chickens in coop at night

amkgll

Hatching
9 Years
May 27, 2010
4
0
7
I have had my chickens in a chicken tractor with attached chicken run. I have been thinking about taking the chicken run off during the day. Will the chickens go back in the coop at night if they are new to free range during the day?
 

boogiedog

Songster
9 Years
Apr 19, 2010
359
8
121
Oakland hills, CA
How old are the chickens and how long have they been in the coop/tractor? If they are still young, I might worry about predators during free-ranging; if they are older AND have had some weeks to acclimate to the coop, I too suspect they will head back in at night.
 

amkgll

Hatching
9 Years
May 27, 2010
4
0
7
my chickens are 3 months old and have lived in the tractor for about month and a half. They stay in the chicken run all day and at night time they go into the coop all by theirselfs.
 

boogiedog

Songster
9 Years
Apr 19, 2010
359
8
121
Oakland hills, CA
You may want to give it a try late in the afternoon, when you are home and have just a few hours left until roosting. That way you can "supervise" a short free-range session and confirm they will head back to the coop.
 

The Lisser

Songster
9 Years
Mar 29, 2010
814
3
131
Foothills of North Carolina
I did the same thing you're describing (only my coop is permanent, not a tractor). They were about 9 weeks when they went from the house to the coop and attached run - out during the day, closed in at night. After about 3 or so weeks I started to let them free range during the day. I have no problem getting them in the coop at night, that is when I refill their feeder and initially I got them in with treats (also I spent a lot of time with them when they were chicks so they are pretty tame). They tend to go back near the coop when they are resting, and then venture out and forage periodically.

I have llamas in the same pasture so I don't worry too much about daytime predators other than hawks. I agree about supervising your birds if you don't have a guard animal or a predator proof pasture/yard.

Good luck!

Melissa
 

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