Chicks won't go into henhouse on their own.

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by hhiner, Dec 3, 2012.

  1. hhiner

    hhiner Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 8, 2012
    North Carolina
    We moved our chicks (5-9 weeks old) outside into their new Henhouse/run about a week ago. They are doing well and will go in and out of the henhouse during the day, but in the evening, when I go out to close them into the henhouse, I find them gathered together in a corner of the run. My daughter and I have to gather them up and put them inside. I believe they would be safe if I left them in the run because we used 1/2" hardware cloth on the floor, up the walls and a sturdy roof, but I want to be doubly sure that they are safe because we have a coyote in the neighborhood.

    Is there any way to encourage them to go in by themselves? Tips or tricks?

    Thanks,

    Heather
     
  2. ellie32526

    ellie32526 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 21, 2012
    North Texas
    I have always heard that when you first put them in a new place you need to lock them inside for about three-four whole days and nights before letting them out. That way they identify with the coop as their home.It also helps if they have food and water inside.
     
  3. hotrodflash

    hotrodflash Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 18, 2012
    East Texas
    The first couple of days mine didn't go into the coop either. I would go out after dark and move each one into the coop. It only took 5 days for them to start going in by themselves. I did leave a light on in the coop for the first 3 nights so maybe that helped them know where to go.
     
  4. hhiner

    hhiner Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 8, 2012
    North Carolina
    They do have ample food and water inside. So should I leave them locked in for the next 3-4 days to resolve this or does it need to be a day or two longer because they have already adapted to the coop?
     
  5. kacklinkelly

    kacklinkelly Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 12, 2012
    Southwest Desert
    I have had the same experience this weekend when our 9 week old chicks moved into their permanent home. Up until now, they have lived on one level in a small dog run with a roosting pole outside their cardboard box. However, my husband built a wonderful A frame two story that the chicks don't seem to know what to do with all the space they now have. It took two days for them to learn to go up and down the ladder. The first night, we waited until almost 8pm to see if they would figure it out. They were huddled like your girls in the corner down below. After catching them and putting them upstairs, they wouldn't come down the next morning until they were coaxed along with some oatmeal sprinkled down the ladder and into the lower section foraging area. Now, they go up at dark, but huddle just in the corner at the top of the ladder instead of along the 3 foot roosting bar my husband installed. I think it's just taking time for them to adjust. They certainly seem happy enough. At least that's what I'm telling myself:>
     
  6. ellie32526

    ellie32526 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 21, 2012
    North Texas
    I agree that they do seem to be adapted to the coop since they go in and out during the day, I would try locking them inside for a day and night just so that they get a little more comfortable to sleeping inside. I also agree with kacklinkelly that its just taking time for them to adjust. They just probably need a few more days.
     
  7. Shelshanam

    Shelshanam Out Of The Brooder

    I think some breeds are a little slower to get it.

    last spring I raised up 12 pullets and did the normal acclimate to the house before I let them out in their new pen. I think I left them in the house 5 days before they got their first outside venture....

    I spent the next 3 months chasing or catching them to put them up each night because no matter the time they would not go in on their own! So finally I said "OH WELL" and left them.. Next morning I went out there and they were in their house! I don't know what time their internal clock told them to go to bed but it was way later then my bed time!

    So I finally got a rooster who likes to go to bed early and he has taught those hens to get in as soon as it starts turning dark...
     
  8. KaterCheek

    KaterCheek Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 5, 2010
    Arizona
    I had the same problem. For a while, I was shoving them in, and that worked for a time, but the youngest hens STILL would rather sleep outside, even though there's now ample room inside the henhouse.
     
  9. Sandstorm495

    Sandstorm495 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 2, 2012
    Darwin, Australia
    Well our hens go in at night by themselves and roost [​IMG]
     
  10. Ruthieharris

    Ruthieharris Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 24, 2012
    Perth Australia
    Soo glad I'm not the only one that did this , when mine were babies I had to put them in house a gently tap them on their backs to make them go ni nighs lol my hubby gave me heaps about it and can't wait to tell him others do this too ! Hehe gotta love the baby stages of chickens so cute
     

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