Chickens Wont Return to Correct Coop

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by gatrapper, Jul 6, 2016.

  1. gatrapper

    gatrapper Out Of The Brooder

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    Hey Y'all,

    I have 2 chicken tractors that my birds stay in year around. One tractor is for ducks, the other for chickens. I introduced some 5 month old chickens to the chicken tractor. I kept all the birds locked in there for 4 days before I started letting them free-range again.

    Well the last few nights that I go to close the door I notice that my newer chickens are all sitting outside the duck tractor.

    Is there any way that I can really get these new chickens to head back to their new coop?
     
  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    How many chickens (old and new) in the chicken tractor?
    How big is the tractor (feet by feet)?
    How did the old and new chickens get along for those 4 days they were all locked in the tractor together?

    My bet is that the old chickens are not letting the new ones into the chicken tractor to roost....
    ....territorial dispute and/or crowding issue.
     
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    I kind of agree but I think it is a matter of maturity. More mature chickens outrank less mature chickens and can be fairly vicious to them, especially around bedtime. I think the younger ones are afraid of the older, probably with reason.

    I’ll ask another question. When they are free ranging, do the two groups stay together or do the younger avoid the older? If they avoid the older during the day, why would they not avoid the older at night?

    So what can you do? I don’t know how many chickens you have in either group, how much roost space is available, or how that roost space is laid out. If you have the room, I suggest putting in a separate roost, a little lower than the main roost and horizontally separated to give them a safe place to roost without getting beat up. Then physically move them into the coop after bedtime until they catch on. That’s pretty close to what I do. If you can lure them all into the tractor before bedtime and lock them in, even better.
     
  4. gatrapper

    gatrapper Out Of The Brooder

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    There are 12 chickens in a 10x12 tractor. When they free-range the chickens all stay together. 6 chickens are 9 months old and the other 6 are 6 months old. They all behave well and get along fine in the coop.
     
  5. Fentress

    Fentress Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I keep a mixed free ranging flock of different ages. Even if everyone gets along fine, older adults can be very mean about roost space. Sometimes it does not matter that there is adequate room for everyone, they will spread out and patrol the roosts to keep the young ones off of it. That's just the way it works. Introducing a new roost might help if you have room. I agree with ridgerunner, pick them up and put them where you want them to be. If it is not too wet, they can stay on the ground for a while until they earn their roost space.
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Sounds like good space.......RR hit it with his roost suggestion.
     
  7. gatrapper

    gatrapper Out Of The Brooder

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    I do not have roosts in the tractors. I used to have them installed, but the chickens would never use them.
     

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