In the Brooder
7 Years
Oct 1, 2012
My chicks have been in their new home for about a week now. I still have to go out there every evening and put them in their house. They are huddled up together on the ground when I go out there. In the mornings, they come out on their own. How long will it take for them to learn to go do bed on their own?
It does sometimes take some time before they have confidence to go in by themselves. I have a few questions for you though. Are there other hens already living in the coop? If so, the chicks might be bullied by the older hens, or otherwise feel too intimidated to go in. Did you lock them in the coop for a few days when you first put them in there, so they would learn it is home? That often helps a lot. If you put them in and keep the chicken door closed for the first few days and then open it, they probably won't rush out. Instead they will peer out, walk a few steps out, turn and go back in, go a little further, go back.....etc.

Another thing that might inhibit their returning to the coop is the amount of light. Chickens don't have very good night vision. Like, REALLY poor night vision. So when the light starts to fade, they can't see, and don't want to go into a coop that is dark, and especially don't want to try to jump up onto a roost they can't see. If you can put a little night light in the coop - one of those battery operated ones if you don't have power to the coop - you might find they are a lot more willing to enter on their own.
We don't have any older ones, so I know that is not the issue. Now, the lighting is something I didn't think of. We have a red heat lamp in there, but since we are still having warm days, I don't turn it on until I go out there to put them in the coop. I'm sure that is probably why they are not going in. I will try a little night light for them and see if that helps. Thanks so much!

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