Coop Issues

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by RIR2012, Dec 4, 2012.

  1. RIR2012

    RIR2012 New Egg

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    Dec 4, 2012
    Arkansas
    My Coop
    I apologize if the question is answered elseware I was not able to find it. That being said I just got 7 new chickens, my first ones, I done some reading on here on coops and many other topics before building my coop. I settled on building mine two ft. off the ground on stilts, outside of my existing old dog pen, with two planks leading fro the coop to the pen. My question is why can I not get my chickens to go into the coop at night. I have to catch them after dark and put them in it for fear of something eatting them at night. I open it back up at daylight and they come out when ready, they will walk up and down the planks all day, but never go inside. At night they will all huddle up in the grass, and bed down. Any ideas why they wont go inside, or how to get them to of an evening? Any thoughts will be much appreciated. Thanks
     
  2. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 15, 2010
    Forest Grove, OR
    Hi and [​IMG]

    How long have you had your chickens? Sometimes it takes a while for them to figure out that is where they need to go at night. I wrangled mine in the beginning nightly for a while and then they figured it out. Some folks will close them up in the coop for a few days (with food and water, of course) so that they know where "home" is.
     
  3. DuckyLou

    DuckyLou Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 29, 2012
    East Texas
    Might be a silly question, but Do you have nesting boxes in the coop?
     
  4. pupsicle

    pupsicle Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 11, 2008
    You're doing the right thing. Keep putting them to bed at night. Let them bed down and calm down, like they're doing, then put them where they're supposed to be. They'll get it -- eventually. You just have to make them realize that it's their routine.
     
  5. RIR2012

    RIR2012 New Egg

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    Dec 4, 2012
    Arkansas
    My Coop
    Ok Thanks for the advice, And yes DuckyLou their are nesting boxes inside the coop, but I am a month or better from egg production Im guessing. I may just have been a little too impatient, I have had them in there for less then a week. I just wanted to make sure I was going about this in a good way. Thanks
     
  6. DuckyLou

    DuckyLou Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 29, 2012
    East Texas
    I have the same type of coop setup and mine lay eggs for the most part inside the coop in their nesting boxes, but they still get on top of the coop to put themselves to bed, I go in every night and put each one of them inside the coop and lock them up. I would think in another week or two they will probably start putting themselves up for you or at least moving closer to the coop.
     
  7. dreamcatcherarabians

    dreamcatcherarabians Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 29, 2010
    Stillwater
    When I first introduce new chicks to my coop I lock them in for about 3 or 4 days with water & food. Then I drop the door and let them find their way out when they're ready, that takes a couple of days. At night, I have a light on to encourage them to go to the light when it gets dark, it seems to speed up the process of them learning to 'put themselves to bed' so to speak. It takes a little while and there are always a few stragglers that learn slower than the others, but they'll all get it. I had one who we ended up nicknaming "Limo" because she'd go roost on a shelf in the feed barn and I'd have to give her a "limo ride' home after dark every night. Even she finally got it, LOL! She got to the point where I'd turn on the light in the feed barn, walk up to her shelf, turn my shoulder and tell her, "My Lady's chariot awaits." and she'd step over to my shoulder and ride there to the coop. Silllly bird!
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2012
  8. Smoochie

    Smoochie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Does your coop have windows or light? A roost?
     
  9. RIR2012

    RIR2012 New Egg

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    Dec 4, 2012
    Arkansas
    My Coop

    It does have a roost, but no light. After hearing everyones advice I plan to install one this weekend.
     
  10. Smoochie

    Smoochie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 18, 2012
    CANADA


    Young chickens often have trouble figuring stuff out. I usually put an older hen in with pullets to show them the "ways of the coop" but sounds like you do not have this option. I also find chickens often follow flashlights.. If that helps. :)
     

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