Chickens can go UP ramp, but can't go DOWN


In the Brooder
11 Years
Jun 10, 2008
berkeley, ca
I just finished building one of those A-frame chicken tractors. I don't have pics to post yet, but I built it using plans from Catawba Coops:

ramp is raised in that photo, so you can't really see it. But it's about 8" wide, 30" long, and it goes from the run to the coop.

I moved my 3 chickens (standard RIR and 2 EEs, all 18 weeks old) in a few days ago. I put some scratch along the length of the ramp, and was able to get the chickens to go up the ramp to the coop. By the second day in the coop, they knew how to put themselves to bed by going up the ramp.

However, they can't seem to figure out how to get out of the coop using the ramp! Each morning I let down the ramp, and wait for about an hour for the chickens to come down the ramp into the run. The food and water are both in the run. The chickens move around the coop clucking, and seem to want to come down, but they can't figure out how to do it! Eventually, I need to go to work, so I open up the main door and physically push them down the ramp. I figure if I make them walk down the ramp, even if I have to push them, then eventually they'll understand how to get down by themselves. But so far, no luck.

Anyone else have a similar problem? Suggestions?
Silly chickens! Very nice looking coop! I think that they will eventually get it. I didn't experience this particular problem, but it took about 2 weeks for my 3 hens to get the idea of going back into their barn at night. It may take yours awhile to get the hang of this new fangled thing.

BTW....I see that you are a fellow Bay Area person! I'm in Danville.
Depending on the slant, you may want to texterize your ramp a little. I have an old roofing shingle on mine, to provide a little sure footing for the gals. I've seen this when they climb a lumber pile or stack, great at going up a board, not so great coming down if the board is slick.

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