Chickens won't use new coop! Help!!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by spooklaw, Aug 3, 2010.

  1. spooklaw

    spooklaw In the Brooder

    May 27, 2010
    My husband built our chickens a new coop. They are used to having a perch in the corner of their pin. At dusk instead of going in the coop, they all act crazy looking up in the corner for their perch. Any ideas on how to get them to use the coop?

  2. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

    Sep 25, 2007
    Train them to a treat bowl - works like a charm! Find a dish, I use an old plastic "untippable" dog dish. I put their favorite treats in that dish, and offer them during the day. A few times a day, a small treat of something they love like yogurt, mashed bananas, tomatoes, etc. - Move the treat dish closer to the coop. Then, put the treat dish INSIDE the coop. When they're used to going in, just put the treat dish inside at dusk. Do this for SEVERAL days in a row, and eventually it will become a habit for them to come inside at dusk, and you can stop with the treats then. I also say "chick! chick! chick!" when I put the bowl down, so they also come running to just the sound of me saying that eventually, as well. Good luck!
  3. OregonChickenGal

    OregonChickenGal Songster

    Jul 26, 2010
    Central Oregon
    Yes, catch them and put them in, if you don't have to many. You could also throw something they really like to eat in there. They'll go in eventually.
  4. 1_FnkyFrm

    1_FnkyFrm Songster

    Jun 6, 2010
    Knoxville, Tn
    Put the chickens in the coop for about four days and leave them there. Then on day five you can let them out and they should know that is where they need to go at night...
  5. conroy

    conroy Songster

    Oct 10, 2008
    Quote:I agree... I don't know about 4 days but at least a couple of days [​IMG]

  6. sandiatonimarie

    sandiatonimarie Songster

    Nov 30, 2009
    Are you talking about them going into the coop to sleep at night?

    You didn't say much about how your chickens are supposed to get up into the coop. Sometimes ramps can be too steep for them to feel comfortable using them.

    One thing to try -- pick them up and put them in the coop in the evening before bedtime or even just after they've settled down for the night. That way they will learn where they are supposed to sleep. Let them out in the morning. You might have to do this two or three nights in a row to teach them. I did this with mine and it took only one night, they go to their henhouse/coop every night on their own now.

    Since they are used to a certain perch that you already have, could you put that perch inside the coop where you want them to be? Might help them figure it out.

    Good luck!
  7. BackToMyRoots

    BackToMyRoots Chirping

    Jun 29, 2010
    Matthews, NC
    This advice all worked for me, too. The pullets balked at going upstairs, so I read up at BYC, raised the bottom of the ramp with a couple of bricks, commenced treat inducement, and by the end of training day 2 they were putting themselves to bed. Hoorray BYC!
  8. Chook-A-Holic

    Chook-A-Holic Songster

    Oct 5, 2009
    Central, N.C.
    I just moved 19 cockerels into the new bachelor coop/run last Friday night. I put them into the run at about 6pm. At 8pm I put them through the pop door and closed it. Then I went around through the man door and placed each on the roost. The next morning I opened the pop door and let them out into the run. I was very surprised Saturday night at 8:30 when I found them already in the coop and in their roosting spot already asleep. I got the stink eye from a few for disturbing them.
  9. spooklaw

    spooklaw In the Brooder

    May 27, 2010
    After two nights of us picking them up and putting them in at night, they are all sleeping in the coop!! Thanks for everyone's help!

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