chicks in new coop run wont go back in coop tonight

NCchickenman1958

In the Brooder
10 Years
May 24, 2009
55
0
39
Mint Hill N.C.
my 5 week old chicks are in their new digs and after playing outside all day they wont come out from under the coop and go into the mcmansion that I built for them. I kept them inside for 3 days as was suggested and the coop is 18" off the ground and I cant get under to get them. temp will be in the 70's tonight and they wont freeze as they huddle together. They have feathered out nicely and I left the coop door open and the heat lamp on if they choose to go in tonight. Any suggestions? I can close off the coop crawlspace tommorow after they come out for a while to get them used to going in at night, or I can put them under house arrest for a few more days , but they love playing outside and are a joy to watch so I am hesitant to do that. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

annek

Songster
11 Years
Mar 12, 2009
570
3
154
Personally if it is safe for them to be outside (predator proof) I wouldn't worry about it. They are probably having the time of their life. This is a big adventure for them and I think they will eventually go back into the coop. With as warm as the nights are they I think they will be fine without a heat lamp at 5 weeks. Are you sure the coop isn't too hot. We are in the 90's during the day and you aren't that far away.
 

Gonzo

Songster
10 Years
May 25, 2009
3,718
11
201
Southwestern, In
wow! mine do that too, we just wait for them to come out, and wrangle them up (our seven year old is quite the chicken wrangler!) and put the butts back in the coop. I've used a stick to run them out, and we've also thrown out bread crumbs or scratch to help persuade them it. Hope this helps!
 

NCchickenman1958

In the Brooder
10 Years
May 24, 2009
55
0
39
Mint Hill N.C.
they will be ok I'm sure, I chastised my wife for poking at them with a stick and threatened to use it on her so she punched me when she saw your response
they are my babies and I worry about them, as I told my wife we were given dominion over the creatures of the earth and with that comes great responsiblity.
 

farmgirl@heart

Hatching
11 Years
Dec 10, 2008
5
0
7
Mine did that too last year and I freaked out! I was so worried about them. I turned a light on in the shed part and they just strolled right in and I closed the door! It was amazing. Poking with a stick just got them scared, but the light worked like magic!
 

Sugar Sand Farm

Songster
12 Years
Apr 24, 2007
2,597
10
211
North Florida
We have two grow out pens that have 27 6 week olds and 23 8 week olds. Every night we have to chase them inside. We have it down to a science block all passageways and herd them inside. We live adjacent to the wildlife management area and I do not trust that they would be safe outside at night. Every bird goes inside. We teach them as soon as they are outside and eventually they will go in at night. (even the ducks)
 

Gonzo

Songster
10 Years
May 25, 2009
3,718
11
201
Southwestern, In
we don't poke a stick at ours, we put it behind them and run them out. Ours are free range, and we have Hawks, raccoons, possiums, & coyote's. We dearly love our babies, and want them safe at night.
 

NCchickenman1958

In the Brooder
10 Years
May 24, 2009
55
0
39
Mint Hill N.C.
Ikept the light on last night and the door pen and they were out when I checked them at 6am so I think they stayed out all night (I hope they are staying out of trouble and not partying ) but tonight I will put them up by whatever means necessary so that they get in the habit and dont start nesting under the coop.
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
11 Years
Feb 2, 2009
25,442
15,045
777
Southeast Louisiana
The two reasons I know of to have them sleep in a coop are:

1. Shut the door and keep them safer from predators.

2. Protection from weather. They will not move once it becomes dark. If they are sleeping outside, they can be injured if a storm comes up.
 

Zahboo

Simply Stated
10 Years
Feb 3, 2009
4,439
34
231
Hope Mills, NC
I had chicks that wouldn't leave the coop for a week and once I forced them into run, they wouldn't come into the coop! Make sure they have water and food.
 

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