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Birdie Bedtime

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Kuntry Klucker, Jun 5, 2011.

  1. Kuntry Klucker

    Kuntry Klucker Thekuntryklucker.blog

    Jun 9, 2010
    Tennesee Smoky Mts.
    Hi [​IMG]

    I am new to chickens and doing this for the first time.

    I have 16 BO that I put out side for the first time last week, they are now 5 wks old. [​IMG]

    I have been putting them to bed every night for the past week now.

    I was wondering does anyone have an idea when I can expect them to
    put themselves to bed? Just wondering. [​IMG]

    Also, is there anything that I can to do encourage them to "get it"
    and start putting them selves to bed in the evening?? [​IMG]


  2. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Crowing

    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    Our 7 week old Orpington get on their roost in the grower coop long before the hens go to their coop. Is it that your girls stay out untill after dark so you have to put them inside physically? If so they will no doubt "get it" and roost on their own in the next week. Maybe you don't have enough roost space for them all or it's not low enough for them to hop onto yet.
  3. Judy

    Judy Crowing Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Yep, depends on what you mean by "to bed." They are pretty young to have caught onto roosting; mine have always started doing this on their own but sometimes not til 3 or 4 months. If they go in the coop, and mine always have, I let them sleep where they want when they're young.
  4. cuntryuppiechick

    cuntryuppiechick Songster

    Apr 29, 2011
    Mine get into their spots around 7:30 or 8pm. Then I go out at 8:30 or 9pm and put them to bed. Basically they are ready an hour or so before dark.
  5. Kuntry Klucker

    Kuntry Klucker Thekuntryklucker.blog

    Jun 9, 2010
    Tennesee Smoky Mts.
    Hi, [​IMG]

    I have plenty of roost space for all the chickens.
    I guess the only problem that I am seeing is that
    I have a coop that sits about 4 ft off the ground
    so in order to get into the coop they have to use
    the latter that I have going to the coop.

    In the morning when I let them out they all climb
    down the latter into the pen just fine. But they are not
    climbing up it yet to the coop.

    So I am hearing that I just need to give them more time?? [​IMG]
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    At that age, they don't "need" to use that ladder. They could fly up 4 feet if they wanted to. My roosts are 4' high and 5 week olds have no trouble getting up there if Mama says to. They'll probably use that ladder though. It sounds like a ramp instead of a ladder. How steep is the ramp? Do you have little cross pieces on it for them to get a good grip?

    They should be putting themselves to bed where they are used to sleeping. I'd think putting them to bed like that would give them the message.

    Did you leave them locked in the coop for several days so they would get used to that as home before you let them in the run? That way, they get in the habit of sleeping in the coop. With you putting them in every night, they should soon get that message, but maybe not yet.

    Are you waiting late enough for them to go in? At that age, my brooder raised chicks don't roost but sleep together on the floor. If yours are just wandering around separately in the run instead of all together resting in the ground, they may not be ready for bed.

    Is your coop dark? Chickens don't see well in the dark. Sometimes, when the coop is dark at bedtime but it is still fairly light outside, they won't go in a dark coop. They don't get the message to go to bed until it is already too dark to see inside. It doesn't take much, but a small light to help them see can make a big difference, at least until they get in the right habit. If you don't have electricity out there, you can try a glo-stick to see if that works. Or use a solar powered light with a battery.

    That's all I can think of off of one cup of coffee. Good luck!
  7. Nicole01

    Nicole01 Crowing

    Mar 28, 2011
    It took my 3 older girls a few weeks before they came in and put themselves to bed. If they don't go to bed on time, there will be a lot of squawking going on. They get very upset with a routine change. Right now they are sleeping on top of the dog kennel where I keep the 5 babies.

  8. Kuntry Klucker

    Kuntry Klucker Thekuntryklucker.blog

    Jun 9, 2010
    Tennesee Smoky Mts.
    I am getting lots of great replies, thanks so much.
    Let me answer some of your questions. [​IMG]

    My coop sits about 4 ft off the ground.
    I do have a latter and it does have rungs that help them walk up it.

    I have not locked them in the coop for several days mainly because we
    are having 90+ degree weather here and I do not want them to be
    too hot.

    I am putting them to bed each night, in the coop and locking them in for the night.

    I am putting them to bed at about 8:30pm. It is getting dark but not too dark at
    that time. In addition the coop has had time to cool down some from the heat of the day.

    I do not have a light in the coop or am able to run a cord to it. So electricity is something
    at this point that I cannot do.

    I like the solar powered light with a battery idea, I will work on getting something like that
    to help lead them to the coop.

    Give me a few and I will post a pic of my coop and latter so you can see.

    Thanks [​IMG]
  9. Barry Natchitoches

    Barry Natchitoches Songster

    Sep 4, 2008
    Quote:When I first moved my babies out into their new coop (at 6 weeks old), I locked them in the coop 24/7 for the first few days.

    Then when I first opened the door to let them out, they were hesitant to come out and I had to almost force them to come out.

    But soon as they discovered that grassy chicken run they had to play in, they discovered they like to play outside.

    But from that very first night onward, they go back to the coop on their own. No problem what soever.

    They will be eight weeks old tomorrow, and they are quite trustworthy to return to their home before nightfall.
  10. mcf3kids

    mcf3kids Songster

    Mar 24, 2011
    Interesting question and I am glad you asked it - I have 22 4 week olds that have been in the coop for a week. It is still chilly here at night and for some reason our daytime temps haven't been great either so I have been physically putting them back in the coop before the sun sets because I don't want them to get chilled. I am hoping in the next few weeks with more feathers and warmer temps they will "get it" and go in on their own and I can relax a bit and just see if they do it on their own. I also added some grip tape onto our ladder because I noticed even with the little cross pieces the chicks were having a hard time and slipping on the incline up the ladder. Good luck with your gals!

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