Chickens not going down ramp

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by jon100, Mar 13, 2013.

  1. jon100

    jon100 New Egg

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    Dec 18, 2012
    I'm a beginner raising a flock of 5 beautiful pullets - 2 Buff Orpingtons, 2 Barred Plymouth Rocks and one Rhode Island Red. Started with week old chicks that are now 22 weeks old. Expecting eggs any day now. The girls have ramp issues. They all will go up the ramp at dusk. One fearless Barred Rock will come down in the morning. The rest are well, chicken. They will hover around the ramp, look down a the feed, but insist on being carried down. The ramp goes down a trap door opening in the floor of the coop.

    I converted a backyard play set into the new coop. Here is before and after pictures:


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    The ramp is at a 45 degree angle, has cleats every 6 inches and hardware cloth stapled between the cleats for traction. The floor opening is 13 X 18 inches. Here are pictures of that.


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    If I place the chickens on the ramp from above, they panic and hop back off. The feed is always downstairs in the pen area, although I do supply water both up and down. I'm prepared to be patient, but wondering if anyone has suggestions on how to get these ladies to come down on their own.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2013
  2. yyz0yyz0

    yyz0yyz0 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 2, 2012
    3 suggestions to try:

    1. When putting a hen on the ramp, put them halfway down on the ramp.

    2. reduce the slope of the ramp

    3. leave the food outside and let them get hungry enough to go down and eat.
     
  3. mrwoodboat

    mrwoodboat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 25, 2012
    +1....ramp angle looks to be a bit steep...
     
  4. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    It does look pretty steep and it's long so I agree, I think that's your problem. Chickens feet aren't really made to grip on and climb a steep angle but with practice they may get used to it.
     
  5. darkside1

    darkside1 Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 26, 2013
    Put the bottom of the ramp up on a couple of cinder blocks to decrease the angle for a couple of weeks. After they get used to it remove one for a week and then remove the other. The steep angle will be fine once they're used to using the ramp.
     
  6. jon100

    jon100 New Egg

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    Dec 18, 2012
    Thanks everyone for great suggestions. Will work on that ramp. Will have to shorten the ramp to raise it as the bottom end is against wall. Chickens will have to jump to the ramp by the distance I raise off the floor, and land on the inclined ramp. Certainly worth trying!
     

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