Cannot get chickens or guineas inside coop at night

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by kippyafd, Sep 3, 2014.

  1. kippyafd

    kippyafd Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 1, 2013
    When our young chickens were chicks, we had a raccoon climbing over fence, it got a lot of them eventually (a whole other story). The survivors learned to roost in the trees inside the chicken pen to stay safe. Now I have had a hard time getting the young chickens into the coop at night. There are several older chickens in there already, so they sometimes get get pecked but I cannot prevent that. I try to keep them from getting into the trees but once they are up there I cannot reach them. The chickens I do catch I place inside the coop, but usually they come right back out again. It has taken me many days (of placing them inside the coop) to get the few that I do have going into the coop by themselves. How do I get them to go inside the coop? The guineas roost in the trees as well, and I cannot catch them to even place them inside the coop. I have a light outside and inside the coop. I have tried to leave the human door open during the day to maybe encourage them to go inside the coop but I rarely see any go in. Any suggestions?
  2. Kiaton

    Kiaton Out Of The Brooder

    May 2, 2014
    New Mexico, USA
    How old are they now? I'd get all of them down with the help of friends/family and confine them there for about two weeks to make them sure they know this is where their "home" is, and then see if they can adjust their behavior after being let out again. It seems cruel but it would be more useful in the long run, especially if they're young.
  3. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 11, 2011
    I have the same problem with my guineas, they don't like to go back in the coop to sleep at night. My turkeys live with them, so they tend to follow them up into the trees. I got mine inside by withholding food for a couple of days (I felt SO bad about that!). When they were good and hungry, I took feed to their coop in the evening and locked all of their butts inside when they ran in to eat. And thats where they've been ever since. I'm thinking I'll keep them locked up for a few weeks and try letting them out again. I want them to free range, but it isn't safe for them to sleep outside the coop here, even high up in the trees. We have a huge pair of owls living on our property, so even the trees aren't safe.
    I figure I'll just have to keep letting them out and locking them up until they figure it out. A major pain in the butt, but it'll be worth it when they finally start going in there on their own!!!!!
  4. FrankNLiveOak

    FrankNLiveOak Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 12, 2013
    We gave up on guineas and they go where and when they want. Mostly now they sleep in the tree over the coop. Our hRIR chickens always return to the coop - any that don't get rounded up by our rooster, who chases them around until they get into the coop and on the perch at dusk. Any hen not in the coop gets a good talking too by the rooster. I think it helps that we put a feeder up on their roost, so they can get up there to eat at dusk..

    Our Wyandotte's on the other hand go where they want to, and lately that has been with our goat bucks. They play with the goats takes turns being chased and chasing all day and sleep with them at night - weird birds - :)

  5. jacksonnotary

    jacksonnotary Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 26, 2014
    Clarksville, TN
    I agree with the above, lock them in the coop for a while until they know that that is their home base at night. I hope you have family that can help you the next few weeks.
    My whole flock, chicken, Guineas and ducks are on a strickt routine and I don't allow any to not follow it. 30 min before dark I go and ring a small cow bell. I ring it 3 times with a break of 5-10 min. While I'm checking the coop for intruders, refreshing their water etc all of them come in one by one. The last ones are always the ducks and guineas but they are all in by the 3rd time.
    Of course, we have times I have to chase them but making me angry doesn't pay off so it happens very seldom.
    I noticed that my feathered friends like this evening routine, because sometimes they get a small night time snack of their favorite worms. :D

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