Chicks don't want to go to bed

My1stChickens

Songster
5 Years
May 16, 2015
197
158
141
Texas, USA
I have some 5-6 week old chicks that outgrew the brooder box, and are currently in a tractor in the garage (due to the incredible rain and flooding we keep having in Texas). I thought I had selected an awesome tractor, but it's not so awesome when you have to crawl into it to catch the little terrorists to put them up for the night. (It's 3x9, but the run is short enough that my only access is by crawling in there. They don't like to be caught, and it's generally a PITA for all of us. Once I put them in the coop area, they stay... but they just don't seem to realize they are supposed to go up there at bedtime.

Does it matter if they decide to just sleep downstairs? They are safe, since they are in the tractor inside the garage. I might have messed up, providing them too nice of a downstairs-- they have a dirt bath, food, water and a board they can perch on. Last night the board was full, two were in the dirt bath and two just snuggled up in shavings.

What should I do? Crawl in there every night to put them to bed? Or just let them be? They won't live in this forever, it's just the interim facility while the permanent coop is ready and they are a little older.


 

tsmith91

Chirping
Mar 17, 2015
109
6
53
Woodlawn Virginia
Since its in the garage they may not go in the coop to roost the less light at dusk tells them its time to seek shelter for the night and if you just turn the light out they can't go in since they can't see in the dark they should be fine sleeping wherever since its inside right now
 

Andrei

In the Brooder
May 17, 2015
30
0
21
If it's not their permanent coop then I wouldn't worry about it. Once you put them in the new coop, I would keep them locked inside for a few days so that they know it's where they have to come back each night.
 

My1stChickens

Songster
5 Years
May 16, 2015
197
158
141
Texas, USA
Thank you! I bet I contributed to this unintentionally. I had a light up by the ventilation window of the coop, to keep it light, but it also illuminated a good bit of the run. I will see if I can rig something for JUST the coop part, to get them trained to migrate that way around dusk. I have been leaving the garage door open so they have plenty of fresh air and daylight, just need to adjust my evening arrangements.

I so appreciate y'all taking time to help a newbie.
 

Andrei

In the Brooder
May 17, 2015
30
0
21
I had mine in the garage too until I moved them into their coop around 6 weeks of age. you don't have to put any light in the garage if it has windows. I would leave the garage for open for them to get fresh when I was home. How long before the actual coop is ready for them?
 

Jackschicks

Chirping
5 Years
Jan 21, 2015
72
23
84
Pearland, Tx
I was having the same problem. I moved my baby chicks from the brooder out to the coop and run when they were 6 weeks old and just kinda assumed they would put themselves to bed every night like my big chickens did. But noooo, every evening I was having to go out and chase 50 chicks down and put them in the coop before closing them up. It was exhausting for me and stressful for the chicks. (my coop is predator proof but my run has proven not to be coon proof). Finally, I got where I was waiting until full dark and the chicks were in sleep mode and it was easier to gather them up and put them in the coop. Over the course of a week or so, they started going in the coop at dark. Every night there were fewer and fewer to pick up and put in the coop. Now they all go in on their own and all I have to do is go out after dark and make sure the coop door is closed. If you feel confident your run is predator proof, then I would just leave them be. They will eventually figure it out. Good Luck!!
 

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