps) respectively -- All is well, they've integrated well after several weeks of practice. My problem is getting them into the coop for lockdown/bedtime.

    I've read in various places about the wisdom of using food to lure them in -- the first night it didn't work anyhow, 2nd and 3rd nights were catch me if you can nights with my son on door duty, then tonight because I was by myself, I tried food again. 12 of 18 went in, the others were convinced without much ado. (Thank heavens!) They definitely recognize my voice as the food lady, so I'm sure that helps.

    So now for help and opinions (feel free) -- is food in the coop a bad idea? They are let out at 0:30 early in the mornings and have water 24/7 .... I'm going out of town in 4 weeks for 4 days, so really need them to learn to put themselves to bed so that all Hubby has to do is lower the door .... ideas? suggestions? please?

    Have a great 4th y'all -- we'll be at home playing with the chickens with something yummy on the Green Egg!
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2011
  2. ajay

    ajay Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 1, 2011
    I left my girls locked up for 3 days and now they put themselves to bed. My chickens have food in their coop 24/7. It's working for us>
  3. AccentOnHakes

    AccentOnHakes Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 2, 2009
    I was in the same situation...hope your hubby has lots of time on his hands. [​IMG]

    I had to leave before mine were fully trained, so I had the guy come early the first day. I told him to wait until they went in to eat(food in the coop) and then to shut the door on them. [​IMG]

    Another way, besides luring them in, is to wait until dark. Keep note of where they choose to sleep, then go out with a flashlight and put them in the coop. Good luck.
  4. skhomer

    skhomer Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 10, 2011
    Homer, Georgia
    Hmmm -- both good suggestions .... it's warm here in NE Georgia, but we have good ventilation in the coop so they wouldn't perish .....

    Hubby has suffered a severe back injury, so chasing "my" chickens around on a hill (not a flat spot on the whole 10 acres) is probably not a good idea if I ever want to leave home again ....

    Do you also provide food during the day in the run? Today I went and got their feeders about 6pm hoping that it would help with the 8:30 bedtime ...

    Thanks y'all!
  5. TheSpiceGirls

    TheSpiceGirls Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 6, 2010
    Bay Area, CA
    Food is definitely a big incentive. And they are pretty quick learners. They should catch on after just a few nights. Good Luck.
  6. SunnyChic

    SunnyChic Keep The Sunny Side Up

    Mar 7, 2009
    Quote:Like ajay, I kept my young girls locked up in the coop for several days before letting them out to free range. When I did let them out, it was in the late afternoon (just before dusk); that way, they didn't wander too far before the bedtime roosting urge hit. If at all possible, I would keep them locked up for at least 3 days before letting them out again.
  7. AccentOnHakes

    AccentOnHakes Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 2, 2009
    Nope, no food in the run for us.

    You want food, go into the coop and get it.

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