Chickens won't go in coop should I change the design?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Scarletthobo, Sep 7, 2014.

  1. Scarletthobo

    Scarletthobo Hatching

    Sep 7, 2014
    I am new to this forum and to raising chickens so maybe I'm just too worried.

    I have had these chickens for two weeks. I have a coop that is in my barn that has an enclosed fenced part and then an inclosed coop. The coop was about 24" off the ground with a ramp and the chickens would not go up the ramp into the coop. So yesterday I redesigned the thing and lowered the enclosed coop(with a nesting box) to just a few inches off the ground with no ramp. I went out last night to lock the chickens in (they free range) and they were all sitting in the fenced in area and again there was not a chicken in the coop. Is this normal? What should I do to get them to go in the coop? I do have a light in it. I want them to learn to go inside so they will have a slightly warmer area for winter. Will they ever just walk into the enclosed coop?
  2. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge Enabler

    Mar 9, 2014
    Northern Colorado

    What I do when I get new chickens...
    I close them in the coop for a few days so they become familiar with where to go at night. I know it does not sound nice to lock them up. Yours free range and are coming back to the enclosure in the barn so they know that much already. Good start. I still have 2 that insist on sleeping outside on top of the nest box and it has been 2 years. They do go in on their own if the weather is bad when they go to roost. Other than that I put them in every single night.
    Closing the hens in the coop for a couple days is not so bad so long as the coop is large enough that they do not start fighting.
    I hope this helps some.

    I am sure that there are others that will chime in as well.

  3. JanetS

    JanetS Songster

    Jun 22, 2012
    You're going to have to go out and pick them up one by one and put them in their coop until they learn that's where they are suppose to go every night. This could take a few days or up to a week. Good luck!
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2014

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