Chickens making noise before bedtime....


11 Years
May 17, 2010
I am new to backyard chickens, and I am glad I found this forum since there is a lot of good information here. However, I am having a 'problem' I hope to get some help on...

The 3 chicks are about 6-7 weeks now, and I have had them almost two weeks. When it starts to get dark, they seem a little anxious and make noise. It's not a loud noise or cackling, but more like a whistle. It's not really loud, but I don't want to draw attention to them either since I live in a city. They must make the noise for a reason and they probably not happy. The coop is about 4'x3' and 3' high. The coop itself is about 1.5' above ground and the run is underneath the coop. The strange thing is that they don't want to go upstairs either and eventually they get quiet and fall asleep on the ground.... They know where the coop is since I have kept the food up there. I also have a roosting stick (a real branch with bark so it should be too slippery) and I seem them on it so I know they can make it up there. The coop also has fresh shavings. I also put a light up there the first night to see if they would go up, but it didn't help. If I try catching them to put them upstairs they get louder... What can I do to make them stay quiet and go inside the coop at night?
Here is a picture of the coop.
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in my experience ive found that if you repeatedly pick them up and put them on the roost they will learn in a few days to go on it by themselves. the first few times you put them on the roost they may jump right off. just keep at it. they will learn. worked for me.
Thanks for the quick response and for the good suggestion. That's what I tried the first night, but as you can see the run is a little low, so it's hard to get to them, and they were even louder when I tried catching them so I didn't try again. I might give it another try though. Do you think it's worth a try to keep them locked up in the coop for a few days to see if they get used to it?
i dont know but i kind of doubt it. ive never tried that though. if you wait til they are settled down for the night it may be easier. i know you have an awkward coop for that though. good luck with all that though.
I has been my experience that all chicks get a little noisy before bedtime. This seems to apply when they are young. I don't pay much attention to them after they are older and settled into their routine. If you want the to roost in the coop, I second the post that says to move them after they are asleep and quit. You can change their habits. As with most domestic animals. you are alpha.
Oh by the way I love your coop and saw the pictures of the step by step project as few months back and have incorporated some of the design. But mine are not as pretty as yours.
I suggest that you put them in the coop and shut the door every night until they catch on. I'm very familiar with the chirping that you are talking about. It's getting dark outside and they are unsure as to what to do so they are semi-panicking. I let my latest 50 6wk. olds out into the run yesterday and at sunset I had to put 40 of them in the coop one by one and close the pop door. The ones that were already in the coop were quiet but the ones in the run were making the chirping noise that you speak of. Once I got them all in the coop they all settled down.
Thanks for the good advice. I agree that they probably don't know what to do at night and therefore start panicking a little when the sun starts to set. I think I will try to pick them up when it gets dark and put them inside to roost, and then let them down again in the morning.

Thanks for the comment "flower". I looked at a lot of coop designs, but one I saw here on the forum was the one I liked the best and would work best for me for where I wanted to put it in my yard so it couldn't be seen from the outside. I am also planning on making an addition to the run when the chicks get a little bigger. I made it all on the fly, and it was a fun little project! I moved it a little and put caps on and I will try to get a better photo than the cellphone picture I have there now (as well as of the chickens).
To help train my chicks to return to a new coop at night, I use one of those neat Wal Mart stick-in LED lights. I have attached one right inside the coop door, so I can reach in and tap it on before dark. Once it gets dark outside and the chicks get restless, they see the light and go inside the coop (usually huddling around the light, LOL!).


When I close them in for the night, I say my good nights and tap the light off. This works like a charm.

You can find these little lights in the lighting or the camping section of Wal Mart. Hope that info helps. Good luck!

I actually put a small one of those in the first night I had the problem. It's one of those small lights that come with those little camping lanterns with a candle inside. It also has a little LED light that can be removed, but it is not very powerful. I might get something that is a little more powerful for now. I will eventually have to get something permanent out there for the winter, but hopefully this will work until the chicks has figured out where to spend the night.

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