Chickens won't go in coop! Have tried everything....

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by axelkeitz, Feb 14, 2016.

  1. axelkeitz

    axelkeitz Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 14, 2016
    Corvallis, MT
    I am new to raising chickens. Around thanksgiving I bought 9 hens and one rooster. They were a few days old when we picked them up. So I guess that makes them around 10-11 weeks old. So about a month ago I built them a chicken coop with attached run.( I'll post pictures). For the first month and a half of there life they lived in an old water trough and then a horse stahl when they got to big. When I put them in the new coop I expected them to take a while to get used to there new surroundings but not this long!

    I have tried turning a light on at dusk, I have put them on the top rung of the ramp to the coop and helped them up, then the next night put them a little lower, then a little lower, etc. until now when I put them on the last rung they take right off up the ramp and go into the coop. But still they don't go up by them selves at night. My last effort was to lock them in there coop for three days, which didn't work either. There last night of lock up was this past Wednesday.

    So I bought maybe there ramp was to steep and didn't have enough rungs. So yesterday I rebuilt it a less of an angle and rungs every 5 inches. That didn't seem to help since they didn't go in by them selves last night.... I'm at a loss for what to do next!! My next thought was to put there food and water in the coop??? I don't know!

    Are they just to young ? There not laying eggs yet but when they start laying eggs, will they just lay them on the dirt if they won't go in there coop??
    Any help is appreciated!

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  2. WVForestGirl

    WVForestGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My coop is similar to yours with the pop door underneath and a ramp. I kept mine in the basement until they were about 10-12 weeks old before the coop was ready, too, and they didn't know about ramps. I had a similar problem and in the end I spent three full hours one evening throwing scratch up the ramp before a couple of them figured it out. That was all it took, they taught each other and put themselves to bed the next night and every night since.
    Your ramp looks pretty steep but it sounds like they go up it just fine when you put them on it, they probably just need to jump on it themselves and then put 2 and 2 together. We put grippy sandpaper-like stuff on the ramp between the rungs, too, they seem to appreciate it.
     
  3. potato chip

    potato chip lunch-sharer

    I would just keep on showing them and give it time. I've got some new girls, one was 8/9 weeks and the other 12 weeks when I got them. They have learnt lots since I got them. I think yours are too young to "get it" yet, and I think in time they'll learn all the things they will do when they are grown.
     
  4. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    It can take them a long time to learn to use ramps, I would expect you to continue to have troubles for a while, as they mature they will magically go in at night, usually around 4 months. Just keep at it.
     
  5. axelkeitz

    axelkeitz Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 14, 2016
    Corvallis, MT

    If you think that is steep you would have cringed at the old one. I just rebuilt there ramp yesterday! I have put food on there ramp as well with no luck.



    Yea I'm thinking they are still to young..


    I guess I will just keep assisting them up every night and keep waiting on them to get it .
     
  6. axelkeitz

    axelkeitz Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 14, 2016
    Corvallis, MT
    Also when I turn the light on in the coop for them at dusk.i usually start feeding cows. Then I'll back to see if any have gone in which none have... Then start assisting them up into the coop. When I get them all up there I turn the light off before I shut the door. Is this right or should I be leaving the light on?
     
  7. potato chip

    potato chip lunch-sharer

    My chooks won't go inside if they can see that things are still "happening" outside. They go in when they know the day is really over and that they aren't "missing out" on anything.
     
  8. amandastiles

    amandastiles Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 19, 2015
    I have always locked new chickens in the coop for a few days when they are first out outside. This has always worked for me. Even 2 should do. It would be better if you had a window so they wouldn't be in the dark the whole time but they will be fine. Good luck!
     
  9. WVForestGirl

    WVForestGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    X2 mine also stay out until pretty much full dark. the light in my coop is on a timer to come on in the evening; they go inside and party for a while after dark.
     
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    How big is the opening on the floor of the coop?...can you take a pic showing it?
    Head room can be a problem with floor openings on coops,
    might want to think about putting a pop door on the side of the coop instead.

    One thing that really stands out to me here is there are no windows for light and not much ventilation.

    Is that coop roof water tight?...any problem with run off from the building next to the coop?

    If it's damp and dark in coop, I wouldn't want to be in there either.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2016

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