Can't get one of my girls back into the chicken run at end of day...

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by swimmer, Aug 17, 2010.

  1. swimmer

    swimmer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 17, 2010
    I have 4 pullets, about 10 weeks old. I let them free range for about 3-4 hours a day. When it's time to go back to the chicken run, 3 of them will go, one will not. I've tried treats, letting the others back out to help her along, but no luck. It's almost like she just doesn't get it. She will walk right past the door trying to find a way in. Any advice to make this less stressful for me and the bird? The chicken run is pretty large 10ft x 4 ft, the coop is 5ft x 5 ft, so they have ample room to move around.
  2. Gallo del Cielo

    Gallo del Cielo La Gallina Resort & Spa

    May 6, 2010
    My Coop
    Hi swimmer, how do you get her in at night? You can put her up on their roost by hand for a few nights in a row and that will usually do it. Of course, catching her is half the battle. If I want to put them in early I usually have a bowl of treats and walk into the run and they'll all follow. Then I can close them in. Sometimes it just takes a little practice and a little patience. Good luck. Oh, and [​IMG]
  3. whillo

    whillo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 6, 2009
    Willamette Valley
    My wyandotte is excellent at being the one that won't go back to the run and is as elusive as heck. I can always count on her to be the first to the food bowl though, so even though they've had enough to eat (in my opinion) for the day, I'll go get a little bit of egg and call the chick chick chick. She comes running. Heaven forbid the time I call the chick chick chick and don't have any food in my hand! (I actually tried that once and it took her about 4 more times before she trusted me again. Who says chickens don't have brains!!!)
  4. swimmer

    swimmer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 17, 2010
    Gallo, Getting them to roost is a whole different story. They still pile together at night. Usually outside of the coop in the chicken run. But I'm not too concerned about that yet. It's still plenty warm out. If I can reach them, I put them inside the coop, if not, I leave them piled together in the corner of the chicken run. My catching her is quite the trick. The three go straight for the treats, but she doesn't quite get it, but I'll keep doing the same thing every night and I'm sure she'll get it one of these days. I'm learning what treats they like the best and will try and stick to doing the same thing every night. Thanks for all the tips whillo and gallo.
  5. MaureenL128

    MaureenL128 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 24, 2010
    Long Island, NY
    Sometimes I will give them treats only in the morning. So after freeranging all day, they want what you have. I will usually walk back with it in hand as they follow, then throw the treat into the run giving them enough room to want to go past me. Sometimes my Easter egger is my fugitive and knows that I trick them. Just gotta walk around the coop a couple times after her, or come back in a little bit.
  6. NotAFarm

    NotAFarm Embracing the New! Premium Member

    Nov 5, 2009
    swimmer, Try canned corn. My chicks will do anything, follow me anywhere for canned corn. I open a can and have a plastic cap ( made for storing cat food that seals the can) for later access. I use just what I need to get whatever job needs to be done and save the rest (or spoil some that deserve spoiling [​IMG]) in the fridge for later. Sometimes they just need the right motivation and then once they learn you can just treat them when you want to. If she is the bottom of the pecking order, she may get pecked at in the coop. Have you watched them in the coop after putting them away? My bottom hen is always last to go into the coop and delays as long as she can, I think she is hoping the others will be settled on the roost before she enters.
    et because I can't spell
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2010
  7. cobrien

    cobrien Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 16, 2009
    Oakland, CA
    When food, calling them or dusk doesn't get mine in, I have resorted to gently herding them in. I carry one or two very long (7') bamboo stalks, one in each hand, and hold it out at ~ waist height (parallel to ground), and direct them toward the coop. Kind of like those guys at the airport with the orange flashlights guiding a plane. They are usually a bit wary of the poles, so I try to keep my distance and not make a lot of sudden movements with the poles, which would freak them out. My chickens are not afraid of me and I want to keep it that way - I just want them to respect the poles and move along. Using the poles increases the effectiveness of herding them when I'm alone. If you have another person or maybe a border collie you might not need the poles.

    Another trick I use is to remove their food that I leave for them when they're free ranging about an hour or so before I want to put them in. If they are stuffed with food they are of course harder to bribe with food. After 1-2 hours of eating bugs and grass they are usually ready to eat their pellets again and they will line up to go in.

    Some chickens are dumb and just can't find their way in easily. But yours are very young yet - hopefully they'll figure it out with a little more time.

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