can you train them to 'go home to roost'?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by ditto, Jun 7, 2011.

  1. ditto

    ditto In the Brooder

    Apr 14, 2011
    we got our girls as 4 month olds, and they're already set in their habits, and not as friendly as our lap chicken that we raised from a baby. if we let them roam the yard for a little in the evenings, would we be able to get them back into the run/coop for nighty night time? i'd love to give them a little freedom, but so afraid of losing them! i've already had my share of chasing one around the yard trying to catch her!

  2. chickbea

    chickbea Songster

    Jan 18, 2007
    Hens do indeed come home to roost. As long as they have been residing in the coop for a couple of weeks, they will regard that as home. I let my girls out every night when I get home from work and they put themselves to bed when the sun starts going down. If I need to get them in a little earlier than usual I encourage their cooperation with a handful of scratch and my "Heeeeere chickeeeeeeeennnns" song.
    As with any creature, chickens can learn to come when called. I invest a little bit of time every day calling each of my animals to me and giving them a treat for coming (even my bunny learned to come when called - very handy!). That way, when I NEED them to come, they will. I learned that years ago from my old riding coach, which is also why I have never had to spend time running around the field trying to catch the horses when I want to go for a ride!
  3. srpaint

    srpaint Songster

    Apr 12, 2011
    I free range my chickens and they almost always are all in the coop ready for bed before I go out to shut them in. But teaching them to come when called is very handy. Just use the same tone of voice and words when you call them. Do it anytime you bring food, water, treats. Before you know it they will come running when you come out. Mine love love love peas!!
  4. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    If they've been living in the coop/run for a few weeks, then yes, just let them out about an hour before dark. They will go back "home" when it starts to get dark, and you won't have to chase them!
  5. If these chickens are fairly new to you, just keep them in the coop for a few days to a week, until they are set that that is home. Then they should put go in and out when they want to and put themselves to bed.
  6. bryan99705

    bryan99705 Songster

    Quote:x2 Lock them down till they learn where home and the roost is before you let them roam

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