Chickens not going in to coop at night


11 Years
May 15, 2012
I know this has been discussed before! But I just needed to post again! Sorry! My seven week old chicks are loving their run and coop. But they are not heading in to the coop at night. I had a light in there that kept running out of batteries so I strung Christmas lights. I thought maybe it was too bright. So I turned those off and added two small solar lights. Turned off all other lights around the coop. They are still piling up in a corner of the run so my DH or me has to go out and put them in the coop at night. They stay there with the door open. But how do I get them to go up at night. They can go in and out on the ramp just fine I have seen them.
Any suggestions!?
Thanks so much! Oh they have been out a week today.
They don't need a light in the coop -- but the coop needs natural light, so it gets dark just as it does outdoors. They will sleep better if it's dark.

I've never had this problem but my coop has loads of ventilation and natural light. I've read of lots of folks bribing them inside with treats for a week or so, til they get the idea. If they like their coop and roost, they should naturally go to it at night. If there is something in there they don't like, they will want to stay out. Does it have lots of ventilation? Are they being bothered by mice or something similar? Does it smell of pine, or anything?

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Coop is Amish made. Big side window and large rect opening. I read put light in in case they fall or need to get water. Once I put them in they stay w door open. They go in and out to eat and hang out there too.... Just not sure what is going on!
It is often suggested that you lock them in the coop for a few days to a couple weeks to teach them that the coop is "home".
Or keep putting them up at night, till they figure it out.

Imp- Good luck & welcome to BYC
We have been so lucky with our flock! We bought ours the day after Easter then just three weeks ago we put them in the 'coop' of sorts that's located in the barn. There they stayed for one week before we finally let them out to explore the barn areas. After 4 days of that we opened the barn door to let them roam and forage in their outside run. Now the first two nights as the sun set they stayed outside so we had to pick them up and bring them in the barn. After those two nights they got the idea and went in the barn on their own. They just stayed on the ground sitting on some hay in front of the barn door. Poor babes! We'd sit them on the roost, they'd hop back down! Back to the bale of hay on the ground. This went on for a few nights. Just two nights ago when I went and looked through one of the barn windows there they were on their roost! YES, life is good finally. They have been coming inside at dusk and eat, drink then head for their roost!

I found out a while back that by using a flashlight in the dark mine would actually follow the light and I could lead them anywhere with that. Just as idea.
I did not lock my five week olds in the coop when I got them. The first night I put them on the roost. The second night, I reduced their daytime food slightly and then tempted them in, one by one, with a cup of food. I sprinkled a little on the floor to keep them each inside. I did that for three days, then they just started going in on their own. They do wait until it is almost dark, though, and I have to turn on the outside light to go lock up.
My 6 week old girls were moved out last Friday... We've got a solar powered automatic door that opens and closes at specific times, so it is important they get in there before it closes. Here's how we've gotten them trained.

We keep a small hanging feeder and hanging waterer inside the coop and a larger hanging feeder and waterer outside the coop. The feeder and waterer in the coop stays where it is 24/7... Full access. An hour before we want them in... we raise their outside feeder up out of their reach. They go in and hunker down where the food is, the door closes. Then in the morning, the door opens, they all go out and start their day. We lower it in the morning after they (we) are up and about. If they are hungry before we get out there... no big deal... they go back in the coop and grab what they want.

Of course our girls aren't free-ranging, so... there's that.

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