Bedtime problems

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Slotred, Jun 6, 2011.

  1. Slotred

    Slotred Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 11, 2011
    I'll send some pictures later this week, but today I have a concern about bedtime for my four Australorp hens who will be six weeks old this Wednesday. They spend the day in their predator-proof run, which is six feet by eighteen feet, and they enjoy it very much. However, when it's time for bed they do not want to go into their new coop. The coop is four feet by four feet, and six feet high inside, and it has two nice roosting poles. I put their food & water in with them, but they are very afraid of going inside. I have a 40-watt light inside, and I spend about five minutes with them at bedtime, settling them down, but they are real fraidy-cats. Will they adjust, or am I doing something wrong?
    Thanks very much for the great advice provided on this forum. It is a terrific site, and I really appreciate all the help.
  2. kesali

    kesali Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 27, 2011
    far northern Wisconsin
    I have had the same problem with mine. When it starts getting dark, some go to the top of their ladder to the door, but do not go in. Others stay down on the ground. They are five weeks old and only have been out two nights. I wait until it is almost dark when it is easy to pick them up. I put them in the coop and assume that, sooner or later, they will get the idea to go into the coop at bed time. I also realize what one person on BYC said about "What we think is their bedtime, may not be what they think." But...I prefer having them in the coop when it is dark.
  3. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    Hello! This is totally normal with chicks that have been moved from a brooder to a coop/run. Basically your pullets just need to establish the habit of going inside at night. This is done by repetition on your part.

    Every evening at dusk, when it's kind of dark but you can still see, you will probably notice them peeping and clustering together. That's when you go get them and put them up into the coop, and shut them inside.

    At this time of year, I don't provide lighting inside because I feel they need to figure out that darkness means bedtime/sleepy time.

    You'll have to get them and put them into the coop for probably a week. Usually, around the fifth day or so, you'll go out to find that they've gone inside on their own.

    It's not going to hurt them if they peep alot and act upset. Before you know it, they'll be adjusted. Good luck!

  4. Anianna

    Anianna Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 28, 2010
    N/E of Richmond, VA
    You could try locking them in their coop for a few days so they get the idea that it is home.

    Another thing to consider; how dark does it look in the coop. Get on your hands and knees and look into that coop from their perspective. If it looks dark, they may be afraid to go in. You can use the semi-clear corrugated roofing to add light or add windows.
  5. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    I agree... Maybe the light is too bright. I have 7 watt night lights in my coops and my chicks go in just before dark.

  6. tclegg

    tclegg Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 15, 2011
    In the last 3-4 days/ brooder light...has been hot enough here...Found my "girls are going to "bed" around 8:30-9:00 PM about time sun goes down...They are in my spare bedroom with one window that does give some light....I check on them after that with flashlight...some small peeps but they are sleeping...And then around 8:30-9:00AM they start "yelling for attention...time to get up... I pay attention to their needs. I know most people do not have their peeps in house but was best for us... and they are cleaned and taken care of every day--almost every 4 hours....So not sure what to tell you..We both work but outside of that--they are taken care of...So I know I will worry when the go the "big girl" pen...LOL
  7. tclegg

    tclegg Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 15, 2011
    Have to admit-I check and do more for them than husband--but this was my dream...He says they will be fine because in olden days they made it with less--when his grandparents threw out whatever...but as I said before I am an ADHD and OCC..LOL..Just know I need to be in tune...So I spend several hours with them to get them to "like" me...and yes they have pooped on me...but at least they are ok...LOL....All my life I have had several different animals domestic and wild come to me... and people could not believe...Wild animals would come to me and people that seen them day to day said no wont happen...and they did come to me...couldnt believe it...Not sure what it was...just happened....LOLI love all GODS creatures
  8. shadust1

    shadust1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 19, 2011
    loretto, pa
    I think like another person said...i had mine in there coop for a few days so they knew that it was home....i just recently attached some fencing to the poop door and have a little area for them to go out to play for the day...but they r always in there coop before it gets dark....its funny how fast they learn..mine are only 2 months old and have been doing this on there own for well over a week now...

    as far as it being dark in there coop is that something to worry about....should i have some kind of light....i know they cant see in the dark....and its pretty dark in there....thanks!!!
  9. Pele

    Pele Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2011
    Quote:I 100% support and utilize this method. Mine always go directly from the brooder to the coop, where they are locked in for about 3 to 4 days. Once you open the door for them, it's OUTSIDE that they act all creeped out about for a while [​IMG]. My chickens religiously march inside every night now.

    Also, it gives you hilarious pictures of the chicks peeking outside their first time and whispering "what IS that? It's so wide and open, and outdoorsy!" to each other. Expect that to last at least an hour. Bunch of chickens.
  10. MommaOrp

    MommaOrp Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 6, 2011
    Derbyshire, England
    I still have to chase my 9 week old welsummer roo round the field to get him to go to bed sometimes! They can take a while to adjust i think and some are just plain stubborn! [​IMG]

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