Chickens won't go thru entrance hole in floor....

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by whm, Dec 11, 2009.

  1. whm

    whm New Egg

    Dec 11, 2009
    I made a new coop, put the entrance in the floor with a ramp going down. They will not go up or down into the house unless pushed. It has only been a few days and bitter cold, are they not used to it or not liking the cold or is the design not to their liking? Do they have a thing about looking down? Any help is greatly appreciated.
  2. insiderart

    insiderart Obviously Insane

    Apr 30, 2009
    I've found that they will eventually fall down the hole enough to catch on. Works best if you put the food and water downstairs (though I do make sure to have some upstairs in the afternoon just in case). I usually had to put the silkies upstairs for a few weeks at night. But the Speckled sussex caught on in just a couple of days.

    Someone will fall out eventually and the rest will go down to see what they are missing.
  3. The Sheriff

    The Sheriff Overrun With Chickens

    Jun 17, 2009
    Northern CA
    My breeding pens came with the little ladder from the top to bottom. My light Sussex would NOT go up or down and I had to move them myself every morning and night. I tried everything. I told hubby that it was the ladder and we needed a ramp with solid wood and slats for grip. I put on in yesterday and voila' everybody went up on their own last night!

    Try putting them at the bottom and gently but firmly pushing the up the ramp with your hand until they reach the top. That works for me with the ramps.

    Good luck. It is frustrating! [​IMG]
  4. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    Is it dark down there? They may be afraid. White paint might help, if it's not too cold. It's not intuitive for a chicken to climb down into a dark place, but they can learn if it is perfectly predator-proof..
  5. AmyBella

    AmyBella Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 26, 2009
    Western MA
    When I put my rooster in with the girls he was clueless about using the ramp. The first two nights, the girls went up to bed and he was just sitting down there in the run. I picked him up and put him in the coop. In the morning, it was so funny! It took a couple of minutes and a whole lot of clucking for him to muster the courage to come stumbling and flapping on down! On the third night he went up by himself and he's been fine ever since.
  6. gsim

    gsim Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 18, 2009
    East Tennessee
    Lynne P may have something there. Could be the darkness. Try coaxing them to the bottom of the ramp with treats and then let them see you scattering them at top . Reverse procedure in AM. [​IMG]

    All mine have to do is just to SEE the treat bowl or scoop and they are all over me, on my arms and shoulders. [​IMG]
  7. whm

    whm New Egg

    Dec 11, 2009
    no its not the darkness going down, it goes right outside into the light, maybe for going up into the dark coop it could be an issue, they won't do either way though. I thought maybe going down was an issue because they couldn't see what may be lurking for them.

    I did throw cantaloupe (their favorite) at the bottom of the ramp, they were going crazy with anticipation but wouldn't take the plunge.

    I have pushed them up and down twice but they refuse to do it on their own, actually I take that back. I put the hen (we only have 2 at this point, we lost a couple to cats) out in the pen, the rooster couldn't take it and did (with a little push) go down on his own, but that was the only time.

    Is there a point where the ramp could be too steep.? It is at about a 50-60 degree angle. It is a 1 x 6 with "rungs" nailed onto it for traction.
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2009
  8. The Sheriff

    The Sheriff Overrun With Chickens

    Jun 17, 2009
    Northern CA
    Quote:I definitely have had problems with ramps being too steep. When I ordered these breeding coops I asked to have much less angle to the ramps. Even then, when I replaced the ladder style for a ramp with cleats yesterday I made it even more gradual. Today they are showing off going up and down like they've been doing it forever! After 3 weeks of me squeezed into a poopy 4x4 sand run shoving their little butts up and down! [​IMG]
  9. sandiatonimarie

    sandiatonimarie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 30, 2009
    I've been curious about this because I have plans that have the chicken door as a hole in the floor. Since I haven't built the coop yet, should I just plan to put the door in the side? Or would I have to push chickens up and down a ramp a few times regardless of where it is? Don't have chickens yet either so let me know what I'm in for!
  10. Kirtusjon

    Kirtusjon Chillin' With My Peeps

    When I built my coop I had to put stairs next to ramp made from cinder blocks the first two weeks, til they got use to the ramp. See Pic.


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